It’s been a week since the Seattle Seahawks ended their disappointing 2017 season, and so far we’ve seen no changes to the coaching staff. However, we may see them bringing a familiar face back into the fold.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on “Sunday NFL Countdown” that the Seahawks have interesting in bringing back former defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, who spent 2017 as the DC for the Los Angeles Chargers. His Chargers contract is just one-year, but Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn wants him back.
Seattle’s once mighty defense dropped to merely above-average, falling all the way to 13th in points allowed, after being #1 from 2012-2015, and #3 in 2016. They were also the worst in the NFL at defending 3rd and 10+ situations. The major story, of course, was the litany of injuries to key starters, including season-enders for Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, and Cliff Avril, plus five games missed for Nazair Jones, two for Earl Thomas, one for K.J. Wright, one for Shaquill Griffin, one for Sheldon Richardson, and while he didn’t miss a game, Michael Bennett spent all season battling plantar fascia.
Bradley was Seattle’s defensive coordinator from 2009-2012, turning what was once one of the worst units in the NFL to one of the best. The Seahawks finished 2nd in defensive DVOA in 2012, going the entire regular season without allowing 30 points in a game. Unfortunately, the then-inexperienced defense had a habit of blowing 4th quarter leads, and his final game with the Seahawks was the 30-28 heartbreaker against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC divisional round. Gus would become head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, which proved to be a complete disaster, and now he’s back in the defensive coordinator role, leading the LA Chargers to 3rd in points allowed, 6th in takeaways, and 5th in sacks. The one glaring weakness of the Chargers defense was against the run, as they gave up a league-worst 4.9 yards per carry.
What does this all mean for Seattle? Well currently their defensive coordinator is Kris Richard, who was just interviewed by the Indianapolis Colts for their head coaching vacancy. He’s still under contract with the Seahawks, and there’s no indication that he’ll be fired, so if Seattle chooses to hop on the Gus Bus again, what position would he hold? Brady Henderson of ESPN suggested that if Richard stays, Bradley could theoretically be hired as a defensive consultant.
This could all be moot if the Chargers retain Bradley’s services, but the apparent want of the Seahawks to re-hire him is certainly an interesting development.