For those of you who were wondering whether or not the Seattle Seahawks would be bringing back Gus Bradley following his disastrous stint as Jacksonville Jaguars head coach, you’ve got your answer. Adam Schefter reported on Friday that Bradley has agreed to become the defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Chargers.
Bradley’s struggles as a head coach are well-documented. In four seasons with the Jaguars, he compiled a record of 14-48, and at no point were any of his teams above .500 during a season. Jacksonville finally hopped off the Gus Bus in late December after they blew a 4th quarter lead against a Houston Texans team that benched Brock Osweiler mid-game.
Bradley was the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator from 2009-2012, and was one of only two coaches from the Jim Mora era to join Pete Carroll’s coaching staff in 2010 (the other being Dan Quinn, who coached the defensive line). At the beginning of Bradley’s tenure as Seahawks DC, the team was 29th in defensive DVOA. He oversaw the rise of the Legion of Boom during the 2011 season, and they rose to 10th. In 2012, the Seahawks were 2nd only to Chicago, sported the #1 scoring defense, and were the only team in the NFL not to allow 30 points in any regular season game. Unfortunately, they allowed exactly 30 in their divisional round loss to Atlanta. It must be mentioned that four of Seattle’s six losses that year were through blown 4th quarter leads, including games at Arizona (5-11) and Detroit (4-12).
With Bradley on his way to LA, he’ll be inheriting the 8th-ranked defense by DVOA. You may be surprised by that stat, considering the Chargers were 29th in points allowed, but they also gave up five non-offensive TDs, and Phillip Rivers led the league with 21 interceptions. This is a unit that is certainly not starved for talent. Pass-rushing specialist Joey Bosa didn’t even make his debut until October, but finished his rookie season with 10.5 sacks. Free agent signing Casey Hayward led the NFL with seven interceptions and is one of the better DBs in the league. Two notable former Seahawks on the roster are defensive tackle Brandon Mebane (who was placed on IR after tearing his bicep in November) and linebacker Korey Toomer. The Chargers also boast promising outside linebacker Jatavis Brown, a fifth-round pick who played well in place of the injured Manti Te’o. One major question mark heading into the offseason will be the future of Melvin Ingram, who has notched 18.5 sacks over the past two seasons, but is set to enter free agency.
Hopefully this job works out considerably better for Gus than the trainwreck in Jacksonville, but we don’t want it to be too good, because the LA Chargers are scheduled to play at Seattle in the 2018 regular season.