PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Eagles’ defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz quickly embraced the question, when it came to the chemistry level between linebackers Nigel Bradham and Jordan Hicks.
Bradham, who in March signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the Eagles, is the fire, while Hicks, who is coming off a right Achilles tear in Week 7 last season that sidelined him for the final nine regular-season games and the playoffs, is the calculating ice of the tandem.
“Yeah, I think it goes beyond chemistry. I think chemistry is part of it,” Schwartz said. “The only way you have chemistry is if both guys are so confident in their ability to know what to do, and then they have confidence in the other player’s ability to know what to do.
“They’re both really good communicators, and I think that breeds that chemistry that they’re talking about. I think both of those guys have the ability. It’s interesting, Jordan sometimes can calm our defense down and Nigel can sometimes get us revved up.
“Got a little bit of fire and ice, I guess. I can’t think of a good … you guys come up with your own Batman and Robin. I don’t know what simile is good there. But they both bring a little bit something different to the party, I guess you could say.”
The Eagles were will be very dependent on Bradham and Hicks this season, after Bradham serves his one-game NFL suspension.
During the offseason, the Eagles released linebacker Mychal Kendricks and lost free agent Paul Worrilow to a season-ending knee injury. Corey Nelson, a free-agent signee from Denver, was slated to take over for Kendricks as the weak side linebacker (WILL). Between Nate Gerry, Joe Walker and Kamu Grugier-Hill, there are a combined four starts between them.
Hicks has three-times the turnovers as they have starts (12—7 INTS, 5 fumble recoveries).
“Together, [Jordan] and me do have that silent chemistry,” Bradham said. “It’s why we can communicate so well. We know the defense, we know what we’re capable of and we know we can make plays. When you have two guys like that in the middle, a lot of good things can happen.”