Gus Bradley

AFC Coaching Notes: Colts, Bills, Jaguars, Ravens

Since Frank Reich was able to land defensive coordinator Gus Bradley to replace Bears’ head coach Matt Eberflus, Bradley has begun the process of putting his staff together. Today Bradley added longtime defensive backs coach Ron Milus to coach his secondary, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. Milus first started coaching defensive backs at his alma mater, the University of Washington, about eight years after playing cornerback there. He held the college position for seven years before getting an NFL coaching opportunity in 2000. Since then, Milus hasn’t spent a season out of work with stints in Denver, Arizona, New York (Giants), St. Louis, Carolina, San Diego, and Las Vegas. His longest stint was with the Chargers, spending eight years in southern California and transitioning with the team to Los Angeles. It was in Los Angeles that Milus was retained when Bradley joined the Chargers’ staff. He followed Bradley to Las Vegas and will join him once more in Indianapolis.

Here are a few other coaching notes from around the AFC starting with another bit from the Hoosier State:

  • In addition to Milus, Mike Chappell of Fox59 reports that Indianapolis is also in the process of hiring linebackers coach Richard Smith, who worked with Bradley and Milus in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Smith has coached in the NFL since he debuted for the Houston Oilers in 1988 coaching special teams and tight ends. He found his niche as a linebackers coach in 1997 for the 49ers and has had three short stints as a defensive coordinator in Miami, Houston, and Atlanta.
  • ESPN’s Yates also tweeted out a report that the Bills have added former QB Kyle Shurmur on staff in a defensive quality control position. After four years at Vanderbilt, Shurmur signed as an undrafted free agent with the Chiefs, spending time on their practice squad as well as on the Bengals’ and Washington’s practice squads. He was released by Washington a little over a month ago and that appears to mark the end of his playing career. He seems to be following in the footsteps of his father, Pat Shurmur, and joining the coaching track.
  • A castaway from the Matt Nagy Bears’ staff, outside linebackers coach Bill Shuey will not be without work for long as Curtis Crabtree of NBC Sports reports that Shuey is joining Doug Pederson‘s staff in Jacksonville in the same role. Shuey and Pederson had two separate tenures together in Philadelphia.
  • Pederson also made a crucial move of retaining running backs coach Bernie Parmalee. Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network tells us that keeping Parmalee was a priority for Pederson, especially due to his strong relationship with star running back James Robinson.
  • Baltimore has hired Rob Leonard as outside linebackers coach, according to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley (Twitter). Leonard will replace Drew Wilkins who left to join Brian Daboll‘s staff in New York. Leonard spent the past three seasons in the same position with the Dolphins. Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic adds that former Michigan analyst Ryan Osborn will follow Mike Macdonald to the Ravens for a quality control position. Osborn is credited with having a role in the development of Wolverines’ EDGE players like Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo.

Colts To Hire Gus Bradley As DC

The Colts have tabbed their Matt Eberflus replacement. Gus Bradley has landed Indianapolis’ defensive coordinator job, Joel Erickson of the Indianapolis Star reports (on Twitter).

Bradley joined Jim Schwartz, Chris Harris, Joe Cullen, Kris Richard and Joe Whitt Jr. in interviewing for the position. This will continue an interesting stretch for Bradley, who will be a defensive coordinator for a third team in three seasons. The former Jaguars HC will move from the Chargers to the Raiders to the Colts.

Bradley, 55, spent four seasons with the Seahawks, Jaguars and Chargers before being a one-and-done with the Raiders. Las Vegas changing regimes led Bradley back onto the market, and he landed on his feet yet again. Eberflus spent the past four years leading the Colts’ defense, and Bradley will now be in charge of a group that houses Pro Bowlers in DeForest BucknerDarius Leonard and Kenny Moore. The Colts have ranked in the top 10 in points allowed in three of the past four seasons, finishing ninth in 2021.

Three four of Bradley’s four Chargers defenses ranked in the top 10 in yards allowed. The 2018 unit finished third, spearheading a 12-4 Bolts season. This season’s Raiders defense ranked 14th in yardage but 26th in points yielded, bottoming out in two blowout losses to the Chiefs. The Raiders did make strides, with Maxx Crosby earning a Pro Bowl nod and multi-city Bradley charge Casey Hayward grading as one of Pro Football Focus’ top-rated cornerbacks.

