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.


38 Comments on “What Defensive Scheme?”

  1. 1 Steven Dileo said at 10:34 PM on January 15th, 2013:

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

  2. 2 D-von said at 10:36 PM on January 15th, 2013:

    Time to get off the Gus Bus!

  3. 3 blub said at 11:16 PM on January 15th, 2013:



    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.

  4. 4 Steven Dileo said at 11:24 PM on January 15th, 2013:

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

  5. 5 Michael Jorden said at 3:34 AM on January 16th, 2013:

    By the time you read this……

  6. 6 D3Keith said at 12:42 AM on January 16th, 2013:

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

  7. 7 D3FB said at 1:51 AM on January 16th, 2013:

    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

  8. 8 Songbird Rescue Cat said at 11:17 PM on January 15th, 2013:

    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.

  9. 9 D3Keith said at 12:41 AM on January 16th, 2013:

    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.

  10. 10 Songbird Rescue Cat said at 10:37 PM on January 15th, 2013:

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

  11. 11 TommyLawlor said at 10:50 PM on January 15th, 2013:

    Both disturbing and brilliant.

  12. 12 D3Keith said at 12:44 AM on January 16th, 2013:


    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.

  13. 13 D3Keith said at 12:45 AM on January 16th, 2013:

    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.

  14. 14 Baloophi said at 12:46 AM on January 16th, 2013:

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


  15. 15 D3FB said at 1:34 AM on January 16th, 2013:


  16. 16 GermanEagle said at 8:26 AM on January 16th, 2013:

    This is all over Facebook today. Very funny though!

  17. 17 Steven Dileo said at 1:00 AM on January 16th, 2013:

    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

  18. 18 bridgecoach said at 1:28 AM on January 16th, 2013:

    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.

  19. 19 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 8:03 AM on January 16th, 2013:

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

  20. 20 MichaelFloyd84 said at 8:11 AM on January 16th, 2013:

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

  21. 21 new coach said at 8:20 AM on January 16th, 2013:

    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.

  22. 22 GermanEagle said at 8:20 AM on January 16th, 2013:

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

  23. 23 new coach said at 8:22 AM on January 16th, 2013:

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

  24. 24 GermanEagle said at 8:33 AM on January 16th, 2013:

    Is it you, Brian Billick?!

  25. 25 new coach said at 8:43 AM on January 16th, 2013:

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

  26. 26 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 10:28 AM on January 16th, 2013:

    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

  27. 27 new coach said at 8:25 AM on January 16th, 2013:

    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,.

  28. 28 GermanEagle said at 8:35 AM on January 16th, 2013:

    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.)…

  29. 29 new coach said at 8:45 AM on January 16th, 2013:

    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.

  30. 30 Mac said at 9:45 AM on January 16th, 2013:

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

  31. 31 GermanEagle said at 10:25 AM on January 16th, 2013:

    HAHA, I just pissed myself…

  32. 32 Steven Dileo said at 9:14 AM on January 16th, 2013:

    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


  33. 33 Steven Dileo said at 9:47 AM on January 16th, 2013:

    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.

  34. 34 Anders said at 10:02 AM on January 16th, 2013:

    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)

  35. 35 GermanEagle said at 10:24 AM on January 16th, 2013:

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

  36. 36 Crus57 said at 9:24 AM on January 16th, 2013:

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

  37. 37 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 10:38 AM on January 16th, 2013:

    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!

  38. 38 new coach said at 10:52 AM on January 16th, 2013:

    anyone have access to kiper’s mock draft?