Gus Bradley On Philly: ‘It’s A Special Place’

Gus Bradley held court on the field of Ladd-Peebles Stadium following Senior Bowl practice Tuesday, dressed in Jaguars gear and wearing a big grin.

Half the media in the gathering was from Philadelphia, steering questions away from what’s to come in Jacksonville to talk about what almost was with the Eagles.

The brief courtship drew big attention. Bradley had heard about the passion of this fan base, and saw it first hand before he even touched down on Philly soil.

“It was crazy,” said Bradley when asked about thousands of fans tracking his flight. “We were flying in the airplane and they said, ‘We’re going to land at a different airport.’ And I said, ‘OK, I guess we’re going to a different airport.’

“It was flattering. But I don’t think it was me, I think it was the possibility of a new head coach.”

The former Seahawks defensive coordinator is forever linked to Philadelphia and the Chip Kelly hire. He was the second man in line behind Kelly, so it’s natural to follow his career and see how it compares to the man the Eagles chose over him.

It appeared that Bradley was in the driver’s seat when he was brought in for a second interview. But the Eagles, quietly talking with Kelly behind the scenes, allowed Bradley to leave town without a deal. Bradley took off for Jacksonville.

“I knew that they just needed some time,” said Bradley. “My whole intent was to go down to Jacksonville and see what that was all about. Once I got on the plane and was heading there I really forgot about Philadelphia. I knew their decision would come in time, and my focus was to do a good job down in Jacksonville.”

Jeffrey Lurie delivered the news to Bradley that they were going with Kelly. Bradley said the whole process was handled “first-class” by the Eagles, and they left on very positive terms. There were signs of that on Tuesday, as Bradley spent time mingling with Eagles employees on the practice field.

“It’s a special place,” said Bradley of  Philadelphia. “I’m sure Chip Kelly will do good. That’s what I told Jeffrey: ‘It sounds like you got the guy that you were really going after.’ And that’s great. I’m happy for them. I’m extremely happy in Jacksonville.”

As the conversation switched back to the future, Bradley offered a vision of how he sees his new team playing under him.

“I have this image that we’re going to be extremely tough and play with a lot of poise,” said Bradley.  “That keeps popping into my mind. Guys that are passionate about the game.”

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  • kfreds

    If that’s the type of players Gus is looking for then the first person he should cut is Babin

    • UKEagle99

      I’d play the odds and keep Babin. Most of the DL that the Eagles cut/trade/release go on to have great success elsewhere, at least it feels that way.

    • xlGmanlx

      Personally, I think he really wanted to be in Philly.

      “It’s a special place,” said Bradley of Philadelphia. “I’m sure Chip Kelly will do good. That’s what I told Jeffrey: ‘It sounds like you got the guy that you were really going after.’ And that’s great. I’m happy for them. I’m extremely happy in Jacksonville.”

      Obviously he isn’t going to say he doesn’t want to coach 1/32 pro NFL teams, but the fact that he says Philly is a special place and talking about how he is sure Kelly will put the same level of dedication that he would have had he been the #1 pick. He doesn’t sound bitter about it either, actually seems pretty self aware and thoughtful for him to be that self honest about how special Chip Kelly can be to this organization.

      Could be nothing, but i wouldn’t rule out Bradley joining a Kelly staff if Kelly finds success and Bradley is handcuffed by shoddy leadership in JAX and gets let go to appease the fans (again).

  • ICDogg

    I’m glad he got a good situation.

    • GoBirds1

      Why do you think he is in a good situation, the Jags as a team are a disaster and the franchise is even worse. The only thing that could save them would be to pack up and head west.

  • MAC

    I am warming up to Chip Kelly after I originally was very disappointed with the hiring. I really wanted Bradley bc of the type of team I feel he would want to build. We kept hearing from many respected coaches in the NFL that Bradley was a great teacher and motivator. I think being a great teacher of scheme’s and technique is one of the most important qualities in being a successful head coach. You have to be able to teach your players in a way that they understand not only there role, but the reason for that role in each play call. I heard that this was Bradley’s strong suite as a coach. I also saw a vicious Seattle defense that played with confidence and discipline. I always believe that defense wins championships and no matter the rule changes I believe that is still the case and will continue to be.

    Saying all that I am now starting to like much of what I hear from and about Chip Kelly. I think he has a great football mind. I hope that he is able to adjust to NFL and to dealing with players that make more money than him and have huge ego’s in many cases. I have to put my faith in him bc I am an Eagles fan no matter what. I hope Kelly comes in and shows me that I was wrong about him initially. I just do not like that based on his history we more than likely will have a smaller more athletic personnel on both sides of the ball. This is what really scares me. I am now on board with Kelly and am willing to have an open mind. So we will find out in the next 3 years who got the better coach, the Eagles or the Jaguars. While Chip, please prove Lurie right bc Eagles fans need a championship no matter how it gets done.

    • Graham

      Glad to hear MAC. I completely agree with your second paragraph there, many things to wait and see unfold but I like Chip and I like how he is a brilliant football mind and a coach who eats and breathes the game. I find it hilarious that he is single, it just points to his commitment to the game. Any wife would leave him probably due to the amount of time he spends on it…. Hopefully it isn’t a big flop and eagles can break .500 again this yeat

      • Graham

        Also ya, Chip was signed to so much that you know he’s around for AT LEAST 3 years… so give him 3 years to build this up with the help of many different NFL assistants and see if this thing can get turned around…

    • UKEagle99

      I hear you Mac and as fans we have little choice but to support our HC and the roster he assembles before us. I too am full of hope and will give every ounce of support I can from this side of the pond (pretty much all but going to the Linc!)

      Whilst not wanting to come across as a naysayer, I am leery of going ‘all in’. Most of what I know about Chip is via the media. The same media that told me DRC was a beast in camp, the same media that told me Vick had spent an entire offseason on blitz recognition, the same media that told me… you get the idea :-)

      That said, ‘In Chip we trust’. Ultimately It can’t be much worse than the last 2 years…

  • johngiam

    Jags owner Fired Mujlarky after 1 season. Selfishly, I pray The owner isnt pleased with the job Gus does, and like an idiot Fires him after this season, and he can become our DC! lol. YES, I am HOLDING ON TO THE DREAM!!! lol

    • Philly_bigz

      more of a man crush…lol j/k lol

    • GoBirds1

      John, expressing his multiple man crushes for whoever is the ‘hot’ guy in the media of the moment, 2013 must be his year for coming out of the closet!

  • UKEagle99

    Whilst the 2 coaches will be linked to this ‘term’, sucess in Jacksonville does not mean he would have had sucess in Philly. Good luck Gus, I wish you well (but I wish Chip more…)

  • xlGmanlx

    Pro’s do it just like the igg’s did, handle it first class. If you read up on how they describe the ownership and organization during the 9er’s dynasty, “first class” was a word used unanimously. Finally, something to get excited about dealing with the igg’s since about September!!