Eagles Wake-Up Call: Good-Will Gus

Gus Bradley has been called “the nicest man ever to lead a pack of cutthroats.” It has been written that his “blood type is sunshine.”

Pete Carroll lauded Bradley as the best teacher that he has ever been around.

Safe to say he has built up some good will over the years, and it might just come in handy.

No one speaks more highly of  the 46-year-old than Monte Kiffin, who helped discover Bradley and worked alongside him in Tampa Bay.

“He reminds me of (Steelers coach) Mike Tomlin. We hired Mike at 29-years-old out of the University of Cincinnati. It didn’t take long to know that Mike was special, and I knew from Day 1 that Gus was special. He’ll be a head coach in the NFL. He’s got no panic. Some people do, it doesn’t mean they’re not really good coaches, but Gus, he’s special. When he interviews, he’ll knock your socks off. I’m not trying to pump him up, but I know what he is. He’s put it on tape up there.”

Birds 24/7 learned through conversations on Monday that Jon Gruden is also very high on Seattle’s defensive coordinator. Bradley served under Gruden from 2006-08, first as a quality control coach and then a linebackers coach. (Maybe it will provide the Gruden fanatics a little peace of mind knowing that their guy at least endorses Bradley’s candidacy.)

It stands to reason that Gruden and the rest of the Bradley supporters could be valuable assets if he is in fact tabbed to be the Eagles’ next head coach (though Kiffin might have to lay low, seeing as he is now the defensive coordinator of the Cowboys). Connections are key in the NFL, especially if you want to build yourself a quality staff. Bradley appears to have that going for him.

Between the rave reviews, the fact that he is a defensive guy and, of course, this video,  those positive vibes have found their way into Philadelphia. Bradley has quickly gone from virtual unknown to a popular candidate. There are plenty of fans hoping that he comes in for a second interview Tuesday and never leaves.

You get the feeling that they just  might get their wish.


Some details on Bradley as he gets set for his second interview.

The Eagles spent part of their day Monday interviewing Ken Whisenhunt and Jay Gruden.

Howie Roseman got beat up a bit in a piece by Jason La Canfora. I offered a couple thoughts.

Sheil looks at the playoffs through the green lens.


Instead of the normal national roundup, figured we’d show you some fan tweets in reaction to Bradley being brought in for a second interview by the Eagles.


The end of the coaching search?

Gus Bradley Has “Great Interview” With Eagles

Gus Bradley‘s interview with the Eagles on Saturday went very well, according to Jay Glazer.

“He had a great interview with the Philadelphia Eagles,” said Glazer. “If the Seahawks lose [to the Falcons] look for the Eagles to bring Bradley back in.”

The Seahawks did lose to Atlanta, making Bradley available. While a second interview is certainly possible, it had not yet been scheduled as of Monday morning, according to a league source.

Glazer also reports that Mike Nolan, who interviewed with the Eagles early in the process, plans to stay in Atlanta.

“Before Cleveland hired Rob Chudzinski they really wanted to bring Nolan in there – they were hot for him. Nolan told me, ‘Listen, I’m very happy where I am with Mike Smith and Tom Dimitroff. Unless it’s a great job, I love being here in Atlanta.’”

Meanwhile, a couple other assistants the Eagles have targeted are drawing attention elsewhere.

The Eagles met with Brian Billick on Monday, a source confirmed. Billick has not been linked to any other teams. Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman and Don Smolenski are slated to meet with Jay Gruden Monday and Bruce Arians Tuesday.

Be sure to check out our coaching tracker for all the latest.


Eagles To Interview Gus Bradley Today

This is shaping up to be a critical weekend in the Eagles’ search for a new head coach.

Earlier today, we updated you on the courting of Brian Kelly. And now, a league source confirms that Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman and Don Smolenski will meet with another candidate, Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.

The Eagles’ brass will meet Bradley in Atlanta today. The Seahawks face the Falcons in Sunday’s divisional-round playoff game. NFL Network’s Albert Breer first reported the interview.

If the Eagles wanted to conduct a second interview with Bradley, they would have to wait until:

a.) The Seahawks are eliminated from the playoffs.


b.) After the NFC championship game (in the event that Seattle reaches the Super Bowl).

In other words, no second interview can take place next week between the divisional round and the NFC title game.

As for hiring Bradley, the Eagles would have to wait on that too. Les Bowen of the Daily News looked into it and found that “no contract shall be executed, and no agreement to execute a contract, or an announcement of a contract or of an agreement for employment, shall be permitted until after the conclusion of the employer’s playing season.”

That means the Eagles and Bradley would not be able to officially agree to terms on a deal until the Seahawks are eliminated.

As for Bradley, the Eagles aren’t his only suitor. He interviewed with the Chargers on Thursday, according to NFL Network.

For everything we’ve written about Bradley, click here.

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Coaching Buzz: Chargers Interview Gus Bradley

The Eagles aren’t the only team showing interest in Gus Bradley.

The Chargers interviewed the Seahawks defensive coordinator last night, according to Albert Breer of the NFL Network. The Eagles, meanwhile, have yet to meet with him, as Tim explained this morning. No other teams have expressed public interest in Bradley.

Per NFL rules, assistants whose teams stay alive this weekend cannot interview next week. In other words, if the Seahawks beat the Falcons, the Eagles would have to wait until after the NFC championship game to interview Bradley.

The Eagles are also expected to still interview Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.

There are currently five job openings available: Philadelphia, San Diego, Chicago, