The 46-year-old North Dakota State alum has been Seattle's defensive head man for the previous four seasons and has led a continually developing, aggressive defense that has experienced a great deal of success during his tenure.
Bradley got his start in the NFL in 2006 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when Monte Kiffin brought him on as defensive quality control coach. In 2007, he was promoted to linebackers coach. That year, the Buccaneers allowed the second-fewest yards and surrendered the third-fewest points per game during the regular season.
After the 2008 campaign, when Jim L. Mora was named the head coach in Seattle, Bradley got this ringing endorsement from Kiffin, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
Monte says, 'J.L., listen to me. I have got a guy here in Tampa that is one of, if not, the finest football coaches I have ever worked with. He's an A-plus. He's a once-in-a-lifetime coach. You need to talk to him.
In Bradley's first year with the Seahawks, the defense was lackluster, as was the rest of the team, and a 5-11 finish led to Mora's firing.
When Pete Carroll was hired in 2010, he decided to keep Bradley on his staff.
The rest is history, really.
Seattle's defense quickly became known for fast-paced aggression and a more menacing style predicated on dictating to opposing offenses.
In Carroll's first year as head coach, Bradley's defense wasn't special. It finished 27th in the league in yards allowed per game and 25th in points allowed per game.
|Yards Allowed Per Drive||Points Allowed Per Drive||Turnovers Per Drive||QB Rating Allowed||Points Allowed Per Game|
|2011||27.94 (10th)||1.48 (5th)||.153 (7th)||74.7 (6th)||19.7 (7th)|
|2012||29.86 (12th)||1.40 (2nd)||.165 (6th)||71.8 (3rd)||15.3 (1st)|
Just as importantly as the defensive stats, Bradley has been able to tap into the maximum potential of nearly all his players.
Former undrafted free-agent and CFL cornerback Brandon Browner was signed by the Seahawks in 2011 and became a Pro Bowler in his first season as an NFL starter.
Richard Sherman was picked in the fifth-round of the 2011 draft, and was a First-Team All-Pro selection in 2012.
ProFootballFocus.com (subscription required), rated him as, far and away, the best cover corner in football this season.
The 41.1 QB rating he allowed on passes thrown his way was the second-lowest in the league.
Both players seemed to thrive in Bradley's attacking 4-3 alignment that allows its corners to play plenty of press-man coverage and disrupt receiver's routes and timing with their quarterback at the line of scrimmage.
Another fifth-round pick, safety Kam Chancellor, has emerged as one of the league's elite strong safeties under Bradley's tutelage. He made the Pro Bowl in 2011 and tallied 100 tackles this season.
Safety Earl Thomas was a Second-Team All-Pro in 2011 and was the league's First-Team All-Pro safety in 2012.
After compiling 20 sacks in his first five professional seasons, defensive end Chris Clemons erupted for 11 quarterback takedowns in 2010, matched that total in 2011 and had 11.5 sacks in 2012 under Bradley.
The rapid accomplishment has directly resulted in a fantastic reputation for the new Jaguars head coach, especially when it comes to defense.
NBC's Evan Silva delivered a succinct and rather positive reaction to the hire:
#Jaguars HC hire is impressive. Stands out that Bradley outlasted organization overhaul & ran elite D. Must've knocked Carroll's socks off.— Evan Silva (@evansilva) January 17, 2013
Though it took two seasons, Bradley fielded a defense that was imposing from defensive tackle to safety and struck legitimate fear in its opponents.
Gus Bradley, someone with inherent football smarts, vast experience, and a secure grasp on how to stop today's evolving NFL offenses, is precisely the man to turn things around in Jacksonville.
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