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Bradley's injury leaves big hole

Eagles middle linebacker Stewart Bradley wasn’t a big name yet, but he was arguably the most important player on the Eagles defense.  (Trent Cole and Asante Samuel may disagree.)

After reportedly losing Bradley to a torn ACL, the team will have to regroup.

Omar Gaither, who has started at middle linebacker before, appears likely to take over for Bradley.  The Eagles will be giving up run-stopping ability and depth with the move. Gaither ultimately failed when asked to start in the middle in 2007.

Asking Gaither to handle Bradley’s old signal-calling responsibilities is asking a lot.

The Eagles defense is rather deep on the defensive line and in the secondary.  They can cover up this injury, but the linebacker position now looks rather thin. Gaither was expected to challenge Akeem Jordan for the weak-side linebacker position. 

With an unimpressive-looking bench, the Eagles may look to the free agent wire for some veteran experience.

Heading into the season, the Eagles roster appeared to have all the right pieces in place for a championship run.  Joe Banner sure thought so.

They can certainly overcome this loss, but it didn’t take long to lose one key piece.

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37 Responses to “Bradley's injury leaves big hole”
  1. Mr Krinkle says: Aug 3, 2009 1:17 PM

    Hugh Douglas was a defenseive end for the Eagles. I think you mean Jeremiah Trotter.
    We’re f*cked.

  2. phillyburdzfan says: Aug 3, 2009 1:21 PM

    Hopefully, Joe Mays beats out Gaither.

  3. AmhaTek says: Aug 3, 2009 1:24 PM

    You’re totaly left out Mays, he’s good in the middle, he’s got a lot of promise and I think he has the edge in the middle over Gaither, I think our depth at LB is better then your giving us credit for, I wouldn’t be opposed to bringing in Brooks but I’m not so sure our front office will feel the same way, but we’ll see, its not all doom and gloom as you (along with most out there) are making it seem

  4. juggadore says: Aug 3, 2009 1:26 PM

    best roster in the league.

  5. bbww40 says: Aug 3, 2009 1:27 PM

    Who wrote this? An eight-year-old?

  6. Bob S. says: Aug 3, 2009 1:32 PM

    jim johnson passed away
    field general brian dawkins gone to denver
    and now bradley gone
    there went eagles great season!

  7. jro330 says: Aug 3, 2009 1:36 PM

    I disagree with this article. I dont believe Gaither failed at MLB. Maybe some dont know or dont remember but the eagles called Bradley a natural SLB. He was drafted as a strong side backer to compete with Gocong. WLB had been an area of weakness for years, and when Bradley was so impressive in his rookie year they couldnt keep him off the field. So Gaither moved to fill the hole at WLB and Bradley took over at MLB. He has the size to be better suited there than Gaither. Gaither’s failure is at WLB where he lost the starting job to Akeem Jordan. I am honestly not worried about Gaither at MLB. He played well there, and remember not only was he only in his 2nd year at the time, but he has added weight since then also.

  8. DeVoodoo says: Aug 3, 2009 1:43 PM

    Getting Rosenthal to proof read his posts to make sure he does not repeat phrases IS ASKING A LOT.

  9. DUpsilon says: Aug 3, 2009 1:44 PM

    No Dawkins, no Jim Johnson and now no Stewart. Eagles D is screwed. D is only as good as you r up the middle and the Eagles are now are very weak.

  10. Duffbrew44 says: Aug 3, 2009 1:46 PM

    This is a huge loss for the Eagles. However, I believe Gaither can fill in and be that vocal leader. If you’ve ever been or heard an Eagles practice, you know he is a real vocal guy. Hopefully he can be a little more physical then he was last year, which is what got him benched, or else we may be seeing Joe Mays at the MIKE spot soon.

  11. Vet735 says: Aug 3, 2009 1:52 PM

    This certgainly doesn’t end the Eagles season. But its a tough loss. I still have visions from last year of NFC running backs tearing through the middle for 4-5 yards per carry. This doesn’t help.
    Gaither can play in the middle and I liked him before Bradley came along. But he may be a bit in the doghouse after last year. I expect Mays to slide into that spot before the end of camp.

  12. Kevin from Philly says: Aug 3, 2009 1:53 PM

    This injury definitly hurts them, but I wouldn’t say the season’s over just yet. After all, the LB corps has never been the best part of the D – at best they were going to be solid but not spectacular. With almost all of camp left, they can probably get Gaither up to speed to fill in, and he’ll do a good job.

  13. Gweez says: Aug 3, 2009 1:54 PM

    As a Skins fan I hope he’s ok. It would help us out a lot in two games but I hate to see anyone go out for Injury especially serious ones. Plus the Uggles D has suffered enough for one Season with the loss of JJ.

  14. Wrathchild says: Aug 3, 2009 2:07 PM

    It’s not huge, but it’s a significant loss. Gaither or Mays will fill in just fine. A FA will also be coming in.

  15. surefooted says: Aug 3, 2009 2:13 PM

    “Asking Gaither to handle Bradley’s old signal-calling responsibilities is asking a lot.”
    This is terrible…
    Gaither ALL READY HAS DONE THAT!!!!!

  16. empty13 says: Aug 3, 2009 2:16 PM

    big hole? u mean like in plax’s leg?

  17. wydok says: Aug 3, 2009 2:17 PM

    Joe Mays is unofficially 2nd on the depth chart for MIKE. I think he might end up being the starter, not Gaither.

  18. Dafreakus94 says: Aug 3, 2009 2:19 PM

    Eagles will need to look at Free agency, because those other guys arent capable of handling the role of defensive leader, signal caller, and captain. Get a grip! Gaither? If I were a birds fan I would hope to God that big mouth Banner goes out and signs Derrick Brooks.

  19. TheDPR says: Aug 3, 2009 2:37 PM

    “Gaither ultimately failed when asked to start in the middle in 2007.
    Asking Gaither to handle Bradley’s old signal-calling responsibilities is asking a lot.”
    This is absolutely inaccurate.
    Gaither was actually better against the pass than StewB is but not as good against the run. He was moved to WIL because he was the most versatile LB the Eagles had, and Bradley looked to be able to handle the MIKE spot, when Gaither filled the need at WIL.
    In the NFC East, Bradley was better than Gaither at the MIKE because of his superiority at run-stopping, so this is going to be a drop off.
    Bigger than that, though, is that either the Eagles need to sign a veteran free agent for depth or a camp body will have to step up.
    But Gaither did not fail at MLB. He was fine there. Now we just need a backup for Jordan at WIL.

  20. LightningLucci says: Aug 3, 2009 2:54 PM

    Every year NFL rosters each seem to lose 1 or 2 players for the year in the first weeks of training camp.
    I cringe everytime I hit F5 in fear that my team will be next.
    Can we dress them all in bubble wrap and force them to practice on a moon bounce?

  21. Dawkphan says: Aug 3, 2009 3:16 PM

    it’s funny how the HATERS come out of the woodwork when something like this happens.
    Stewart B. will be sorely missed but it is early enough to see if we can use Gaither, or Mays, or if we need to bring someone in to fill the need. But let everyone in the league to count us out already , I like when they do that it makes stuffing it up thier a**es that much sweeter.
    GO BIRDS !!!

  22. Flipper says: Aug 3, 2009 3:30 PM

    The Eagles have two guys who can play MLB already on their roster. Gaither did a decent job when he played the MIKE spot a couple of years ago, they moved him to WILL because they had to get Bradley on the field.
    Joe Mays is a player the staff has been high on and he should get some reps on running downs.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Eagles did bring in a veteran player for depth, but it WON’T be Derrick Brooks…….he isn’t a MLB.

  23. VoxVeritas says: Aug 3, 2009 4:01 PM

    The hole that Bradley’s loss leaves is almost as big as the hole in the Eagirls’ trophy case.

  24. Dafreakus94 says: Aug 3, 2009 4:09 PM

    Yeah I know…Derrick Brooks an 11 pro bowler and 5 time ap all pro would have no idea how to play MLB, and certainly not better than Gaither…doesnt matter to me im a Cowboys fan, and to me I would rather see Barber run over Gaither than Brooks…I respect Brooks he has the t shirt and the ring already. Does Gaither own a ring?

  25. Dafreakus94 says: Aug 3, 2009 4:16 PM

    Wow I also love to read when people who obviously dont know football say stuff like Gaither is better at this or that. Lets have some “real talk” for a moment, as a Cowboys fan I would love to say the Eagles flat out suck on defense, but I know that is not true, but one position the Eagles could not afford to lose is LB, period. Admit it Eagles fans, the lb corps on this team is below average even with Bradley healthy. Solid D-line, great secondary now with Ellis Hobbs, but that lb corps from starters to bench is quite frankly WEAK! This will hurt, and there is no relief in sight, not from the team or free agency…

  26. Jackal138 says: Aug 3, 2009 4:21 PM

    The hole he leaves looks like the number of Cowboys playoffs wins in this millenium… O!

