EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)Daniel Jones and Darius Slayton are looking forward to seeing former Giants teammate James Bradberry and to the challenge of going against one of the NFL’s top cornerbacks when New York faces the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
The three players spent the previous two years on the Giants under then-coach Joe Judge and went against each other in practice hundreds and possibly thousands of times.
Bradberry knows Jones’ throwing habits as a quarterback and Slayton’s moves as a receiver. They know his tendencies as a defensive back.
”It goes both ways,” Jones said of the challenge, which will feature the NFL-leading Eagles (11-1) against the slipping Giants (7-4-1). ”I think we both understand each other’s skillsets and that’ll be part of the game.”
Some Giants fans were troubled when Bradberry was released this spring. He was an outstanding cornerback but his nearly $22 million salary-cap hit was too much for a team needing a lot of help this season.
General manager Dave Gettleman and Judge were fired after a 4-13 season in 2021 and GM Joe Schoen and coach Brian Daboll were hired away from Buffalo.
Bradberry signed with the Eagles and he has given them one of the NFL’s top cornerback tandems with Darius Slay. Philadelphia has the league’s top-ranked passing defense, allowing an average of 178.5 yards.
While he has not spoken to Bradberry in months, Slayton says he remains a good friend.
”It was sad to see him go,” Slayton said. ”Brad is a good guy, a good football player. But we understand the business part of it. At the end of the day when you have a new coach and a new GM, there is going to be some turnover.”
Bradberry is playing well with the Eagles. He has 30 tackles, 14 passes defensed – one behind NFL leader Sauce Gardner of the Jets – and three interceptions, the same number as Slay.
Slayton, who was drafted in 2019 along with Jones, has emerged as the Giants’ top receiver in a year marked by injuries and disappointments at the position. He has had at least 86 yards receiving in three of his last four games, highlighted by a season-high 55-yard catch against Washington.
Slayton said Bradberry and Slay might be the best cornerback tandem he has faced this season, but he believes he can get open deep against anyone.
”They understand their games individually,” Slayton said. ”They’re kind of different. Brad is a bit of a bigger, heavier guy, physical. Slay is a little lighter, but he’s got great hips (and) good speed.”
Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said Bradberry is not the type of player who’s going to get overly excited about facing former teammates at MetLife Stadium. He said he told receiver A.J. Brown this past week to focus on his job while preparing to face the Titans, his former team.
Sirianni said he told the same thing to Bradberry on Wednesday but realized it wasn’t necessary.
”When I said that to James this morning I said: `You’re probably the last person I have to say this to.’ He’s so calm and even-keeled. He doesn’t get too up and he doesn’t get too down.”
NOTES: Top Giants cornerback Adoree Jackson (knee) and safety and co-defensive captain Xavier McKinney (broken hand) did not practice and they seem to be long shots for Sunday.
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