Hey Lurie, Do Your Job and Hire Gus!!!

Posted: January 15th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 113 Comments »

The Eagles are bringing Gus Bradley in for a second meeting on Tuesday. The team first met with him on Saturday, prior to the Seahawks playoff game in Atlanta. This time Gus is coming to Philly. That can be an important sign. He could be bringing the wife and kids to see the town and look at houses.

So let’s talk about Gus. His roots are in small school football. He played Safety for North Dakota State from 1984-88. That was a D2 school back then (now I-AA) and a powerhouse. They won National Titles in 1985, 1986, and 1988. Gus spent 1989 finishing his education and joined the coaching staff in 1990. The problem there is that you had to be a P.E. major to be a graduate assistant and Bradley had majored in business.

In 1992 he left to be the DC for Fort Lewis College, his first full-time coaching job. Bad news. I can’t seem to find Fort Lewis stats/info that far back. My apologies. Bradley got hired back at NDSU as the LBs coach in 1996. That coach left and was replaced by Bob Babich (who was the LBs coach for Lovie Smith). In 2004, Bradley was promoted to DC. He carried the title of assistant head coach for several years.

At some point Bradley became what is known as the pro liaison coach. This is the guy who NFL coaches and scouts call to get information on draft eligible players. Through that position Bradley started to talk to some NFL people. In 2005 Monte Kiffin, the DC for Tampa, called Bradley looking for a recommendation on another NDSU coach (Willie Mac Garza). The two men struck up a conversation on defense and became friendly. They talked a few more times and in 2006 Kiffin had a spot open on Tampa’s staff. Kiffin did some research on Bradley. A coach named Jimmy Burrow had worked with Bradley at NDSU and played for Kiffin at Nebraska back in the 1970s. At the time Burrow was the DC for Ohio University.

“I think he’s better than I am,” Burrow told Kiffin.

Kiffin hired Bradley to come in and be the quality control coach for the defense. This is an entry level position that involves a lot of research and isn’t very flashy, but Bradley thrived even in that role.

“He took it to another level. He would show the guy running the ball and then cutting into a hole,” Kiffin said, laughing. “You had to be there to see it. Shelton Quarles, Barrett Ruud, Derrick Brooks, they all couldn’t believe how good Gus was. When he walked in, he was one of the most popular guys in that building. And he was just a quality control coach! He has such a presence.”

In 2007 there was an opening for the LB coach on the Bucs staff and Bradley got it. He was the LBs coach for 2007 and 2008. The Tampa defense was 2nd in yards and 3rd in points in 2007. They were 9th and 10th in 2008. The defense had struggled in 2006 so this wasn’t a case of the unit rolling on with or without him. The only old school guys on those units were Derrick Brooks and Ronde Barber.

Jon Gruden was fired at the end of 2008. Monte Kiffin was headed to college to coach with his lovely son Lane. Jim Mora (the younger) took over as HC in Seattle. Kiffin was friends with him from years ago and called up to suggest that Jim hire Bradley as his DC.

“Hey JL, 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,” Mora recalled Kiffin saying. “He’s an A-plus. He’s a once-in-a-lifetime coach. You need to talk to him. His name’s Gus Bradley.”

Kiffin gushed enough that Mora decided he had to meet with Gus. Mora was supposed to leave town, but stayed and met with Bradley for 15 hours (see, Chip Kelly is a wimp).

“Through the course of the day, I realized, ‘Boy, Monte is dead-on. This guy is special.’ He’s grounded in fundamentals. He’s got great energy,” Mora said. “He has conviction about what he wants to do, coupled with the flexibility to be open to new ideas.”

Things didn’t go so well for Bradley or Mora in 2009. The team went 5-11. The defense was 24th in yards and 25th in points. In came Pete Carroll as the new HC. Carroll had been close with Monte Kiffin for 30 years. That was Pete’s mentor. Monte talked to Pete on the phone and sold him on Bradley. Pete said he was looking for a DC and Monte told him the answer was already in the building.

Pete watched film and talked to Bradley for about a week and decided to keep him as DC. I can’t tell you how unusual this is. Coordinators almost never survive a coaching change. Without a strong push from Kiffin, this probably never happens, but even so it really is a rare move and proves what a dynamic personality Bradley has.

Carroll and Bradley didn’t have a great defense in the first year together (27th, 25th), but they were trying to work with some older guys (Lawyer Milloy, Lofa Tatupu) and some underachievers (Aaron Curry, Kelly Jennings). In 2011 they added some good pieces and the defense made significant difference. The unit then really made a jump this year, finishing 4th in yards and #1 in scoring.

The amazing part of the rebuilt defense is that they took a lot of oddball parts and made them work. Chris Clemons was a speedy DE/LB tweener for the Eagles and Skins but thrived for Seattle. Kam Chancellor was a 230-pound Safety that some thought should move to LB, but he’s been an outstanding player. Red Bryant did little at DT, but was moved to LDE and became an impact run defender at 6-5, 325. CB Brandon Browner came over from the CFL and turned into a starter.

