Somehow, the San Diego Chargers were able to conduct their first interview with a potential Head Coach last night without anyone knowing. Until this morning, that is.
Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley interviewed for the Chargers head coaching job last night, per source.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 11, 2013
Gus Bradley, huh? He's a name I tossed into my "everyone else" group the other day when writing about potential candidates. Here's what I said about that group:
Yay or Nay: Nay. Some of these guys are alright but most of them are crap or living off of good Head Coaches. More importantly, none of them excite me as a fan ... and isn't that the point of this hire? To get me excited so that I'm ready to buy some tickets and believe in a happy future?
Excitement is overrated, but I still believe that Gus Bradley is somewhat living off of a very good defensive Head Coach.
After being the Linebackers Coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for three seasons, Bradley was hired by Seattle to be their Defensive Coordinator in 2009 based on the recommendation of Monte Kiffin. Here's the actual quote from Kiffin to then Seahawks Coach Jim Mora Jr: "J.L., listen to me. I have got a guy here in Tampa that is one of, if not, the finest football coaches I have ever worked with. He's an A-plus. He's a once-in-a-lifetime coach. You need to talk to him."
That's a hell of a recommendation, but just because Kiffin believes in you and Mora Jr. hires you doesn't make you a good Defensive Coordinator. Here's how the stats played themselves out.
In 2009, under Bradley's guidance the Seahawks' defense allowed opponents to gain 356.4 yards (24th in the league) and to score 24.4 points per game (25th). The Seahawks finished the season with a 5-11 record (3rd in the NFC West, 25th in the NFL), and subsequently replaced head coach Jim L. Mora with Pete Carroll. Carroll decided to keep Bradley for the 2010 season.
In 2010, the Seahawks' defense allowed opponents to gain 368.6 yards (27th in the league) and to score 25.4 points per game (25th).
In 2011, the Seahawks' defense allowed opponents to gain 332.2 yards (9th in the league) and to score 19.7 points per game (7th).
In 2012, the Seahawks' defense allowed opponents to gain 306.2 yards (4th in the league) and to score 15.3 points per game (1st).
So, what happened? Did it take Gus Bradley a few years to finally figure out how to be a Defensive Coordinator, or did Pete Carroll (who has always been known to be a bit of a defensive genius) get more involved with the defense?
Well, none of us fans really know. It can be any way you'd like it to be. I tend to think it was more Pete Carroll and great drafting than Gus Bradley, but I wouldn't mind him as a coach. He's a fiery, excitable guy on the sidelines and reminds me a bit of Rich Bisaccia.