Cards Bradley learns scheme, gain trust from coaches

Arizona Sports News online

Practice makes perfect.

If you don’t believe me ask Cardinals inside linebacker Stewart Bradley who is starting to get the hang of Ray Horton’s defense after coming to Arizona as a free agent last summerfrom Philadelphia. Bradley has been one of the bright spots in the Red Birds first two pre-season games registering 10 total tackles, a sack, and a pass deflection.

“He’s in a lot better position than he was last year,” Ken Whisenhunt said. “He knows the defense. He’s made some plays for us.”

Bradley has seen his role expand filling in for the injured Paris Lenon and taken advantage of the opportunity, something he didn’t do last year after coming from the Eagles. He made only 31 tackles in 16 games in 2011. A stark contrast to the 108 he tallied in 2008 in Philly.

Like the blue skies in Flagstaff, the Cards scheme and assignments are now clear for the former Nebraska Cornhusker standout.

“It’s less thinking,” Bradley told ProsPreps.com. “A three-four and a four-three defense (like he played with the Eagles) are so different the way you fit runs, the way you deal with pass routes. Adjusting to that…has allowed me to play faster.”

Whisenhunt and the Cards coaching staff have noticed a much different from last year and look forward to Bradley returning to the potential he showed in ’08.

“It’s good to see,” Whisenhunt explained. “The player that we brought in last year is the guy we’re seeing more of now. That’s an exciting thing.”

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.