The key piece was CB Richard Sherman. He had mostly played WR at Stanford, but moved to CB for his final 2 years. He was terrific in the Senior Bowl practices, but fell to the 5th round. Seattle scooped him up and Sherman has played at an elite level ever since. With Darrelle Revis hurt, Sherman might just be the best cover corner in the NFL.

So Pete and Gus built a top shelf defense without investing a ton of resources. That is nothing short of amazing.

* * * * *

I like Bradley’s background. He coached at the small school level for 15 years. That’s not a glamorous lifestyle. You do that because you love football, you love coaching, and you love the players. Bradley wasn’t networking like mad to climb the coaching ladder. He enjoyed his time at NDSU. The opportunity came and Gus took off for the NFL.

Coaching small school football can be a good thing. You have to really teach technique at that level. Guys don’t win on sheer talent. NDSU was small, but a successful program. Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has a theory about playing smaller schools. He doesn’t want a bunch of cupcakes. He wants to face teams that are good in their conference. K’s theory is that those teams will be well-coached and play tough. They might lack talent, but the preparation and style of play and teamwork will present challenges. Think of the way the Princeton offense used to give some athletic, but undisciplined teams fits.

While Bradley wasn’t coaching Brian Urlacher or Patrick Willis or DeMeco Ryans, he was dealing with kids who listened, played the game the right way, and won. Bradley was able to hone his teaching techniques because he had good pupils. He was in a winning environment. While NDSU wasn’t important to me and you, it meant the world to those kids. They cared. They listened. They worked hard. That helped make Bradley a better coach.

Carroll seems to stress Bradley’s ability to teach when discussing his star coach.

“He’s the best teacher I’ve ever been around,” Carroll said. “He’s so thorough, so thoughtful, and he’ll go to such lengths to find ways to make sense of the information so the guys can understand it in practical ways.

“It doesn’t matter how good we teach. It’s how well they learn. I think that connection is really clear with Gus. He’s great at it.”

That’s the small school background.

* * * * *

Can Bradley be a good head coach? Carroll and Kiffin sure think so. Monte loves to gush about Gus.

“He really is exceptional,” Kiffin, now USC’s defensive coordinator, said in a phone interview. “You could tell. He’s not just a really, really smart coach; he’s got a great personality. He connects with the players really well.

“He reminds me of (Steelers coach) Mike Tomlin. We hired Mike at 29-years-old out of the University of Cincinnati. It didn’t take long to know that Mike was special, and I knew from Day 1 that Gus was special. He’ll be a head coach in the NFL. He’s got no panic. Some people do, it doesn’t mean they’re not really good coaches, but Gus, he’s special. When he interviews, he’ll knock your socks off. I’m not trying to pump him up, but I know what he is. He’s put it on tape up there.”

Remember the number one trait that Jeff Lurie was looking for? Leadership.

Bradley has shown that at NDSU, Tampa, and Seattle. He’s never been the head honcho, but he’s been a leader of whatever group he’s been part of. His strong personality suggests that he’ll be able to take the step from LBs to the defense to the whole team. Not all coaches handle new situations well. Sean McDermott was one guy as an assistant and then another as the DC. Bradley has been able to stay the same.

My concern with him is the tightrope he walks. Bradley is a very positive guy. There are articles on him titled “Does Gus Bradley ever have a bad day?”, “Seahawks’ defensive coordinator Gus Bradley has winning smile, style” and “Bradley Hopes Passion Turns Around Hawks Defense”. You can get away with this as a positional assistant. It is possible to do as DC. It becomes really, really difficult to do as the head coach. Bradley will tell you that he knows when to be tough and when to be nice, but as I said…he’s walking a tightrope.

Here’s the problem. You can go from too tough to nicer with no issues. You can’t start off nice and then get tougher. Players revolt on guys who try that. My hope in this area is that working under Mora and Carroll showed Bradley the right balance. Both Mora and Carroll are upbeat, positive coaches. They can be screamers at times, but it isn’t their basic style. Bradley has watched Carroll work with a young roster for the last 2 years and turn them into a good team. Hopefully Bradley picked up on how to make that work.

The flip side is that Bradley worked under Jon Gruden for 3 years in Tampa. I think we all know that Gruden can be a screamer and very demanding coach. That style didn’t always deliver the best results.

I want to stress that I’m not saying Bradley is some peace-loving hippie that will hand out flowers for players who get a sack or INT. He’s just a believer in staying positive as much as possible. Buddy Ryan was a jerk. Ray Rhodes would tell a player to play as if a loaded gun was at the guy’s head. I don’t know what you call that. Reid was more of the wise old teacher (even in his younger days). Bradley is the guy who will be very active, very emotional, but mostly positive.

