Philadelphia Eagles coaching candidate profiles: Gus Bradley, Seahawks DC

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This is the latest in our series of profiles on prospective Eagles coaching candidates. For others, click here.

We are profiling all the likely candidates for the Eagles head coaching position in 2013. For the rest of the series, check out this hub.

Next up is Gus Bradley, defensive coordinator, Seattle Seahawks.

Resume

1990–1991 North Dakota State (Grad assistant)
1992–1995 Fort Lewis College (defensive coordinator)
1996–2005 North Dakota State (defensive coordinator, asst HC)
2006–2008 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LB coach)
2009–present Seattle Seahawks (defensive coordinator)

Why he could work

He cut his teeth under defensive legend Monte Kiffin in Tampa Bay and was hired by Jim Mora Jr. to be the defensive coordinator of the Seahawks in 2009. His hire came after a glowing recommendation from Kiffin.

"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,' " Mora recalled.

"He said, 'J.L., this guy is special. You have to bring him in. You have to talk to him.'

So far, it looks like Kiffin was right. His first season in Seattle wasn't great and Mora was actually fired afterward, but Pete Carroll decided to keep Bradley on as defensive coordinator. Since then, Bradley has steadily built his unit into arguably the best defense in the NFL.

2010 - 368.6 yards (27th in the league), 25.4 points per game (25th).

2011 - 332.2 yards (9th in the league), 19.7 points per game (7th).

2012 - 306.2 yards (4th in the league), 15.3 points per game (1st).

They had 34 takeaways compared to 17 from the Eagles this season.

Why he may not be the guy

As with all coordinators, he doesn't have experience as a head coach so it's really impossible to know whether he can handle that responsibility until you give it to him. Of course, this also what interviews are for.

Interestingly, he did serve as an interim head coach for 4 months when he was with Fort Lewis college.

Also, similar to our concerns with Greg Roman, Bradley is a defensive coordinator under a defense minded head coach. In that situation, you always have to wonder how much of their unit is designed by them and how much should be credited to the head coach?

Finally, this may not be a mark against, but it bears consideration. Bradley's defense is a base 4-3, but incorporates elements of a 3-4. It's built on speedy LBs paired with big guys up front and in the secondary. It could very well take some time for him to adapt the Eagles current personnel to this system and to find new players to fit in.

Final thoughts

A guy being underneath a head coach that knows his side of the ball isn't automatically a mark against him. In fact, it means he's learned even more from a good defensive mind. Between Pete Carroll and Monte Kiffin, Bradley has had some pretty good mentors on that side of the ball. Also, there's no indication that Bradley is not the guy working on the defensive gameplan and making the calls on game day.

Xs & Os aside, the #1 thing you look for in a coach is to be a leader, which is the quality that Bradley's players point out about him.

"You've never seen him have a bad day," cornerback Richard Sherman said. "He's been sick, no voice, hoarse, and he comes in with the most energy. And you're like, 'There's nothing that can bring this guy's energy down.' And he's never down. No matter the score, he makes his guys show up, presses his guys to be the best, and that's what makes Gus Bradley a great head coaching candidate."

The Eagles will meet with Bradley this week.

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