Initially making a name for himself by being the Seahawks’ DC during the Legion of Boom’s first seasons together, Bradley parlayed the group’s 2012 success into a shot as the Jaguars’ head coach. That tenure did not go well, and the Jags canned Bradley after a 14-48 record. This Colts gig will be Bradley’s fourth as an NFL DC.

Raiders Interview Sean Desai For DC Job

The Raiders are meeting with a highly regarded candidate for the first defensive hire of the Josh McDaniels era. Las Vegas is set to interview former Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai today, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter link).

[Related: Bears To Hire Alan Williams As DC]

Desai’s NFL coaching career dates back to 2013, and had only been spent in Chicago until now. At the age of 38, he already has an impressive amount of experience, between three different roles in the college ranks (including special teams coordinator at Boston College) and, most recently, the DC role he held with the Bears in 2021. With Matt Eberflus electing to bring a familiar face in Alan Williams with him from Indianapolis, though, Desai is in search of a new home.

One of the top young defensive minds in the coaching ranks, Desai’s unit ranked sixth in the league in yards allowed this season, despite injuries to the likes of Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks. That success earned him interest from the Seahawks earlier this month, as they requested an interview for their DC vacancy.

While he hasn’t officially taken another position yet, current Raiders DC Gus Bradley certainly seems to be on the way out. Between this Desai interview, and the meeting Bradley has already had with the Colts for their DC opening, there will apparently be a new voice for a Vegas defensive unit that ranked 26th in the league in points allowed in 2021.

 

Colts To Interview Three More DC Candidates

The list of potential Matt Eberflus replacements continues to grow for Indianapolis. The Indy Star’s Joel Erickson reports (via Twitter) that the Colts will be interviewing three more candidates for the defensive coordinator position: Raiders DC Gus Bradley, Cowboys secondary coach Joe Whitt Jr. and Saints defensive backs coach Kris Richard

The team met with Jaguars DC Joe Cullen, as well as WFT DBs coach Chris Harris, last week. Then, it came out yesterday that they will also be interviewing longtime DC Jim Schwartzwho has most recently held the title of senior defensive assistant with the Titans.

Bradley was hired by the Raiders last January, in an attempt to bring in an experienced defensive mind to a team desperate for success in the second Jon Gruden era. The 55-year-old had served as DC with the Chargers, following four-year stints as head coach of the Jaguars and DC of the Seahawks during the ‘Legion of Boom’ era.

As for Whitt, an interview request is certainly nothing new. Each of the SeahawksRavens and Steelers met with him as potential replacements for their previous DCs. His work in Dallas this season contributed to the defense’s surprising performance, led on the back end by Trevon Diggs‘ league-leading 11 interceptions. At the age of 43, he has been an NFL position coach dating back to 2007, but has yet to be a DC at any level.

Richard has also generated DC interest this year. Just like Whitt, he has already received requests from Baltimore and Pittsburgh for their vacancies. The 42-year-old has spent most of coaching career in Seattle, including a three year stint as DC from 2015-2017. Since then, he’s been the DBs coach for the Cowboys, and, this past season, the Saints. If Dennis Allen takes over as HC in New Orleans, as is expected, Richard’s path back to a DC role may come via an internal promotion, rather than an external hire.

Erickson notes that these three interviews will take place today and tomorrow, which should bring the Colts one step closer to making a DC hire sometime in the coming days.

 

 

Raiders Hire Gus Bradley As DC

The Raiders have hired Gus Bradley as their new defensive coordinator, per a club announcement. The former Bolts DC will take over for Paul Guenther, who was fired after a trying season in Las Vegas.

Bradley comes with 15 years of experience, including four years as the Jaguars’ head coach and another four as the leader of the Seahawks’ Legion of Boom. His history with Jon Gruden helped him land the job — his first pro gig was under Gruden as a defensive quality control coach in Tampa Bay.

Bradley’s defenses have ranked in the top 10 in each of the last two seasons. But, after Anthony Lynn got the heave-ho, a return to the Bolts was unlikely. With his guidance, four Chargers defenders earned Pro Bowl nods. That includes defensive ends Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram III, who combined for 61.5 sacks under his watch.

There’s a lot of pressure on Gruden and GM Mike Mayock, who have yet to produce a playoff berth for the Raiders. Gruden is the only coach in the league who still has a job after failing to qualify in each of the last three seasons. Bradley, they hope, can help right the ship.

In addition to Bradley, the Raiders’ candidate pool also included Cowboys defensive passing game coordinator/secondary coach Kris Richard, Rams assistant head coach/linebackers coach Joe Barry, and Falcons interim head coach Raheem Morris.