He stresses accountability and this is something the Eagles have lacked in recent years. Reid believed in letting players play through their issues. He trusted his players and felt the best way was to treat them that way. I get the feeling that Bradley will hold guys more accountable. Aaron Curry was the #3 overall pick. He was traded so that mid-round pick KJ Wright could have his spot. Curry wasn’t getting the job done so he got the boot.

Don’t take this to mean players will be cut/traded at the drop of a dime. The coaches gave Curry multiple chances to turn things around. He played all of 2010 under Gus and Pete. 5 games into 2011 he was traded. That’s a reasonable leash for such a high pick.

* * * * *

I don’t want to get into defensive scheme too much. If Bradley is hired, we’ll need to be able to discuss that at some length. In Tampa, Gus coached the Tampa 2 with Kiffin.

In Seattle, the defense is a 4-3 under front that Carroll learned from Kiffin back at Arkansas in the late 1970s. Carroll has tweaked it to adjust for the modern passing game.

I don’t know how much of Seattle’s defense is Carroll vs how much is Bradley. The basic ideas were Pete’s, but Bradley has been the teacher and guy running it for 3 years. I assume he’s the guy who builds the gameplans and does the detail work.

If there is one concern here, it is that Seattle’s strength is its secondary. That is Pete’s area of expertise. He is a DB guru. Seattle has the best corner in the league and the best Safety tandem. Can Bradley come anywhere close to replicating that in another city? This is where we need to hope that Gus is not only a great teacher, but also a great learner.

* * * * *

Let’s talk staff members for a second. Gus coached with these guys in the NFL:

http://coachingroots.com/football/teams/tampa-bay-buccaneers/2006

http://coachingroots.com/football/teams/tampa-bay-buccaneers/2007

http://coachingroots.com/football/teams/seattle-seahawks/2009

http://coachingroots.com/football/teams/seattle-seahawks/2010

http://coachingroots.com/football/teams/seattle-seahawks/2011

http://coachingroots.com/football/teams/seattle-seahawks/2012

Through his connections to Bob Babich he has ties to:

Pep Hamilton – OC – Stanford
Rod Marinelli – DC – Bears
Jon Hoke – DBs – Bears
Dave Toub – STs – Bears
Jeremy Bates – QBs … worked for Pete Carroll, Lovie Smith

Pete Carroll obviously has all kinds of coaching connections.

I haven’t begun to really think about a fantasy scenario. Having Marinelli run the defense would be fine with me. Mike Mularkey is an interesting name for the offense. He believes in the running game. He developed Matt Ryan in Atlanta. Like Ryan, Nick Foles is a tall pocket passer. They’re not close talent-wise, but are similar in other ways.

If Gus wants to go with a new style of offense (running QB stuff), he could hire any number of guys.

* * * * *

I do think it would be good to have a coach like Gus in here to replace Andy Reid.  I think the whole fiery/emotion thing is overrated, but I do like my coaches to have different personalities.  This will enforce to the players that there really has been a change in an obvious, tangible way.  The two guys look, act, and sound nothing alike.  Greg Roman felt like Andy 2.0.  I didn’t want that.  No more Big Red.  They now could have crazy bald guy.

* * * * *

In his final year at NDSU, Bradley’s defense had 2 shutouts.  This year Seattle shutout the Cardinals, 58-0.  My first goal is to win a Super Bowl, obviously.  Beyond that, give me a friggin’ shutout.  We’ve been without one since 1996.  Ray Farmer was a rookie that year.  He’s now interviewing for GM jobs.  Ugh.

* * * * *

Some good resources:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=nfl&id=3887596

http://seattletimes.com/html/jerrybrewer/2019077545_brewer06.html

http://seattletimes.com/html/seahawks/2009759083_hawk28.html

http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20120907/SPORTS/709079889?page=single#singlePage

http://www.gobison.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=2400&ATCLID=75917   (Gus looked dorky in this photo)

http://seahawknationblog.com/2009/02/bradley-hopes-passion-turns-around-hawks-defense/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casey_Bradley

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/coaches/BradGu0.htm

http://kiroradio.com/listen/9943092/  (radio interview)

and how could anything be complete without The Video (where i got my title from)

_


  • D3FB

    Obviously taking the whole “know thine source” article in to consideration, but Eskin reports that Bradley is here to finalize the deal.

    Tommy do you think Pete lets Gus poach a little bit from his staff? Maybe take a LB coach or something depending on the Seahawks coaching depth?

    • TommyLawlor

      Pete might let him have 1 or 2 guys, but not much. Pete has to feel like a SB contender for 2013. No reason to make life harder on yourself.

      Heck, Pete might not let anyone go with him.

      • D3FB

        Fair enough, I was just curious if you had uncovered anyone like a Eugene Chung or Duce Staley on the Seahawks staff, younger coaches who may be ready to take the next step up.

        • http://twitter.com/bebinabraham bebin abraham

          Their D-line coach might come over with Bradley as a d-coordinator

      • Steven Dileo

        I think Andy had the same problem with Harbough. I remember reading a story about how Andy wouldn’t let him interview anywhere and kept promoting him to keep him happy. Eventually Andy decided to let him interview with other teams.

        • Sb2bowl

          Same thing happened with Spags, only it was the Giants that came calling for him as the DC…………

      • D3Keith

        Isn’t it standard not to let guys leave for lateral moves, but bad form to block them from promotions?

    • 47_Ronin

      LB coach for Seahawks is former Cowboy/49er Ken Norton Jr who has been with Carroll for several years dating back to USC, I don’t think he’ll leave.

      • Baloophi

        Ken Norton Sr. is available…

        • A Roy

          I would think Ed Norton is available, too. Eagles job must be better than working in the sewer.

          • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

            That brings up a different mental thought:
            Andy = Norton
            Lurie = Ralph Cramden
            “I’m warning you, Norton. 8-8 is unacceptable!”

        • 47_Ronin

          LOL,

          If the Eagles could find a LB as chiseled as that I would be ecstatic. I always remember Norton Sr from this awesomely-weird ’70s flick (part inspiration for QT’s new film that I want to see):

        • TommyLawlor

          How awesome would it be if Jerry Jones hired him, confused that it wasn’t the LB who had played for him in the early 90s.

  • D-von

    “DO YOUR JOB” should be the Eagles’ motto if Gus gets hired.

    • Baloophi

      It’s sad when a concept that should be self-evident could be your team motto…

      It’s as inspiring as:
      “INHALE OXYGEN”

      • D3FB

        Now thats a message I think we all can support. Nnamdi is gonna forget how to and angrily gesture towards Kurt because its clearly Colemans fault.

        • D-von

          Now that would be a sight to see. Nnamdi turning purple if the face while angrily pointing at Coleman

          • Baloophi

            I’d like to see Nnamdi turn purple because we’ve traded him to the Vikings.

          • D-von

            Seconded. At this point I’ll take a 2017 7th round pick for NA. At least the Eagles would get something for him

          • D3FB

            I’ll take the cap space from cutting him. Thats sadly all we are probably going to get.

          • D-von

            Yeah 11 mil would do nice. Right now it looks like the Eagles are 16 mil over the cap

          • http://twitter.com/Angry_Amishman Angry Amishman

            Bell at almost $10m and Vick at $17m coming off will help. The net of Asomugha will be $11m if he’s cut. Plus we don’t know the carry over from 2012. That doesn’t need to be turned in to the league office until Feb 28th.

          • TommyLawlor

            I think the carry over figure will be a good amount.

          • DamonL86

            Do you think we keep both Jenkins and Patterson at DT?

          • A Roy

            I think the carryover will be a wash with how much they’re currently “over”. Net result is that, once they shed Asomugha and Vick contracts, they have money to make some improvements in the secondary beyond the draft.

          • Baloophi

            We could continue our “Pro Bowl Corners for 7th Round Picks” program and ensure that the Vikings advance to the NFC championship game next season.

            Also, a 7th round pick is probably the only “pick” we can expect from Nnamdi.

          • Steven Dileo

            I don’t even care about getting something for him. If the Eagles keep him they have to pay him $16 milion, if they cut him they still have $4 million in dead money count toward the cap.

            I would trade him for a conditional top 30 protected 7th round pick that the team would have to give only if Nnamdi gets 25 interceptions.

          • TommyLawlor

            I’ll second that.

  • TommyLawlor

    If Gus did want to hire Raheem Morris to be his DC, he could.

    “Morris had a year left on a contract worth $2 million when he was fired by the Bucs, but his new deal allows him to leave the Redskins should he be offered a coordinator’s job by another team.”

    http://www2.tbo.com/sports/bucs/2012/jan/11/10/ex-bucs-coach-morris-hired-by-redskins-ar-346418/

    • Sb2bowl

      I’d like two strong defensive personalities- I’d prefer a DC that works with the HC, not a HC that also calls plays.
      Get an OC that can take care of that side of the ball, and I’ll have a lot more confidence. I was thinking yesterday, this is going to be the most exciting offseason in YEARS— no more Andy Reid (though I’ll always like him, unless he beats us in the Super Bowl)……… but think of the possibilities! New stories, defense, offense…………….

    • deg0ey

      That’s interesting – Gus and Raheem could make a pretty good duo. I think Morris was in over his head a little as HC in Tampa, so would hopefully want to stick around for a little while before taking another crack of the head coaching whip.

      I’d probably say the same of Mularkey, so maybe he’d be a good choice for OC. It’d be nice to get some coordinators that aren’t gonna be here for a year or so and then disappear.

  • Reagles

    This may not be all that important (perhaps something to discuss if he is hired), but what happened with Aaron Curry? He was drafted the year Bradley became DC. I remember he was the “safe pick” at the top of the draft. But he never developed and played poorly until he was traded for a 7th rd pick just a few years later. I know there have been plenty of busts among great prospects, but he was talked about as a sure thing (not a risky, raw guy). It looks like on scoutsnotebook, he was the top rated player in that draft. So is there any reason to be concerned that Bradley failed to develop a guy with great talent like Curry?

    • D3FB

      Curry’s currently out of the league. It’s not like he caught on somewhere else and is blowing things up. I’m obviously not terribly familiar with all the inner workings of the Seahawks but if I remember correctly he had Ernie Sims-itis. I believe he was all physical skill but unable to diagnose a play to save his life.

      • Baloophi

        I had curry earlier today and it’s definitely blowing things up. #overshare

      • Steven Dileo

        I’m surprised to see him fail. He was killing it in the preseason during his rookie year.

        Look picks 2-5 in that draft:

        2. Jason Smith
        3.Tyson Jackson
        4. Aaron Curry
        5. Mark Sanchez.

        ouch.

        • TommyLawlor

          That was a bad draft class.

          • Steven Dileo

            At least we got LeSean McCoy

          • D3Keith

            (Does this dance):

    • TommyLawlor

      Tough question. I wonder how ready Curry was for the competitive nature of the NFL. Being the best player at Wake Forest and being a good NFL player are 2 different things. WFU has had several good players bust in the NFL. I don’t know what it is that they can’t handle. It isn’t size/athleticism. Something else is missing.

      Aaron was a great player in college. He deserved to be a high pick based on that. I would have labeled him close to a sure thing, but obviously would have been dead wrong.

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  • Anders

    I wouldnt mind Pep Hamilton as a potential OC because of his coaching background with Jim Harbaugh, Roman and Shaw (Stanford and Oregon is my 2 favorite college offenses with the Niners and Patriots my favorite in the NFL)

    • http://twitter.com/bebinabraham bebin abraham

      thats funny bc stanford borrows from harbaugh’s offense and the Pats borrow from Chip Kelly

      • http://twitter.com/sjampendk Patrick

        Not to be pedantic, but i would guess that the current 49ers offense borrowed the Stanford offense since, you know, their HC is the former Stanford HC.

      • Anders

        I know that. I really like how all 4 offenses utilize the running game.

  • bdbd20

    It would be interesting to see Jeremy Bates come here as OC. He was a hot name a few years ago.

    • Sb2bowl

      Hopefully he becomes a genious and we can call him Master

      • TommyLawlor

        That would mean…Master Jeremy Bates. Too British.

        • Sb2bowl

          Once he becomes a Master, he loses his first name. Checkmate!

  • http://twitter.com/MFlicker Mike Flick

    Couple of nit-picky comments:
    Lofa as an old guy? I thought he was younger, then I looked it up drafted 2005. So in 2010 he was going into his 5th year. I was thinking he was drafted later than that.

    You mentioned Kiffin as DC of USC, he did change jobs to some crappy Texas team.

    I should balance it out by saying it was an excellent analysis of Gus.

    I have had a lot of debates about what type of coach is successful. Whether you have a steady captain or an emotional guy. The extremes of this would be Reid or Cowher. One of the reasons why Reid was never loved as much as Buddy Ryan is because he never went off. How many times did you want a guy to come in and go Ray Rhodes on the team?

    The flip side is a Reid team usually consistently won 10 games or so. With a more of a roller coaster coach you can get more of a roller coaster ride of good and bad.

    Seems like Gus is closer to the Cowher side of things, which in itself may be a refreshing change. After each game we won’t get “Ok, Injuries”

    • Sb2bowl

      Lofa wasn’t old in age, but he was old in the knees. Slowed down in a bad way, and was out of football last year.

    • TommyLawlor

      The reference to Kiffin was at the time of that comment, not his current job.

      And Lofa got old physically. Legs wore down in a hurry.

      • http://twitter.com/MFlicker Mike Flick

        I remember he looked great his rookie year.

        Then the few Seattle games I watched, I don’t remember him standing out. He was in my mind still a rookie….a 2nd round pick right around where we picked Matt McCoy.

    • D3FB

      Maybe we’ll get a beer commercial level of rant at a press confrence!

      • deg0ey

        So long as he’s not talking about practice ;)

  • austinfan

    Bradley is a good choice, he’s not safe, but at worst he should rebuild the defense. At best, he could be the next young genius. Not a whole lot of downside, he doesn’t sound like a “Load up on veterans, turn it around in one year” kind of guy, i.e., Ray Rhodes. More, get me a bunch of hungry, athletic kids and I’ll give you a young, aggressive defense.

    However, until he learns the ropes as HC, the choice of OC will probably determine the Eagles success for the next couple years.

  • Skeptic_Eagle

    I’d be really interested to see Rocky Seto come along for the ride as the DC, but he’s been with Carroll for awhile, so maybe that’s a pipe-dream. He’s got a very good track record in a short career, as far as player development, and he’s got some experience as DC in the college ranks.

    I’m not sure the 4-3 Under front would be the best use of our current personnel, considering we’ve got Cole & Curry as the two best DE’s after Graham, but it will be interesting to see if Bradley can influence the draft process, and begins bringing in players in the Seattle mold in the secondary. Their philosophy seems to let them trade length for speed at some positions. Sherman & Browner both ran between 4.55 & 4.65 in the 40, but it’s hard to argue that they aren’t the best tandem in the NFL at the moment. Their length, and style of play let them win 1 on 1 battles with speedier guys. Seattle is kind of like teams running the 3-4 before the style really came into vogue–they can snatch talented ‘tweeners to fill specific roles on their defense because they don’t fit everyone’s system. I’d love to see the Eagles do something similar.

    This is probably pretty optimistic, but Sherman has some similarities to Curtis Marsh, physically, and as prospects. Both were converted offensive players, that played press man, and re-routed receivers from the line w/long arms.

    The real wildcard is Earl Thomas, and although Sherman is unbelievable, I believe it’s Thomas that allows them to be so effective–his anticipation and instincts in coverage definitely preclude a lot of big plays, and with Browner being brought down into the box a lot, Thomas is often all alone back there. Thomas does a great job of playing centerfield for them, and does an adequate-enough job in run support (definitely could be a better open-field tackler). I think the Eagles would have to add someone that can play centerfield that way. A guy like Vaccaro strikes me as someone that could maybe do it.

    All of this is putting the cart before the horse, at this point, but I have a strong feeling Gus will be the guy.

  • ACViking

    Re: The Teacher

    T-Law:

    Exactly how much *teaching* does a HC do?

    • Ark87

      I was thinking the same thing while reading. This guy seems to have a gift for hands on coaching. I wonder if that gift won’t be wasted at the HC position.

    • xeynon

      I think S is a high priority in the draft, is what happens. Obviously #4 overall is too high, but if they trade down they could go for someone in the middle of the round, or hope a guy like Vaccaro is there at the top of the second round.

      • Ark87

        I wonder what we can get for trading down to the middle….as far as I know the charts don’t matter as much as who is available at #4 and how much does the trading partner want one of those people….and how likely #5 will take that person you want….lots of moving parts, but I am curious what a reasonable trade is in that situation. Worst case scenario, we can always use that pick for the OL.

        • xeynon

          Yeah, it’s way too early to start speculating about draft-day trades – as you say there are too many moving parts, and with postseason scouting season only just starting we don’t even have a very clear picture of the perceived value of different prospects at different spots.

          Personally I favor staying at #4 and drafting a stud OL or CB (Dee Milliner seems like he’d be a great fit for Bradley’s preferred style of defense), then going for a S in the second round, but I’m okay with trading down to the middle of the first round and taking a S provided the haul we recoup is big enough.

  • Mac

    I’m sure the Eagles FO has learned a lot from interviewing all these top HC candidates about how to run a program, and who these guys would bring in to help them manage the team. Does that mean this is…

    The Education of (Sonny Carson) Howie Roseman?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inIECM1S8s4

    • Ark87

      Roseman, Lurie, and Smolenski lining up with improvised weapons and sending coaching candidate through the line….yeah actually I could see that happening.

      Upon reflection…Chip Kelly is a MAN for hanging in there for 9 hours.

      • Mac

        Truth!

        • Ark87

          the legend is born….

  • Kevin_aka_RC

    Gus Bradley will make this team “tougher” for sure. Whether he can truly build a team is definitely up for discussion. At least he’s a 4-3 guy, meaning that we won’t have to restart from scratch. But the QB position will be fascinating.

    Nick Foles, by all accounts, is not a “natural” leader. Not saying he’s not a leader either, but he’s more of a “Work hard guy” than a verbal one. That’s the opposite of the QBs that Bradley has been around in the NFL: Russell Wilson, Matt Hasselbeck, even Jeff Garcia would talk a lot. Wonder if that’ll matter to him.

    • xeynon

      Nick Foles, by all accounts, is not a “natural” leader.

      By whose accounts? I seem to remember teammates (Maclin, Jake Scott) raving about his command of the huddle and leadership skills, and in the games he played you certainly saw him going up and down the sideline talking to his teammates, encouraging them, etc.

      That stuff is neither here nor there if he can’t hack it on the field, which is something that long-term remains to be seen. But I haven’t heard anyone question his leadership skills.

      • http://www.insidetheiggles.com/ CalSFro

        Yeah, I agree. McCoy I remember talked about how positive and motivational he was all the time. If anything I’d say leadership is one of the few attributes we don’t need to worry about from Foles.

  • Eric Weaver

    As my friend says, “get on the Gus Bus!”

  • http://twitter.com/ScottJ610 Scott J

    It will be interesting to see who Bradley will hire to be his DC and OC. Assuming the Eagles get Bradley.

  • Steven Dileo

    8 total coaching vacancies this summer. Mike McCoy said he’s leaving the Broncos to become the HC of the Chargers. So far it looks like:

    Buffalo- Doug Marrone
    Cleveland – Rob Chudzinski
    Kansas City- Andy Reid
    San Diego- Mike McCoy
    Philadelphia- Gus Bradley

    • new coach

      cfl coach- bears (not official)

      • D3Keith

        I thought Bevell was in the lead for the Bears job. Am I wrong?

  • http://twitter.com/ScottJ610 Scott J

    Hop on the bus, Gus. You don’t need to discuss much. Just drop off the key, Lee. And get yourself free.

    • Skeptic_Eagle

      Aw, come on, gotta be “…drop off the key, Andy..”

    • http://www.insidetheiggles.com/ CalSFro

      I dunno about you, man. Still crazy after all these years…

  • http://twitter.com/akuatuta nathalie a

    wow. ‘exhaustive’ doesn’t begin to cover it. thanks tommy.

    • D3Keith

      Yeah seriously. Although I’d like to know the source on some of those quotes. Story makes it seem like Tommy was on the horn with Monte Kiffin, which if he was … is awesome.

  • ACViking

    Re: Tampa 2 Defense

    T-Law:

    As a follow up to my comment earlier . . . what are the, say, 3 key positions in a Tampa-2 style defense.

    And if Bradley — by choice as HC — won’t run a T-2 defense, then:

    (1) what kind of D-scheme will he run?

    (2) what are the 3 most important positions to that scheme?

    • Kevin_aka_RC

      In Tampa, the key “3″ positions were 4-3 DT (Under Tackle, 3 technique), WLB and SS. They were Sapp, Brooks, Lynch. Guys like Quarles, Rice, Barber were great players but not essential to the scheme functioning.

      In Philly, we have Cox (perfect fit), Kendricks (perfect fit) and no one for SS. Safety had to be addressed no matter what system. If we play a pure cover 2, I’d like Matt Elam at the top of round 2.

      • Skeptic_Eagle

        I don’t think Gus actually overlapped with any of those players except Brooks/Barber during his time in TB, but yeah, I can see the team trying to model the front 7 on Tampa Bay more than Seattle. I think it fits the personnel better.

      • http://www.insidetheiggles.com/ CalSFro

        Very much yes to Matt Elam. Though I’m really hoping we hit the safety position at least twice in the draft.

      • 47_Ronin

        I would include MLB in that list (maybe 3a or 3b). Before Brooks became a stud he played alongside Hardy Nickerson who was an all-pro, pro-bowler in the late ’90s with the Bucs (Lovie was LB coach) and in Chicago Lovie had Urlacher alongside WLB Briggs.

        If the Gus Bus comes to Philly, I’d prefer a bigger safety than Elam (who is very good) like Duke Williams (right now I’m seeing him as a 2nd or 3rd rounder) or Phil Thomas.

    • http://twitter.com/RIPworms RIP Worms

      In addition to what Kevin said, you also want physical corners that would help with the run game and play a lot of zone. So…it’s safe to say NA and DRC would not be “ideal” fits in such a scheme.

  • livingonapear

    I was kind of hoping for an offense guy but what catches my eye the most is that he knew how to coach guys up instead of just sticking them in and expecting the best. hopefully that trend of maximizing potential continues.

  • Steven Dileo

    Gus Bradley might not even get the job. The first interview only lasted 90 minutes and the 2nd interview isn’t scheduled till 2:30. Any reports about Bradley getting the job should be ignored till the 2nd interview is over.

    • xeynon

      Fair point. He was preparing for a game the next day, so he probably didn’t have time for more than a 90 minute interview, but they’ve asked him back for another go and he apparently knocked their socks off in the first sit down so it’s fair to say he’s the leader in the clubhouse at this point I think.

  • new coach

    want Bradley and then for us to draft Jarvis Jones

    • D-von

      Why he’s a 3-4 LB

      • new coach

        oh, didnt know that. he is good though.

        • D-von

          Its possible to convert him to a 4-3 DE but he’s at his best rushing the passer standing up

          • xeynon

            He’s 6’4″ and weighs 240 pounds.. that’s a skinny DE.

          • D-von

            Yeah but its possible. Like I said he’s better as a 3-4 rush lb

          • Ark87

            6’4″ 240, that is Svelte. Needs to put on some pounds to be a LB imo, let alone a DE

      • T_S_O_P

        Bruce Irvin in the Leo; is he much bigger?

      • http://www.insidetheiggles.com/ CalSFro

        Von Miller? Guys with enough athleticism to be top 10 picks should be able to play SLB in a 4-3 or rush LB in a 3-4.

        • Anders

          Jones is not near the level of Miller in explosiveness and Jones all got a potential bad spine injury

          if you want a hybrid player Dion Jones might be the best. He is atheltic enough to cover slot recievers and is a dynamic pass rusher

          • http://www.insidetheiggles.com/ CalSFro

            Oh I’m a huge Dion Jordan fan. 6’7″ and is deceptively good in coverage? He doesn’t even need to get a deep drop. He’s too tall for the QB to throw over him anyways!

            I was just making the point that in this day and age, with all the hybrid defenses we’re seeing, not to mention all the talk about wanting a coach who maximizes the talents of the guys they draft, if we were to take Jarvis Jones I’m sure we could find a way to use him, ala Chris Clemons in Seattle or Von Miller in Denver. Every player is different, but it’s about finding out what they do well and utilizing them to the best of that ability.

          • Anders

            100% agree. I just like Dion Jordan alot more then Jones.

    • eagles2zc

      #4 is way too early for Jones

  • ACViking

    Re: Future OC w/ Bradley

    I’ll accept just about anyone . . . except Greg Knapp.

  • D-von

    Howard Eskin
    Gus Bradley is NOW in Phl w #eagles front office of Lurie, Roseman and Smolenski for 2nd round of talks. #GusBus
    —————————————–
    I hate twitter

    • eagles2zc

      Yet addicted to it. I feel you

    • Iskar36

      To make the hatred of twitter even worse…

      Howard Eskin
      ‏@howardeskin
      Eagles telling me and others he’s not in Phl yet. Maybe plane stopped along way for lunch.

      Eskin apparently jumped the gun even.

  • ian_no_2

    I think coaches do it with their brains and not on tone and management style. Sometimes a tough coach fatigues players, and often the toughness feeds the coach’s selfishness so that he doesn’t look out for the players and protects himself. You have to have the players comfortable to approach the coach with their ideas. Coughlin’s success is from his strategy and his attentiveness to detail, imho not because he’s tough. In professional sports, you can only start a fixed number of guys and have a fixed number on the roster. That’s tough enough. Benching a veteran who isn’t producing is being tough in a good way. When players see you’re on top of things, that you’re outsmarting the other coaches, then they’re on board. Go Bradley, whatever the personality.

    • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.stempo Stephen Stempo

      I thought Coughlin’s success came from a streaky QB getting hot at the right time and a series of good defensive coordinators who managed to be “rock” the the patriot’s “scissor.”

      • ian_no_2

        Yeah, I just made up something there. But the rest of it’s right I think.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alex-Grimaldi/1303501093 Alex Grimaldi

    Couple questions:

    Assuming 1. The Eagles hire Bradley and 2. He brings with him the 4-3 Under Front we saw in Seattle, could he put Fletcher Cox in the Red Bryant strong side D-end role? That seems like it could be an interesting idea, although I’m not sure we have anyone on the roster that could man Clemons’ spot on the weak side.

    Additionally, it seems like – online anyway – there’s some disagreements or misunderstanding on D-line techniques. Some people describe the 5 tech as head on with the OT, while others describe it as shading the OT’s outside shoulder. I’ve seen different diagrams (some of them even have number/letter combos like “4i”) so I’d love some clarification from this group.

    • D3FB

      TECHNIQUES:

      0- Head up on the Center

      1/Shade – On the shoulder of the center

      2i- inside shoulder of the guard

      2- head up on the guard

      3- outside shoulder of the guard

      4i- inside shoulder of OT

      4- head up on the T

      5- Outisde shoulder of the T

      7- inside shoulder of the TE

      9- outside shoulder of the TE

      I think 8 is technically head up on the TE but usually is just stated as “head up on the TE” rather than “line up in an 8″.

      Some of the descrepancies you are reading about are probably due to each coach and how they teach “landmarks”. IE one coach may tell you that you should line up with your inside eye on the OG’s outside eye, and that is a 3 tech. Another coach may want you to play a little looser and tell you to have your inside shoulder overlap the outside shoulder of the OG and call that a 3 tech. Both are correct. Really just depends on the exact scheme being called.

      • D3Keith

        Spoken like someone who actually played.

        • D3FB

          Sadly necessary, otherwise communication on the OL breaks down into a who’s on first routine…

          “Block that big ugly guy”
          “Which big ugly guy?”
          “That one!”
          “They are all big and ugly coach!”
          “Good point, they do play DL”

          • D3Keith

            With a number in the 60s, you had to be OL!

  • bridgecoach

    Does anyone know when/how Paul Casey Bradley became known as “Gus?”