Seattle’s new defensive coordinator was made available to the local media on Wednesday, and Eric Williams of the TNT has the transcript. One encouraging aspect of the press conference was Bradley’s informed adherence to a defensive philosophy and building the personnel around it. In addition, this quote revealed his openness to different in-game schemes (as opposed to Tampa-2 all day):
“You know, I think there’s a perception that Tampa is Tampa Two and that’s all that Tampa did under Monte Kiffin. That’s not necessarily a fact. I think the one thing that made Monte Kiffin unique and made him a great coach in the NFL was he had the ability to adapt and adjust. Maybe the perception was cover-two, but we played some eight-man stuff, we played quarters-covered, we played cover-two, we zone-pressured, we man-pressured. There’s a lot of things that were coming at the offense. I think that’s what made him unique. That philosophy of having the ability to attack, whether it’s a blitz situation, a zone pressure situation, or even if it’s a seven-man front, that’s our mindset: to attack. I think that’s what probably will be brought to Seattle more than anything.”
Personnel to scheme is an enormous consideration, and cornerbacks seem especially vulnerable to mistakes in that department. In 2007, the New Orleans Saints paid Jason David a great deal of money to move from the Colts’ zone concepts to the Saints’ man-to-man preference. David, as we discovered in the research for Pro Football Prospectus 2008, was less effective than the hole in the middle of a zone defense. Before the 2008 season, the Lions traded Shaun Rogers to the Browns for man corner Leigh Bodden and a third-round draft pick later used for tackle Andre Fluellen. Bodden was jerked around by Detroit’s coaching staff, found himself ill-suited for the Rod Marinelli Tampa-2, and will be jettisoned after that one season.
We’ll see how it all matches up, but I like the openness to different defensive ideas, and that it’s not just going to be “Tampa-2 and Damn the Torpedos!”