Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 6/5/12
TEMPE, Ariz. -- He came from the Philadelphia Eagles. He signed a big contract with the Cardinals then had a hard time staying on the field and calling plays. Were not talking about quarterback Kevin Kolb. Were talking about linebacker Stewart Bradley, whose 2011-12 season shared many similarities with his old Eagles teammate. He kind of mirrors what we did as a defense, defensive coordinator Ray Horton said. He struggled, we struggled on defense. Guys picked it up and got it, and he ended up playing for us and played well in the San Francisco game (Dec. 11) when we put him in. But Bradley couldnt crack the starting lineup. Much of that was due to the surprising play of inside linebacker Paris Lenon, who finished second on the team in tackles (93) at age 34. Paris had that elixir of the fountain of youth, Horton said. Everybody was like oh, you know, he cant do it any more and he said yeah, I can. But when you sign a five-year, 30 million free-agent deal, you are expected to start and you are expected to make an impact on the game. Bradley knows this. He also knows the lack of offseason workouts due to the lockout, moving from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense and Hortons complex defensive scheme are excuses nobody wants to hear, regardless of their merits. I wasnt the only one who had to learn the defense, but my position put a premium on being on top of the whole system -- especially when you have guys depending on your calls more so than they maybe would be if they had been in the system a year or two, Bradley said. If I was coming in and playing a different position where youre less in control of what other people are doing, I think last year would be harder to swallow, but I comprehend what happened and why it happened and what I can change this year. He will have the opportunity. While Horton rattled off a list of players he expects to start on defense -- defensive ends Calais Campbell, Darnell Dockett, nose tackle Dan Williams, inside linebacker Daryl Washington, safeties Adrian Wilson, Kerry Rhodes and hopefully cornerback Patrick Peterson -- he left the door open alongside Washington. Do I know if 51 (Lenon) or 55 (Bradley) is going to be our starter? he asked. Not right now, today. Let them battle it out. To win that battle, Bradley has to prove to Horton that he has mastered the mental side of the defense. If hes going to be our starter, hell take over and hell call the defense and hell play and do everything that is called upon by that position, Horton said. Its going to come down to four preseason games where you go in and show me that you can run the defense, set the defense, make the tackles which we know he can. Its just a process of him feeling very comfortable. There has been some talk of playing Bradley outside in certain situations, but thus far in organized team activities, Bradley said he has been taking snaps exclusively at inside linebacker. As long as Im on the field Im happy, but obviously I have more experience inside and the reason they signed me here was for my play at inside backer, he said. Bradley took a pay cut from 5 million to 2.5 million this season (he said the rest of his contract hasnt changed) because he wanted to stay in Arizona. Its not something you want to do, but if Im playing ball Im making the same money I was making before, he said. That comes down to one simple necessity. Its dependent upon my being on the field, he said. In this game, if youre not on the field youre not around very long.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Trade Rumors: Clippers ‘reluctant’ to deal injured Blake Griffin

Bright future for Minnesota Timberwolves

Eli and Archie Manning say Peyton won’t likely leave Denver if he plays in 2016

NCAA mulls changes to graduate transfer and targeting rules

Cavs active in NBA trade market, covet Jared Dudley

Roger Goodell expectedly dodges Patriots-related questions at Super Bowl


Baltimore Orioles acquire starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne

USC athletic director Pat Haden to retire in June

Report: Browns owner ‘frustrated, emotional’ about Johnny Manziel

Raiders and Texans to play MNF game in Mexico City in 2016

Goodell wants to keep Raiders, Chargers in home markets

Deadly shooting breaks out at Dublin boxing weigh-in

Take a moment to appreciate the greatness of Cam Newton

4-Star 2018 quarterback Matt Corral commits to USC

QUIZ: Name every NFL regular season MVP

WATCH: Avery Bradley nails buzzer beater to beat Cavs

WATCH: Jimmy Butler taken to locker room in wheel chair

Klay Thompson's first five years in historical context

WATCH: Cubs' Kris Bryant went swimming with sharks

Sports Authority taking steps to file for bankruptcy

Major League Baseball threatens to disassociate from DraftKings

NFL considering moving Pro Bowl to Australia

Joe Montana warns NFL players about potential long-term damage after retirement

Report: Two people fired for leaking Jason Pierre-Paul information

‘Crying Jordan’ photographer had no idea it existed until this week

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker