Nigel Bradham: Jim Schwartz Is A ‘Players’ Coach’

Plus, how history repeated itself when Bradham signed with the Eagles.

Nigel Bradham. (USA Today Sports)

Nigel Bradham. (USA Today Sports)

When Kiko Alonso tore his ACL during the 2014 offseason, a starting spot opened up at linebacker in Jim Schwartz’s Buffalo defense. Nigel Bradham, the Bills’ 2012 fourth-round pick, benefited and eventually started 14 games in what turned out to be a career-year.

Two years later, Bradham could again benefit from Alonso leaving a hole.

Bradham acknowledged that Philadelphia’s trade with Miami played a role in him signing his two-year deal. However, the prospect of reuniting with his old defensive coordinator was what ultimately sold him.

“What really brought me here was being able to be up under coach Schwartz again,” Bradham said today at his introductory press conference. “Being in his scheme and just knowing the way he calls a defense and what he wants to do as a coordinator, and how he wants to attack offenses. That was one of the things that I liked doing, and I had fun doing it, and I know it’s going to be fun here.”

Bradham, who played strong-side linebacker under Schwartz, said he has experience at both outside linebacker spots in the 4-3. He isn’t sure how the Eagles will use him, but in 2014, he recorded 104 combined tackles, two forced fumbles and one interception.

He also covered tight ends a lot, and is confident he’ll fit well in Philadelphia.

“It’s a great scheme to be in because you really get to use all your strengths as a player,” Bradham said. “Everybody was able to have fun and able to play because the scheme was more simple and not so complex to where you can really communicate, even on road games when it’s loud.”

According to Bradham, he also had an offer from the Browns, interest from the Rams and had the Bills in the mix before they eventually backed out. Although Doug Pederson praised his athleticism and special teams value yesterday, Bradham thinks a big reason the Eagles signed him is because he can help others learn Schwartz’s scheme and terminology.

Bradham is equally excited about the reunion.

“He’s a straightforward guy. He’s going to tell you what’s real. He’s going to let you know what we have to do to get the job done to win games,” Bradham said. “He’s a players’ coach. Players like that. We like coaches to be straightforward with us and honest. That’s how he won us over at Buffalo. He was real honest about everything and we put it all on the line for him. That’s the type of coach you want to play for.”