Raiders To Interview Gus Bradley For DC, Latest On Search

The Raiders fired defensive coordinator Paul Guenther with a few games left in the season, and now that 2020 is over Jon Gruden needs to find a replacement. The day after Week 17, the search is already heating up.

Las Vegas is interested in Chargers DC Gus Bradley and has requested an interview with the former Jaguars head coach, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). With Los Angeles firing Anthony Lynn Monday, it appears unlikely Bradley will be back with the Chargers in 2021, so it’d be surprising if they blocked the interview. Rapoport calls him a “top candidate” for the job of turning around the Raiders’ lackluster defense.

Bradley’s defenses have played at a high level at times during his four years with the Chargers, but they also severely underperformed their talent this season. Of course he was also dealt some unlucky blows, like the significant injuries to guys like Derwin James, Chris Harris, Melvin Ingram, and Joey Bosa. Bradley had an uninspiring run as the Jags’ head coach from 2013-16, where he went 14-48. He initially received recognition for coordinating the Seahawks’ impressive defense from 2009-12.

If Bradley doesn’t end up with the gig, Rapoport identifies a couple of other potential candidates as well. That being Falcons interim head coach Raheem Morris and Rams linebackers coach Joe Barry. As Rapsheet notes, Morris could land a head coaching job this cycle.

Interestingly, Morris coached under Gruden in Tampa Bay, and then took over as the Bucs’ head coach in 2009 when Gruden was fired. Barry was also on Gruden’s Tampa Bay staff, and has been an assistant head coach/linebackers coach under Sean McVay the past four seasons.

Chargers Retain DC Gus Bradley

The Chargers have re-signed defensive coordinator Gus Bradley to a three-year contract, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported earlier tonight (via Twitter) that Los Angeles was expected to be able to retain its defensive play-caller, whose contract expired after the 2017 season.Gus Bradley (vertical)

[RELATED: 2018 Coordinator Tracker]

Bradley is the second defensive coordinator to be hired in the NFL tonight, joining new Packers defensive play-caller Mike Pettine. Both Bradley and Pettine were candidates for the Green Bay coaching position, so Bradley may have decided to re-sign in Los Angeles after being passed over by the Packers.

Bradley inked a one-year deal with the Chargers after spending three-plus seasons as the Jaguars’ head coach. Los Angeles ranked 12th in DVOA under Bradley’s leadership, while the defensive unit featured starring performances from edge rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram and cornerback Casey Hayward.

We’d like to keep this together if we can,” Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said of Bradley earlier this month. “I know some guys, the contracts are up. We’re working on that right now. We’re trying to keep this staff together, this nucleus together, because I think we got better as a coaching staff as the season went on.”

With Bradley, Pettine, Paul Guenther, Teryl Austin now placed in Los Angeles, Green Bay, Oakland, and Cincinnati, respectively, Vic Fangio is the primary free agent defensive coordinator still on the board. Speculatively, the Bears could now be set to retain Fangio under new head coach Matt Nagy, a solution that Chicago prefers.

Packers Request Interview With Gus Bradley

The Packers have requested permission to interview Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley for their own DC vacancy, a league source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Schefter adds that the Seahawks and other clubs also have interest in Bradley. Gus Bradley (vertical)

It should be noted that the Chargers do not have the ability to block Bradley from interviewing since his contract expired on Tuesday. The Bolts will fight to keep Bradley, however.

We’d like to keep this together if we can,” Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said recently. “I know some guys, the contracts are up. We’re working on that right now. We’re trying to keep this staff together, this nucleus together, because I think we got better as a coaching staff as the season went on.” 

The Packers reportedly view Vic Fangio as their top target, though they are also considering a trio of current assistants (Winston MossDarren Perry, and Joe Whitt) plus former Browns head coach Mike Pettine for the job. The Seahawks, meanwhile, already have a DC in Kris Richard, but Richard has drawn head coaching consideration elsewhere. If Richard leaves, Bradley could be the pick to replace him.

The 2017 was Bradley’s first as L.A.’s defensive coordinator. The team finished ninth in defensive DVOA, a big reason for their success later on in the year.

AFC West Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Raiders

The Broncos will consider former Giants head coach Ben McAdoo and former Bengals offensive coordinator Ken Zampese as they seek to hire a new quarterbacks coach, according to Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link). While Denver’s coaching staff will undergo something of an overhaul, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave is staying put, as is interim quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak (in a new role). While neither McAdoo nor Zampese made it through the 2017 without being fired, both offer experience with Broncos head coach Vance Joseph. McAdoo and Joseph spent time together with the 49ers in 2005, while Joseph overlapped with Zampese during his tenure in Cincinnati.

