Now it comes down to finding the right guy to fill his shoes.
Gus Bradley - Defensive coordinator, Seattle Seahawks
Bradley's coaching career began in 1990 at his alma mater, North Dakota State, where he had played safety. During the 1990 and '91 seasons, Bradley served as a graduate assistant before working as defensive coordinator at Fort Lewis college for four seasons.
When he rejoined the coaching staff at NDSU Bradley served as an assistant for 10 years. He was the assistant head coach of the program for six of them, 2000-2005.
After the 2005 campaign, Bradley jumped ship to the NFL to become a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive quality control coach under Jon Gruden. He was then promoted to linebackers coach for the 2007 and 2008 seasons before moving to the west coast for his current position.
Over that time, Bradley has created a monster. Here are the numbers:
|Pts/G ||Yds/G ||3rd pct||Sacks||INTS||FF|
To begin, it's obvious that Bradley did a great job of developing this young squad in four seasons. After a rough campaign in 2010, Bradley's unit made huge strides the following two years. Part of that is related to the youth on the team.
Starting safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor had their rookie campaigns in 2010. Seattle's staring corners, Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman, are only in their second NFL years. However, these young stars are performing at a very high level.
When you look at the numbers, Seattle has been very good at causing havoc for opposing offenses. They generate turnovers and pressure the quarterback well. More importantly, they keep teams out of the end zone better than anyone else in the league.
For the 2012 season, the Seahawks allowed 15.3 points per contest, which was the highest mark in the entire league. The next closest team? San Francisco with an average of 17.1 points a game. Simply put, Bradley is a hot commodity for a reason.
In Philadelphia, Bradley seems like a great option to take the reigns of this franchise. He has a great understanding of the secondary, which is essential for his Tampa 2 scheme, and it just so happens that the Eagles have some big decisions to make there. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is scheduled to be a free agent and Nnamdi Asomugha's contract is too ugly to ignore.
Given his track record, Bradley would be able to handle that situation better than anyone else that the Eagles are currently talking to. The same goes for finding a new pair of safeties.
In terms of personality, 46-year-old Bradley is a fiery guy that would fix a unit that the entire league knew was soft. He's a tough coach with a tougher team mentality. To get a better understanding of what I'm talking about, check out the videos here and here (start at 1:47). Bradley is anything but soft.
Overall, Gus Bradley isn't exactly what the Eagles seem to be looking for with his defensive pedigree. However, he might be just the right type of fit for an Eagles squad that hasn't had an identity over the past two years. So keep a bird's eye on the Seahawks this weekend, because their defensive coordinator might just be the new head honcho.
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