College: Louisiana State
Birthday: January 17, 1981
Strengths: Bradie James has the speed that defensive coordinators covet and their offensive counterparts fear. A starter at weakside linebacker for LSU since his sophomore year, the Tigers experimented with moving James to the middle in the spring to replace Trev Faulk. James plays hard, flies to the football, and has the extra gear to chase down plays from behind. He is very fluid and a capable pass defender.
James’ extensive experience in a pro-style defense under respected former NFL coordinator Nick Saban should also be an asset. Saban praises the leadership and character that James, a team captain and member of LSU’s student-athlete advisory board, displays both on and off the field. James proved his mental toughness as a sophomore when his father died of cancer shortly before LSU’s appearance in the Peach Bowl. James rejoined the team the day before the game and put on an inspired performance, making six tackles, two sacks, and recovering two fumbles in the Bayou Bengals’ win over Clemson.
Areas for Concern: James appears to have made the right decision after having considered coming out with Faulk (who was not selected) for the 2002 draft. James needs to continue to bulk up his relatively lean frame to help him take the pounding that a linebacker faces in the longer NFL season. Also, while he has shown himself to be an outstanding college player, he has yet to have the type of dominating season to be considered an impact player at the NFL level. In addition, although he is expected to be ready for his senior season, James bruised his kidney in the spring and missed the last half of spring practice.
How Would He Look in Steel Blue? Speedy linebackers are the hallmark of a Dom Capers defense and James certainly fits that description. Although not an accomplished blitzer, James’s range and coverage skills could give the Texans additional flexibility in what they ask their outside linebackers to do. Depending on how he fairs in the middle as a senior, inside linebacker could also be a possibility as his game bears many similarities to that of Jamie Sharper at a comparable stage in his career. Capers puts a premium on character, and James earns bonus points in that category.
(profile written by Warren DeLuca)
Bradie James’ 2001 Stats G TCK TFL SKS FF FR INT 12 113 8 2 1 1 0 Bradie James Return to The War Room
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