Here’s more from the AFC West:

  • Elsewhere on the Broncos‘ offensive staff, Sean Kugler — who spent the past four-plus years as UTEP’s head coach — is interviewing today for the club’s offensive line position, tweets Alex Marvez of the Sporting News. Incumbent assistant offensive line coach Chris Strausser will also interview for the full-time job, per Klis (Twitter link). Denver is seeking a replacement for Jeff Davidson, who was fired earlier this week along with several other members of the club’s offensive staff. The Broncos ranked ninth in adjusted line yards but 29th in adjusted sack rate a season ago.
  • Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn wants Gus Bradley to return as the team’s defensive coordinator in 2018, as Greg Beacham of the Associated Press writes. Bradley’s deal is set to expire, however, so nothing is certain at the moment. “We’d like to keep this together if we can,” Lynn said Monday. “I know some guys, the contracts are up. We’re working on that right now. We’re trying to keep this staff together, this nucleus together, because I think we got better as a coaching staff as the season went on.” Los Angeles ranked ninth in defensive DVOA in 2017, Bradley’s first year at the helm.
  • Defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes may get a late start to his sophomore campaign, as the rookie third-round pick suffered a torn ACL in the Raiders‘ season finale, tweets Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. While Vanderdoes graded as a bottom-20 interior defender per Pro Football Focus, he did manage to play 464 defensive snaps in his first NFL season. Now facing rehab and possibly a new defensive scheme, Vanderdoes could be looking at an uphill battle as he seeks medical clearance for the beginning of the 2018 season.

Coach Notes: Jackson, Patricia, Coordinators

Hue Jackson has accumulated a stunningly poor 1-30 record in almost two seasons as the head coach of the Browns. However, despite his poor performance, he looks to be safe for next season. Other factors such as a lack of talent and a disfunctional front office certainly play a big role in the team’s failures, but basic logic must win out in determining his coaching future, opines Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.

La Canfora notes that while Jackson appears to be “immune to review” at the moment, the team should be thinking about moving on from their second-year head coach. It’s not ideal for a franchise that has shuffled through many coaches in the past, but La Canfora argues that the job is more attractive then some may think when just observing this season.

New general manager John Dorsey has a track record of success and the team could be bringing in a young franchise QB with the number one pick, even though Josh Rosen has reportedly had some reservations about going to Cleveland.

La Canfora notes that finding a better replacement to Jackson shouldn’t be hard, even if the team is unlikely to do so given most of the reports coming from Browns ownership.

Here’s more notes from around the coaching carousel:

  • The Lions have stood behind head coach Jim Caldwell for the past four seasons, despite not winning a playoff game. However, it may be time for the franchise to move on after the team lost to the Bengals on Sunday. Patriots defense coordinator Matt Patricia may be a prime candidate if the job opens up because of his relationship with current Lions general manager Bob Quinn, according to Alex Marvez of Sporting News (Twitter link). The two men worked together in New England when Quinn was a high level decision maker in the Patriots front office, so the hire would be a natural fit.
  • The Redskins missed the playoffs for the second straight season, but could still lose their quarterback coach Kevin O’Connell to another opportunity. O’Connell is reported to be a “top target” for the UCLA offensive coordinator post, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). New Bruins head coach Chip Kelly is looking for another offensive mind to add to his staff and the offensive coordinator job would be a difficult position to turn down if O’Connell was offered, according to Rapoport. Under O’Connell’s guidance, Kirk Cousins has continued to produce solid numbers in 2017, which has certainly helped make him more sought after for promotions at the collegiate level.
  • There’s a number of attractive coordinators who will be free agents this offseason. Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com run down a list that includes defensive coordinators: Gus BradleyPaul Guenther, Vic Fangio and George Edwards. They mention that Bradley in particular is an odd situation because he signed just a one-year deal with the Chargers last offseason and has a great track record as a defensive coordinator with the Seahawks as well. At the moment, the Chargers have the third ranked scoring defense in the league, which should help make him in high demand for open defensive coordinator jobs after this season is over. Guenther on the other hand has been mentioned has a potential replacement for longtime Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, although he would be free to look at other opportunities should the team opt to go in a different direction. The article also makes note that popular Eagles quarterback coach John DeFilippo and Cowboys passing game coordinator Matt Eberflus would bring widespread interest as well if they move on from their current teams.