Thursday, January 17, 2013
Bradley lone defensive guy in new hires
By Paul Kuharsky
Before Thursday, the newest members of the NFL head-coaching fraternity -- Doug Marrone in Buffalo, Andy Reid in Kansas City, Mike McCoy in San Diego, Rob Chudzinski in Cleveland, Chip Kelly in Philadelphia, and Marc Trestman in Chicago -- all had one important thing in common.
They were offensive guys.
New Jaguars general manager David Caldwell has made his move, and it seems like a countermove.
Gus Bradley's defense in Seattle finished first in the NFL in points allowed, fourth in yards and tied for fourth in takeaways.
Adam Schefter reports Caldwell has hired Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley as the fourth head coach in Jaguars history (not counting Mel Tucker’s interim work in 2011).
I’ve heard nothing but good things about Bradley, who may have gotten an offer in Philadelphia if Kelly had not re-emerged.
The push around the league with offensive guys comes for obvious reasons. Everyone either wants to rehabilitate a quarterback or find one. And getting a quick impact with a new guy is perceived as easier, fair or not, thanks to the seasons we just saw from Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson.
But defenses have to be developed to stop those guys. And Caldwell basically had his pick of the best defensive people in the league. If he hits with Bradley, he’ll look awfully smart for doing so.
Bradley’s defense in 2012 allowed opposing quarterbacks a passer rating of just 71.8. The unit ranked fourth overall, 10th against the run and sixth against the pass. Seattle was just 17th in third-down defense but was No. 1 in scoring defense, allowing an average of 15.3 points a game.
As far as developing a quarterback, the big question is about the staff Bradley can put together. Who’s his offensive coordinator going to be?