Eagles TC Day 3: Bradham still in team’s plans
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Despite his current legal troubles, Eagles strong-side linebacker Nigel Bradham remains in the team's plans moving forward.
The free-agent acquisition, who is a projected starter on the depth's depth chart, alongside mike LB Jordan Hicks and will option Mychal Kendricks, was arrested earlier this week for allegedly attacking a cabana boy at a Miami Beach hotel.
Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson expressed disappointment in the incident but claimed the team is not weighing the possibility of releasing Bradham.
"I don't foresee anything like that," Pederson said after practice Wednesday.
Bradham, a Florida State product, who lives in South Florida in the offseason, is expected on the field for the team's conditioning test Thursday before the team's first full-scale team practice.
"I did have a great conversation with [Bradham] last night," Pederson said. "I laid out my expectations for him. Again, those are private conversations. I'm not going to get into a bunch of detail on that. But he's obviously humbled by it, and he understands the situation and the magnitude.
"... Don't punish him from being here and just let him practice, let him report, let him go through physicals, conditioning tests, all of that, and we'll see what happens in a few days."
On the field the Eagles wrapped up the three-day rookie and selected-veteran portion of training camp on Wednesday by resting the experienced quarterbacks, Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel, as well as those rehabbing from injuries, players like cornerbacks Nolan Carroll and JaCorey Shepherd, who arrived at camp early.
The stars of the early work included corner Jalen Mills, a seventh-round pick out of LSU, and Aaron Grymes, who starred in the CFL last season, as well as versatile running back Byron Marshall.
Carson Wentz, the prized rookie quarterback, flashed the skill set that has so many excited but is still struggling with his footwork at times, which does affect the occasional throw down the field. Having to work on mechanics, however, is certainly not s rare thing for a young signal caller.
That said, Bradham's behavior off the field was the bigger issue on everyone's mind, especially on the heels of Nelson Agholor's post-minicamp incident at a South Philadelphia strip club in which the second-year receiver was accused of sexual assault, a charge that was not pursued by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office after an investigation.
"You always lay out your expectations about what to expect on the football field and off the football field," Pederson said. "You've got to make smart decisions. We're in a high-profile business and being in the city of Philadelphia, things get magnified a little bit, and you've just got to be smart and careful, and make good choices.
"Obviously, we all suffer from our bad choices, our bad decisions and the consequences of that. I address the team quite often, actually, on making those [decisions]. I addressed the rookies just the other night, and then tonight's meeting we'll have the same similar message."
For now, though, the consequences remain indeterminate for Bradham, who was among a group of six people that attacked an employee at the Hilton Bentley hotel last Thursday over a dispute with an umbrella the party had rented.
Bradham’s group became upset over the amount of time it took the employee to bring the umbrella and a verbal argument escalated into a physical one, in which the victim sustained cuts and lacerations, including one to the back of his head when he was allegedly struck with a glass bottle.
The group accused fled the scene but a receipt was left showing Bradham paid for the umbrella with his credit card.
Bradham's camp is claiming that he hit the attendant three times after the employee tried to strike him and missed, hitting his girlfriend.
WEDNESDAY TRAINING CAMP NOTES:
-The uphill battle for linebacker Travis Long ended early Wednesday morning when the Eagles released the Washington State product. Long, who suffered his third ACL tear, last season, struggled in coverage during the early days of camp and it was clear the lateral-movement skills were just not there for him at this point.
"Travis had a situation here where [we wanted to give] him an opportunity now to catch on with another football team," Pederson claimed. "Obviously, sometimes it comes down to numbers and roster spots, and he's 100 percent healthy, ready to go, and [we] just felt like now was the time with this decision to allow him to catch on with another football team."
-Pederson confirmed the team had some interest in veteran receiver Anquan Boldin, who chose a one-year deal the Detroit Lions over potential landing spots with the Eagles and New Orleans Saints.
"There was a little interest there," Pederson admitted. "With [Eagles executive vice president of football operations] Howie [Roseman] and [Eagles vice president of player personnel] Joe [Douglas] and the guys, we're continuing to always see about upgrading every position, and he was on the list, obviously.
"Basically that's where it's at. Nothing has gone forward with that. We're monitoring every roster, every free agent that's out there, and if we can help our team somehow, some way, we'll do it, but right now there's nothing, nothing in the works."
-In the biggest faux pas of his early tenure as a head coach Pederson admitted he was under the impression that head coaches in the NFL were only allowed two channels on their headsets instead of three. Because of that he expected to relay play calls through offensive coordinator Frank Reich to the QB.
The first-year coach admitted his unfamiliarity with the communication system and claims the kinks are still being worked out.
Pederson's mentor, Andy Reid, uses the relay system so that's likely what Pederson had learned to this point but having a writer -- in this case the Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane -- spring a gotcha so early in Pederson's stint is certainly not going to inspire confidence in the fan base.
"That’s something I’m still kind of mulling over just a little bit," he said. "Besides my game day duties, still calling the plays, but whether I go through [offensive coordinator] Frank [Reich] to call it to the quarterback or if I go directly to the quarterback.
"Wwith the game management situations and time management and just managing your roster and the trainers and substitutions and everything, there's a lot involved. But I'm still working through that. We'll see where that ends up."
-Agholor was at the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday and is expected to talk with the media on Thursday.
-The Eagles had rookie safety Blake Countess wear a camera on his helmet Wednesday as a potential teaching tool down the line.
"It gives us an opportunity to see from a player's vantage point where they are looking," Pederson said. "You can evaluate and help correct the player. You get great feedback from that kind of technology."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen