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.
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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.
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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.