With both the Inquirer and Daily News confirming Stewart Bradley's season-ending ACL tear, here are some quick questions and thoughts to share before I head out to the practice field:
Who will replace him?
The two prime candidates are Joe Mays and Omar Gaither. Gaither has played the middle before and lost his weakside job to Akeem Jordan last season.
Mays has been getting reps with the second team here at camp.
Gaither has the experience, but Sean McDermott has said over and over that the best 11 guys will be on the field. Maybe that's Mays, maybe that's Gaither or maybe it's someone else we're not even thinking about.
Are there any free-agent linebackers available?
Past history would suggest the Eagles will not go this route, but in case you're wondering who is available, Adam Caplan of Scout.com just published a list of the best defensive free agents on the market today. Here is the link.
Who will be the leader on defense?
Leadership has been a question since last season ended. With no Jim Johnson or Brian Dawkins, Bradley was one of the guys players mentioned when asked who will fill in the leadership gap. In fact, I heard Quintin Mikell say last week that Bradley could be one of the guys. Mikell, of course, has been mentioned as that guy also. And some still point to Sheldon Brown. But there's no doubt Bradley was one of the guys that could have stepped up into a larger role.
Interestingly enough, when you talk about vocal guys, Gaither's name has to be in the mix, if he's on the field. No one talks more during practice on the defensive side of the ball than Gaither.
Another interesting question to ponder is: Who will wear the headset on defense?
OK, hopefully we'll have more answers soon. The players are on the field, and Reid will speak afterwards.