28 Days until Kickoff
11 August 2019 Eagles News
I had the pleasure of watching several great safeties in Eagles green including one of the best of all time, Brian Dawkins. Wes Hopkins, Andre Waters, and Malcolm Jenkins come to mind immediately. Safety is a position that resonates with the city of Philadelphia. The hardworking, hard – hitting, last line of defense for 10 other men. The one player who fits this mold who I never got the pleasure of seeing with my own eyes is Bill Bradley.
Bradley was one of the lone shining stars on Philadelphia Eagles teams who had to fight for every victory. Most of Bradley’s career the Eagles finished with less than 5 wins, but Bradley played with the tenacity and effort than still embodies Eagles football. There is not a better story than Bill Bradley’s.
Drafted in 1969 as a punter, Bradley finally got the chance to play defense in 1971. This was a career defining moment. Bradley led the NFL in interceptions and set an Eagles franchise record that still stands to this day at 11 interceptions. Bradley also holds the Eagles single season and the career franchise record for interception return yards. After being named first team All-Pro his first two years at the position, it was clear Bradley took the NFL by storm.
Bradley was one of the best safeties in the NFL during the early 70s. By the time Dick Vermeil came to Philadelphia in 1976 and started to right the ship, Bradley’s career started to wind down. However, his records still hold today. Imagine the impact Bradley could have on today’s game with the emphasis of the passing game? Opposing quarterbacks wouldn’t dare throw at one of the best players to wear Eagles green. Bill Bradley. Number 28.