Seattle Seahawks Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley has a 2nd interview lined up with the Philadelphia Eagles today, and likewise, Seahawks Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell has a 2nd interview with the Chicago Bears this week for their Head Coaching position. It's now being reported/rumored that both Bradley and Bevell will interview for the vacant Jacksonville Jaguars job as well.
As the remaining NFL teams with Head Coaching vacancies look to fill spots with the hottest up-and-coming coaches on the market, Seattle stands to lose both of their Coordinators.
Right now, just in my opinion, it's looking very likely that Bradley will get the job with the Eagles, and frankly, he probably deserves to. Bradley has a great resume with the Seahawks after turning a near-league-worst unit into the top scoring defense in the NFL this year -- and from things I've read this week, Bradley isn't just a Pete Carroll marionette when it comes to the schemes, he's the guy creating the gameplan and calling the plays on the sideline, something that has to be impressive for teams interested in his services.
John Clayton reports that former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt and Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden are also candidates for the Eagles job, "But from what [Clayton is] hearing - this thing could close in the next 24 or 48 hours - I think he [Bradley] might have a little bit of the lead."
Both Pete Carroll and legendary coach Monte Kiffin speak highly of Bradley, and Kiffin's endorsement of Bradley to Carroll was one of the main reasons that Pete kept Gus onboard once he took over control of the Seahawks. Tommy Lawlor of IgglesBlitz.com talked to Kiffin this week, and Carroll's old mentor, Kiffin, sang Bradley's praises.
"He really is exceptional," Kiffin told Lawlor "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."
(That story at IgglesBlitz is well worth a read, by the way, as it offers an in-depth look at Bradley's back-story and the road he took to becoming the Seahawks' DC.)
All this from Kiffin pretty much echoes what Pete has said about Bradley and is backed up by many of the beat reporters I've seen covering the interview process. As Curtis Crabtree puts it, "he's going to win a job interview. Period. Gus is incredibly affable and charismatic. Will impress."
Bradley's enthusiasm and personality meshes incredibly well with Pete Carroll and the Win Forever program that Carroll runs. Per WinForever.com's blog, Bradley explained his mission statement:
"My mission statement that fits with Pete's philosophy is to possess a genuine appreciation for the contribution and commitment everyone makes for together we shall get it done. It sounds very simple, but when you break it down-a genuine appreciation, now you're talking about a genuine appreciation for the trainers, the equipment people, the video people...and I think wherever I'm at, whatever I'm involved in, I want to stay within that philosophy-and that's really what Pete Carroll is about as well."
Gus has a mission statement, by the way, apparently. This type of thing probably will help in the interview process. He's not winging it, hoping to get by on his Xs and Os chops.
As for the other side of the ball, and it's just my personal opinion, but I tend to think that Bevell will stick around with the Seahawks for another year or two. Bevell is a final candidate in Chicago but right now faces tough competition from Colts OC Bruce Arians and former NFL OC and now-Montreal Allouettes head coach Marc Tressman. According to this report from the Chicago Sun-Times, sources say that Trestman is the 'front-runner'.
Regardless, the interview process goes on.
If Bevell does wins that job in Chicago and the Seahawks find themselves in the position to look for a new OC, it would be interesting to see if Seattle pursued Bevell's competition, Marc Trestman, as their new offensive coordinator. This is, of course, assuming that Tom Cable wasn't the obvious replacement, but Trestman was, if you remember, the coach that recruited Russell Wilson to North Carolina State, sat in Wilson's livingroom when the Seahawks' now-starter was a teenager, and recollected to Greg Cosell recently that he knew then and there that this kid would one day be an NFL quarterback.
From that SunTimes article quoted above, Darryl Conrad, a CFL offensive lineman who was on the Alouettes roster the first few months of Trestman's tenure, said of his former coach, "I never saw him scream or yell, but everyone buys in because he's the smartest guy in the room. In the CFL world, players want to go to Montreal and play for him."
Also of interest with Trestman is this PFW report, which states, "Marc Trestman's offenses were so complex that his players could not learn it. He's a lawyer who overcooks the game. That is why he has not gotten back in the NFL. Your quarterback has got to be able to understand the offense. There are not many that can handle everything he puts on their plates."
For some reason, I don't think this would be an issue with Russell. It's just one thought as we go through this process.
Further, Dan Pompei notes that "Some believe Marc Trestman is in the pole position to get the Bears job because his combination of intelligence and seasoning is pretty impressive. Trestman has more head coaching experience than any of the other interviewees in play. Granted, it's been in Canada, but it says something that Trestman has been able to win in the CFL. Plus, his understanding of the quarterback position is about as good as it gets. He has worked with difficult QBs before, including Rich Gannon and Jake Plummer."
As for the perhaps soon-to-be-vacant Defensive Coordinator position, I honestly have no real candidates in mind at the moment. It could be another in-house promotion, or Carroll could go to the vast network of coaches that he knows and has worked with over the years. It's going to be an exciting time for Seahawks fans if anything happens, obviously. It's probably in Seattle's best interest to retain both Bevell and Bradley, but I'm confident that replacements for either would be very qualified.
Let's be honest -- Seattle will get to hand-pick the best of the best from whomever is left after the Head Coaching carousel stops. Who the hell wouldn't want to either A) coordinate an offense led by Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch or B) coordinate one of the youngest, most athletic and physical defenses in the NFL?