Paul Casey “Gus” Bradley is the type of coach that could really insert a much needed level of toughness into what has become a very soft Philadelphia Eagles team. Bradley has been the defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks since 2009 and survived a coaching change before the 2010 season. He was hired by Jim Mora Jr. in 2009 and was kept on by new head coach Pete Carroll in 2010.
Bradley has been an NFL defensive assistant since 2006 and has been coaching football since 1990. In the college ranks where he coached at North Dakota State and Fort Lewis college, he spent 14 plus seasons as a defensive coordinator and part of one season as a interim head coach.
Before Bradley was hired by Mora to be the Seahawks defensive coordinator, he get a very strong recommendation from his former boss, ex-Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. Kiffin said Bradley was a “A-plus, once in a lifetime coach”. Bradley was Kiffin’s top defensive assistant in Tampa Bay from 2006-2008.
Monte Kiffin is one of the top defensive coordinators of all-time. When he gives a coach high praise, it means something. Bradley is a very smart coach, but he also commands the attention of his players. You don’t last long on his defense if you don’t give maximum effort.
Buddy Ryan was similar in that regard. Players loved him and gave him their best on every single play. What killed Ryan as a head coach was that he called games too aggressively at times and never had the right offensive coaches on his staff. Bradley manages games incredibly well as a defensive coordinator.
Bradley took over a really bad Seattle defense in 2009 and had another set back in 2010 with a new coaching change. His defense was ranked 25th in scoring in 2009 and in 2010, but settled down with the stability in the coaching staff in 2011 when he defense ranked 11th against the pass and 7th in scoring. This season has even better as the Seahawks ranks first in scoring defense, 5th against the pass and have racked up 36 sacks and have forced 35 turnovers.
What really sticks out in my mind with Bradley is his ability to command the respect of his players, the high praise from Monte Kiffin and the continued improvement his defense has shown each season. With the talent the Eagles have on defense already and the early draft picks they will receive this season, Bradley can quickly turn the Eagles defense into an elite unit. If he hires a good offensive coordinator(Norv Turner, Chan Gailey and Pat Shurmur should all be available) he should get this time back into contention in year one.