The man expected to be one of the leaders of the Eagles' defense never stepped on the field last year.

Middle linebacker Stewart Bradley injured his knee during training camp and was done for the season.

With the departure of Brian Dawkins last season and Sheldon Brown for this season, the issue of leadership on defense remains, especially as the unit attempts to bounce back from disappointing results.

And Bradley is again the primary candidate. Still, he says that who the leader is, is "not something that has to be established" in a formal way.

"Those roles are developed by your play on the field," the former Nebraska star told "The guys on the team are around. We see each other playing more than anyone else. We practice with each other every day.

"(The leadership) is a role I'm comfortable with and the guys are comfortable with."

Quintin Mikell became the spokesman for the defense last season, holding a news conference weekly and after games. The Eagles have not yet specified who will handle that on either offense or defense, but Kevin Kolb will presumably be part of that.

As for that knee, Bradley says, "(Rehab is) done. It went well. I feel great."