BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Stewart Bradley marked the one-year anniversary of his knee injury by practically pummeling running back Eldra Buckley back into last August.
"Eventually, you get tired of hitting your own guys because you're buddies," Bradley said. "But they're the only targets out there, so you got to hit somebody. Right?"
The Eagles middle linebacker tagged Buckley twice during the morning "live" hitting portion of practice. The first pop came when a twisting Buckley, trying to get extra yards, left himself unprotected and Bradley squared him up with a big hit.
The second collision, however, jolted the first-team defense and had to be the best wood-laying of training camp.
Buckley, playing with the second team because of the injury to Mike Bell, ran right off tackle. Linebacker Ernie Sims made first contact, but the ever-persistent Buckley kept his feet churning. He left himself exposed, and Bradley laid the hammer.
"I think it was Bradley," said Buckley, who was down for the count after he had the wind knocked from him. "He's just trying to get back into game mode. I'm not mad at him."
Bradley was around for the first full-pads practice on Saturday, but he had a hamstring spasm that afternoon and missed the next two days of practice. He almost missed the opportunity to finally crack somebody exactly one year after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament last Aug. 2.
He returned from the injury on Tuesday, but Eagles coach Andy Reid scaled back on the hitting that day. On Wednesday, Bradley announced his return.
"I love the contact, but at the same time, it doesn't have the same satisfaction when they have an Eagles helmet on," Bradley said.
Who said Eagles fans don't love Joe Banner?
Walking along one of the fences that separates the fans from the practice fields at Lehigh - again with his sneaker laces untied - the Eagles president was asked for an autograph from several fans. Banner graciously signed away.
After three days without a name on the back of his jersey, J.J. Arrington finally had his last name stitched above his No. 33. The Eagles traded for the running back on Friday. Maybe this means he's sticking around.
- Jeff McLane and Jonathan Tamari