Stewart Bradley and Arizona's pass rush

No linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles has finished a season with more than 2.5 sacks since 2006.

Only one, Akeem Jordan, has picked off more than one pass in a season during that span. Jordan had two in 2009.

As much as linebacker Stewart Bradley enjoyed his time with the Eagles, it's easy to understand why he bolted for a 3-4 defense once becoming an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

"Linebackers are more featured in this system," Bradley said when I caught up with him at Cardinals training camp last week.

Bradley, who signed a five-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals, projects as the likely starter at inside linebacker next to Daryl Washington. Incumbent Paris Lenon remains the starter for now.

Bradley played defensive end as a freshman at Nebraska. He is 6-foot-4 and 258 pounds, bigger and rangier than Lenon (6-2, 240).

"I thought when I got drafted I was going to go to a 3-4 team," Bradley said. "It's kind of a linebacker's dream to play in a 3-4. It's a system I've wanted to play in."

The Cardinals are still searching for an ascending outside linebacker with proven pass-rush ability. Joey Porter and Clark Haggans are back as the starters. Both are 34 years old and coming off five-sack seasons. While the team expects second-year pro O'Brien Schofield and rookie Sam Acho to develop as pass-rushers, Bradley and Washington figure to get blitz opportunities from the inside.

Lenon had two sacks last season. Washington had one.

Bradley had one sack and one interception in each of his three NFL seasons. He sacked Oakland Raiders quarterback Kyle Boller for a 9-yard loss on a third-and-1 play during the preseason opener Thursday night. It was the first preseasons sack of his career. Ray Horton, the Cardinals' new defensive coordinator, has promised to unleash more blitzes.

"We would play a lot of coverages [with Philadelphia] where you're not facing the quarterback," Bradley said. "It was hard to make a lot of plays on the football. It's a good defense. It's a good scheme. I just think big plays aren't as easy to get."