Bradley's father, Ed, spent eight seasons in the NFL, including four with the Steelers, winning Super Bowls with the team in 1974 and 1975. His grandfather, Ed, Sr., played for legendary coach George Halas in Chicago.
So when it came time to sign undrafted free agents, the Western Carolina defensive end was a no-brainer for the Steelers to bring in. After all, he was a legacy, they had to sign him, right?
"I hope that's not why they signed me," Bradley said with a laugh.
No, the Steelers feel the 6-2, 275-pound Bradley could be a diamond in the rough, a high-energy player who was very productive in college who could fit well into their 3-4 defense.
They've also had some luck with Western Carolina players. Cornerback Willie Williams was a sixth-round draft pick of the team in 1993 and spent more than a decade in the NFL and two stints with the Steelers, winning a Super Bowl with them in 2005.
Bradley started the better part of four seasons for Western Carolina, earning all-Southern Conference honors in each of his final two seasons. Splitting time between defensive end and defensive tackle, he finished his career with 104 total tackles, 28 of which were made behind the line of scrimmage.
Of course Western Carolina isn't exactly on the beaten path for NFL teams when they're searching for NFL talent. But Bradley did see some top-notch talent
It may have been the only battle in which the Catamounts held their own that day, a 52-6 Crimson Tide victory, head coach Nick Saban's first win at Alabama.
The 6-4, 332-pound Smith was the sixth-overall selection in this year's draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.
With any luck, Bradley could get another shot or two to line up opposite Smith.
"I'm here trying to soak everything in that I can," Bradley said of his time with the Steelers. "There are some really good players to learn from, Aaron Smith, Travis Kirschke, Brett Keisel, all the veterans. They're such a great help."
And who knows, their could be a third generation of Bradley's in the NFL.
"I heard some of the stories, but my dad didn't talk about his playing days a whole lot," Bradley said. "It was just one of those things. I was too young for any of it, but when he talked about it, I'd listen."
Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter.