What Defensive Scheme?

Posted: January 15th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 38 Comments »

We still don’t know if Gus will be the Eagles next coach.  I won’t get nervous until he’s headed to Jacksonville, where he’s scheduled to interview on Wednesday.  For now, we’ll just have to assume that Gus and Jeff are arguing about how the Super Bowl parade should go.

I’ve been doing research today trying to get some idea of what defense Bradley might run.  I’m now thinking that Bradley won’t bring Pete Carroll’s scheme, but will rather do more of what Kiffin did in Tampa.  I found one oddball blurb that mentioned North Dakota State playing the Tampa 2 in 2005.  That was Bradley’s final season there and he was the DC.  NDSU had a great defense that year.  They were making the transition from D2 to I-AA that year, which meant playing a slightly more difficult schedule.  NDSU was 7th in the nation in yards allowed and 2nd in scoring defense.

When Bradley was hired by Jim L. Mora to run the Seahawks defense in 2009 he was asked about the scheme they’d be running.  He talked about bringing over the Tampa 2 as part of the package, but also mentioned he wanted to expand on that.

“I think there’s a conception that the Tampa-2 is all that Tampa did under Monte Kiffin. And that’s not necessarily the case,” he said. “One thing that made Monte Kiffin a great NFL coach is that he had the ability to adapt and adjust. We played Cover-2, we played an 8-man front, we zone pressured, we brought man pressure. There were a lot of things we did, and that’s what made us unique.”

Things might have changed since Bradley has worked for Carroll the last 3 years and been so successful for the last 2 seasons.  I tend to think he’d stick with the scheme he knows better.  Pete Carroll will tell you that the scheme they run in Seattle is complex and needs the right guys teaching it.  That’s Carroll’s vision.  Bradley can teach it, but I’m not sure about the rest of the staff he’d put together.

Right now there are plenty of good unemployed coaches with Tampa 2 experience.  You could literally hire the Bears staff of DC Rod Marinelli, LBs coach Bob Babich (Bradley’s former mentor at NDSU) and DBs coach Jon Hoke.  There is also Lovie Smith, but we’re not sure if he’d be willing to take a job as an assistant coach.  Heck, he could still possibly get a HC job this year.

The Eagles personnel also fit a Tampa 2 type of defense better than what they ran in Seattle.

Bradley won’t choose a scheme because of personnel or available coaches.  He’ll run what he wants to run.

Anyway, I don’t think Gus is an X’s and O’s guru.  He’s a teacher, motivator, and communicator. Monte Kiffin is the same way.  Do what you do as perfectly as you can. Mix in special packages and gameplans when needed, but don’t fall in love with being complex for the sake of being complex.  I think that was a weakness of Rob Ryan’s.  He spent time in NE and watched Bill Belichick do all those crazy things.  The problem is that you need hybrid players, often veteran players, and the right coach to make them work.  Bradley was heavily influenced by Kiffin and seems to like that style of doing things.

It is encouraging to see that Gus was part of a top defense at NDSU, in Tampa, and in Seattle.  Each scheme was a bit different.  Each group of players was a bit different.  The results were always the same.  The defenses took the ball away, were hard to pass against, and were very hard to score on.  I’ll take that formula.

* * * * *

So how about Gus the man?  Check out what his wife had to say about their first date.

“I think I had 10 questions on our first date: Am I independent? Can I raise children by myself? Do you think you can be an OK coach’s wife?” Michaela said. “I’m thinking to myself, ‘I’m 24 years old, I have no idea; but yes, yes and yes.’

The whole piece is worth reading.

* * * * *

Jimmy Bama has some thoughts up on the Shrine Game practices.

There is a lot of good coverage at PE.com as well.

For the non-draftniks out there…the Shrine Game used to be a big deal (John Elway played in it), but it has faded and now runs a distant second to the Senior Bowl.  There are very few Top 100 guys in the Shrine Game, but you will find some solid mid-to-late round players there.  The game is this weekend and I’ll write up some notes on it.


  • Steven Dileo

    Gus Bradley is still heading to Jacksonville for his scheduled interview 🙁

    • D-von

      Time to get off the Gus Bus!

      • blub



        Howard Eskin has reported that Gus Bradley is in fact staying the night in Philadelphia, possibly to finalize a deal tomorrow morning. No word on the trip to JAX. Eskin believes that Bradley is the guy.

        • Steven Dileo

          I don’t trust Eskin anymore. This morning he told us that Bradley was in Philly and it was a done deal

        • D3Keith

          OMG. He is sleeping in a hotel before boarding the plane to Jacksonville? STOP THE PRESSES!

          • D3FB

            Time to move on. We need a coach who doesn’t sleep! I’m sick and tired of Philly players being “coddled” and “sleeping”. The coach needs to lead by example and by being the baddest mofo alive, because thats what this team needs. They can all sleep when they are dead, and have satisfied my personal desire to win the next 15 Super Bowls!!!!
            -The BGN comment section

    • I haven’t heard confirmation of that. In fact, I haven’t heard anything other than Bradley’s interview ended after about 7 hours.

      The lack of information is actually somewhat encouraging. No one is trying to spin anything on either side, yet.

      • D3Keith

        I’m sayin! If it wasn’t for this post — and believe me, I looked — there’s been no new content on Gus since about 2 p.m.

  • What if Gus Bradley were black? My column in the next issue of Sports Illustrated…

    • TommyLawlor

      Both disturbing and brilliant.

    • D3Keith


      Very rare you meet a non-black guy named Gus. Or Earl. Or Cecil. Of course, very rare you meet anybody with those names anymore.

  • D3Keith

    I’m liking everything I read about Bradley as a teacher and coach. The Bears connections, I forgot about those, but that’s good stuff since those guys all need jobs and the Seahawks won’t let him poach everyone.

  • Baloophi

    Apologies if this has been posted elsewhere, but I found this enjoyable…


    • D3FB


    • GermanEagle

      This is all over Facebook today. Very funny though!

  • Steven Dileo

    If Bradley takes the head coaching job in Jacksonville, it will confirm that Lurie did not want him here. Being the HC of Jacksonville is probably the least appealing HC job in the NFL

  • bridgecoach

    Anyone been following EW Shrine Game safety, Cooper Taylor from Richmond? Huge Seattle Seahawk type safety, 6’4. 230lbs (looks taller and bigger) but moving, covering, and closing as well as the smaller guys.

  • ceteris_paribus1776

    Shrine Game=Stewart Bradley’s coming out party. That’s all one needs to know about the Shrine Bowl…

  • MichaelFloyd84

    Officially still heading to Jax today. F this team. Why even bother anymore when the owner consistently spits in our collective faces?

    • new coach

      You weren’t in the room and didn’t meet Bradley. maybe they weren’t sold on him. If he is such a great coach, why were the Falcons wide open on the game winning drive? That was defensive scheme and nothing more.

      Chip Kelly didn’t want to coach in the NFL. Forcing him to would have been a mistake and he would have been back in college in 3-4 years, like Saban. Petrino, and Spurrier.

      Who else did we miss out on? McCoy? big deal. Tressman, the CFL coach?

      I think our fans are often far worse than the owner. He made a great hire years ago and I trust he will again do the same.

  • GermanEagle

    The Gus Bus is off to Jacksonville. My gut is telling me that it will stop there and won’t come back to Philly…

    • new coach

      going to Jacksonville would be a mistake and frankly if he wants to go there, we are better off

      • GermanEagle

        Is it you, Brian Billick?!

        • new coach

          yeah. It is me. after watching the last game, I think the Seahawks are the team to beat. Can I have the job Jeff?

      • ceteris_paribus1776

        I think we also need to entertain the notion that perhaps some of these guys don’t actually want to come to Philly either. If that’s the case then not choosing Philly certainly isn’t to our advantage

  • new coach

    Posted below but deserves separate discussion. As much as we laud Gus Bradley, he was to blame for the defensive failings at the end of the game for Seattle. He chose the defense and it led to two easy Atlanta completions and a win. I know one can’t pick one play and judge him entirely on it. However, let’s not make Gus out to be more than he is. When the chips were down, he failed.

    Doesn;’t mean he won’t be a great coach. He may be. Doesn’t mean he isn’t highly regarded, as he is. Sunday was part of his application though, and he gets an average to below average grade,.

    • GermanEagle

      I remember that even under the great Jim Johnson the Eagles Defense had its breakdowns when giving up a late scoring drive (see Jake the Snake etc.)…

      • new coach

        of course. every coach has that happen. no coach is perfect and you have to judge by the entire resume/scope of their performance. Just saying the final bit on Gus’ resume did not look so good.

        • Mac

          I seem to recall Juan Castillo having issues with that. Maybe he’s our real target…

          • GermanEagle

            HAHA, I just pissed myself…

  • Steven Dileo

    Coaching update. 8 coaches fired this year.

    Jobs filled so far

    Buffalo- Doug Marrone
    Cleveland- Rob Chudzinski
    Kansas City- Andy Reid
    Chicago- Marc Trestman
    San Diego- Mike McCoy

    Coaching Vacancies


    • Steven Dileo

      Basically Bradley’s choices are down to Jacksonville, Philadelphia and returning to Seattle. If the Eagles really wanted Bradley, they should have him by now. Head coaching jobs are hard to come by and the Eagles are the type of organization that are willing to wait a year or two for their coach to get a winning record. Jacksonville just fired their HC after one year, they have a poor draft history, they’re stuck with trying to mold Blaine Gabbert as their franchise QB, and even though their owner has an awesome mustache he seems a little unstable.

      Bradley may feel as though he’s not ready to be a HC or that he is very comfortable with his situation in Seattle. I see two reasons why he hasn’t been hired yet:

      1. He’s not satisfied with the amount of control the Eagles are willing to give him

      2. The Eagles aren’t completely sold on him being a Superbowl HC.

      • Anders

        I dont buy no. 1 with a guy like Gus. He has zero reason to demand that. A coach like Chip Kelly can demand because of his great history at Oregon, but a DC has no reason to demand that and if he is demanding that, he is not the right coach imo.

        2. Maybe who knows, but there havnt been any word out how the interview went (like there was with McCoy)

        • GermanEagle

          This. If Gus demands that much control without ever being a HC before, then he’s over his head…

  • Crus57

    I’m not sure about the coaching talent available now, can’t we trade back with Arizona and see who’s available next year?

  • ceteris_paribus1776

    Really sad seeing the franchise with the likes of Arizona and Jacksonville. I guess that’s what you get when you’re doing your due diligence!

  • new coach

    anyone have access to kiper’s mock draft?