  27. Dafreakus94 says: Aug 3, 2009 4:34 PM

    Jackal138, good point man, I havent heard that a million times…The point that I make each and every year, and it always rings true for the Eagles, is that the Cowboys and Eagles teams are on the same couches watching the superbowl (which last time I checked is the ultimate goal) not winning a playoff game. I.m.o the Eagles had a chance to win it all, but that great corps of players they had 5 years ago is either getting old or leaving in free agency. Time to usher in a new era fellas! Go Cowboys! 5x SB Champs!

  28. maddencurse2010 says: Aug 3, 2009 5:28 PM

    Real smart to play full contact this early. Good going Reid.
    No Dawkins, No Jim Johnson, No Bradley…..
    I see this being a 7-9 season with many high scoring losses.
    Your worst nightmware Eagle fan: The team goes as far as McNabb takes them. lulz.

  29. Jackal138 says: Aug 3, 2009 5:36 PM

    Not talking to you, Dafrakus. Talking to the Cowboys fans that go “Eagles haven’t won a superbowl” — because if you use the tired old lines, so will we.
    SBs are the ultimate goal, but given a choice between watching your team have the chance to play for one in January or not – you’re gonna choose the playoff wins. Winning Superbowls in the mid-90’s means nothing now that it’s the late 2000’s.
    You can’t gloat about the Eagles having no trophies and cry foul when the Cowboy’s non-playoff wins are brought up.

  30. RedskinPete says: Aug 3, 2009 5:38 PM

    we will sweep the birds again HAIL

  31. Jackal138 says: Aug 3, 2009 6:19 PM

    “Real smart to play full contact this early. Good going Reid. ”
    I’d rather have a team that gets hurt practicing for real football than has a cupcake training camp and then plays like a cupcake in the regular season.
    There’s a reason the Eagles always thrive at the end of the season when other teams are wearing down. This is an unfortunate consequence of that philosophy.

  32. Dafreakus94 says: Aug 3, 2009 6:37 PM

    I compared Gaither (no ring) to Derrick Brooks (accomplished SB and award winning LB). I never once mentioned SB’s by team, but since you mentioned them I am proud that the team I root for has won at least one, regardless if it were the 60’s or 2008 I would gloat that my team has won it. When the Eagles do, come talk to me…

  33. antneejay2 says: Aug 3, 2009 9:08 PM

    @ Dafreakus94
    Not to minimize the loss of Bradley to the Eagles… I mean Eagirls (I want to be a zany character like voxo the clown when I grow up), but as I understand it, their defense is structured in a way that makes their defensive line and secondary more critical components than the backers. All things being equal, losing their best tackle (who is charged with keeping the linebacker freed up) would be an even more devestating loss.
    I do recall Jim Johnson having really good defenses with mediocre linebackers. Whether or not Sean Mcdermot can replicate that success is a whole nuther question.
    The bottom line is that while losing Bradley will hurt Philly, I don’t believe it’s any reason to cancel their season.

  34. jreed says: Aug 3, 2009 9:15 PM

    OK, All you guys are Retarded! Really! Hold on while I whip mine out to see who’s is bigger. That’s what all dumb-ass non Football knowing fans know. “well my team has a ring..Oh My team won the last SB…Well my team has 5 rings…SHUT UP! Did YOU win the Ring? Were YOU on the Field?? NO, So SHUT UP! Regardless of the Fact that this is about Stu Bradley getting hurt and the Eagles LB corps in now thinned out. All of you dumb-asses out there just look like a bunch of Know-nothing Jackasses just Vomit out crap that not about anything!
    -Now that’s out of my System….Stu Bradley gone will be Hurtful to the Eagles Defense mainly because he IS the Best fit for how they run that Defense. He is a great Tackler and is always around the Ball. Omar Gaither is a Great MLB. Remember, He took Trotters Job…Yes, He did! Only one Flaw about Gaither, He was undersized for those huge backs and had a hard time stopping the Run. Joe Mays is a Hammer so expect to see Gaither and Mays Rotate on and off the Field. Changing from Run to Pass or the Hurryup will Hurt the Eagles Defense this year….Thats all!

  35. jreed says: Aug 3, 2009 9:19 PM

    OK, All you guys are all Dumb! Really! Hold on while I whip mine out to see who’s is bigger. That’s what all dumb-a$$ non Football knowing fans know. “well my team has a ring..Oh My team won the last SB…Well my team has 5 rings…SHUT UP! Did YOU win the Ring? Were YOU on the Field?? NO, So SHUT UP! Regardless of the Fact that this is about Stu Bradley getting hurt and the Eagles LB corps in now thinned out. All of you dumb-a$$es out there just look like a bunch of Know-nothing Jackasses just Vomit out crap that not about anything!
    -Now that’s out of my System….Stu Bradley gone will be Hurtful to the Eagles Defense mainly because he IS the Best fit for how they run that Defense. He is a great Tackler and is always around the Ball. Omar Gaither is a Great MLB. Remember, He took Trotters Job…Yes, He did! Only one Flaw about Gaither, He was undersized for those huge backs and had a hard time stopping the Run. Joe Mays is a Hammer so expect to see Gaither and Mays Rotate on and off the Field. Changing from Run to Pass or the Hurryup will Hurt the Eagles Defense this year….Thats all! B-dalk got Old and slow and JJ’s assistant Coaches so far have taken his system and have done great in other teams. McD has been there much longer then any other coach. He will do Well. Oh and BTW God Bless JJ! Great Football Teacher!

  36. Dafreakus94 says: Aug 4, 2009 1:24 AM

    jreed,
    “OK, All you guys are all Dumb! Really! Hold on while I whip mine out to see who’s is bigger. That’s what all dumb-a$$ non Football knowing fans know. “well my team has a ring..Oh My team won the last SB…Well my team has 5 rings…SHUT UP! Did YOU win the Ring? Were YOU on the Field?? NO, So SHUT UP!”
    Wow you philly fans are as illiterate as they say! If you care to go back and read, take it slow line by line so as not to miss the bold black letters that clearly read ” I am proud that the team I ROOT for has won at least one, regardless if it were the 60’s or 2008 I would gloat that my team has won it. ” I am a fan of The Dallas Cowboys, just as you are a fan of I assume the Eagles. There is always someone who for some reason gets offended if someone says my team or whatever the case may be, but who cares. For me I say that sometimes because hell I invest alot of time watching the Cowboys, and I pay over $200 a game everytime I go to the stadium to watch them play. You also blatantly in your self gratifying rant forgot to mention that Stu Bradley CALLS THE PLAYS for the D which also carries some amount of pressure. He has to be able to make calls before the snap of the ball based on the offense. Obviously any starter being hurt will cause some amount of adjustment, but hey idiot this is their thinnest and weakest position. They have better backups at almost every position except LB. Gaither sucks vs the run (especially against NFC East backs), and does not match up well with the TE’s in the East. Big D 09!

  37. jreed says: Aug 4, 2009 9:21 PM

    Dafreakus94, I am confused. I am illiterate? Is that why you Just Repeated what I said in the Latter half of my Statement? I agree that Stu Bradley is a Loss of Defense, HOWEVER. Gaither has played that Position and Played it well. Yes Bradley called the Plays for the Eagles and so does every other MLB. The Reason for that is, He is in the Middle of the Field and mostly everyone on the D can hear him over Screaming fans. I am sure Gaither and Mays will both have Little Green Dots on their Helmets just as Bradley did. Also, If you go back and read, I Did say that with Bradley out, It thins out the MLB Position…Gaither and Mays will do fine filling in for Bradley. The other backs we signed a 1 year Deal is for Depth alone.
    Oh and Lastly, I will admit that I also say, “My Team”, Or “My Eagles” or Whatever. Thats what fans do. But, I feel that the Superbowl ring is an achievement for the Players that won that game. I am very Proud of the Eagles. I loved them back in the 80’s when they Sucked ass just as much as I love them now. Every now and then I will see a guy walking around in a Detriot Lions Jacket and I will walk up and Say “Respect!” Then I explain that I am a fan of the Eagles and remember when they went 3 and 13 (The worst of 4 bad seasons in a Row) and a lot of people I knew started liking the Giants (Damn Posers). I am the only Member of my Football watching family that Likes the Eagles. Born in Trenton, NJ and Grew up south of there, I went for the “Home team” The Rest of My Fam is from Pittsburgh. Did I pick My Dads team? Nope….Eagles Pride Baby! I chose the Team that I stuck with and If you stuck me…..Yes, I do Bleed Green! However, I am very glad you are proud of you team. I am also glad that you invested lots of Money and time into the Cowgurls, Congrats! Great Team, Five Superbowl rings (probably won before you were born) But Hey, Respect, They have them! Yep…Sure do. Well do you know what every Great Coach tells their team? You are only as good as the last game you played….How did that end up for Dallas?
    Oh BTW….Off topic a bit But I got some Some trivia for ya, The only teams that won the Superbowl in the 60’s were the Packers and the Jets….Just to let you know!

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