Seahawks new defensive coordinator, Gus Bradley, promises an attacking style
Bradley is part of revamped coaching staff that will try to improve Seattle's defense
Seattle Times staff reporter
RENTON — Gus Bradley makes quite a first impression.
That's the reason he got the job as Seattle's defensive coordinator after a marathon interview with Jim Mora that lasted 15 hours last month.
Bradley's first impression got him his first job in the NFL three years ago, too. He was the defensive coordinator at North Dakota State when Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin called for a job reference. The two ended up talking, one telephone conversation led to three or four more and then Bradley to Tampa Bay to interview for a job on the coaching staff, where he ended up spending the past three seasons.
On Wednesday, Bradley conducted a half-hour interview at the Seahawks headquarters and gave a glimpse of the energy and enthusiasm that has gotten him from coaching at a Division I-AA college to coordinating an NFL defense in the span of four years.
"I never looked ahead," Bradley said. "I never said, 'You know what, in three years I want to be coordinator, five years I want to be head coach.' Whether it's right or wrong, it's not my mindset. I think those things will take care of themselves if you work extremely hard and believe in what you're doing and believe in the staff and believe in the players."
Bradley's first name is actually Casey, but he's been known as Gus ever since an older brother gave him the nickname at age 2. The Seahawks have placed a lot of faith in Bradley and the other two new hires to the defensive coaching staff — Dan Quinn, defensive line, and Tim Lewis, defensive backs.
President Tim Ruskell made it clear that the Seahawks roster isn't going to be razed over the offseason. Instead, Seattle is looking toward a change of the coaching staff to raise the team's performance, especially the defense, after a season that was an unqualified disappointment.
There will be changes to the roster, certainly, but not nearly as drastic as the overhaul of the coaching staff.
Gone is defensive coordinator John Marshall and defensive line coach Dwaine Board. They were not retained, a decision that was difficult for Mora given the fact his connection to Marshall went back to their time together in San Francisco and that Board had once played for Mora's father.
But something was going to change after last season when Seattle allowed more passing yards than any team in the league, and Bradley's interview provided the first indication of the changes that can be expected in the Seahawks' defense.
"Our mindset is to attack," Bradley said. "And I think that's what will probably be brought to Seattle more than anything."
Bradley's head is shaved, just like new Washington defensive coordinator Nick Holt. Bradley's got a goatee, and he's every bit a match for the energy and enthusiasm of the raspy Holt, though Bradley doesn't use the word "awesome" quite so often as Holt did.
Bradley was asked for his impressions of Seattle's existing personnel, and he said the review of both the roster and the schemes has just begun within the staff.
"We'll be evaluating personnel, evaluating scheme and see where we're at," Bradley said. "Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, I'll be able to better answer that question for you."
Seattle's defensive alignment is not changing. The Seahawks will remain a 4-3 defense that depends upon players filling specific gaps to stop the opponent's running game. There will be some differences, though, just as there are going to be changes on the roster.
The biggest changes of this offseason will be on the coaching staff, and overhaul the Seahawks are counting on to get the defense to play up to the expectations it failed to meet a year ago.
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or email@example.com
Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company
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