PHILADELPHIA - Haason Reddick is the reigning NFC Defensive Player of the Week after setting a franchise record with five sacks during Arizona's 26-7 victory over the New York Giants last Sunday.
Usually, a player waits until he plays the Eagles, with five players earning a player of the week award against them this year.
Reddick didn't wait, though, giving the kind of impactful play that was expected when the Cardinals made the Camden, N.J., native the No. 13 overall selection out of Temple in the 2017 NFL Draft.
For Shaun Bradley, the Reddick effect came a lot sooner than any of that.
The Eagles' rookie linebacker, a former Reddick teammate with the Owls, reminisced earlier this week about the stellar 2016 Temple team where Reddick was the top star under now Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule.
Reddick, the Owls' defensive leader, lit into the kick coverage team that allowed Memphis' Tony Pollard to return one for a touchdown, a group that included the younger Bradley.
By Bradley's description, it was reminiscent of Jimmy Conway dressing down Henry Hill in "Goodfellas."
Like Conway, Reddick essentially said, "I can't have it."
“Tony Pollard ran it back,” Bradley recalled. “We get to the locker room and Hoss is wailing on us like ‘I can’t have guys missing tackles on kick returns.’ It was crazy. But that game right there, we started running the table after that.”
The table was seven straight for Temple and the Owls finished 10-4 on the season, a great season for a program that has turned things around on North Broad Street thanks to coaches passing through like Rhule and elite-level talents like Reddick serving as perhaps the best of the generation.
Bradley himself became an NFL draft choice, a sixth-round pick by the Eagles back in the spring, and is a player who is starting to carve out a larger role for the Eagles on defense.
In last Sunday's 24-21 upset win over New Orleans, Bradley played 10 snaps on defense, his second-highest total to date and he was lauded for his coverage by Jim Schwartz on Josh Sweat's game-changing sack-fumble of Taysom Hill.
“We had miscommunication there but Shaun Bradley did a good job getting a receiver covered down the middle,” said Schwartz. “Even though we didn't have the overlap that we needed, we were able to buy a little bit of time for Josh to come back.”
Reddick, meanwhile, had the awe-inspiring five-sack performance against a banged-up Daniel Jones helping the Eagles in the process by halting the Giants' momentum.
“That’s what he does,” Bradley said of Reddick. “I knew it was coming, man. That was a crazy game last week. I talk to him here and there on Instagram. Hoss was definitely one of the guys I talked to prior to coming to training camp.
"I asked him what things should I work on, how do I get the coaches’ attention? He sent me back a whole paragraph. He broke down things for me. He took me under his wing at Temple.”
Bradley's most playing time to date was against Baltimore and Lamar Jackson, perhaps the game's best dual-threat at QB. The best in the NFL west of Jackson is likely Arizona's Kyler Murray, so Schwartz may again tap into Bradley's speed and athleticism against the Cardinals.
And who knows, maybe Bradley can even impress Hoss.
John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John every Tuesday and Thursday on "The Middle" with Eytan Shander, Harry Mayes, and Barrett Brooks on SportsMap Radio and PhillyVoice.com. He’s also the host of Extending the Play on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
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