Aug 292010

Eagles MLB Stewart Bradley

August 29 Philadelphia Inquirer

“They were just little kids, so given the four years between them, it was a fair contest. The game between brothers was to see who could wash their hair and body, and then rinse and turn off the shower water the fastest. Thomas Bradley would lean against the closed bathroom door and click a stopwatch as soon as his big brother, Stewart, turned the water on, and then clicked again as soon as he turned the water off.

“He had the record,” Thomas said. “It was, like, 42 seconds.”

Stewart Bradley is, and always has been, hyper-competitive. It is a trait he inherited from his parents, John and Ann, and one that was a necessity growing up in the Bradley’s Salt Lake City house, where fights still tend to break out over board games, and tennis matches are played in stone silence.

It is also why, a year after blowing out his right knee in the preseason, Bradley is back manning the middle of the Eagles defense, convinced that he not only is 100 percent healthy but that his knee is now actually bionic and better than ever.

He might not be a savior, but at 6-foot-4, 258 pounds, Bradley is a beast at middle linebacker, with long arms, broad shoulders, heavy legs, a long wingspan and good instincts. He is smart, savvy, aggressive and hungry after spending a year away from his teammates lifting weights and strengthening his surgically repaired right knee. Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott called Bradley’s return to the lineup “a significant addition,” and the Eagles defensive signal-caller said at the beginning of camp the thing he missed the most was hitting people.

“You don’t realize how much you miss that, until you can’t do that,” Bradley said.

That attitude makes his mother shudder, but it is just what the Eagles need. Last year, they were lost without Bradley, who became a full-time starter in 2008. His absence affected every position, and the Eagles never could find an adequate replacement.”

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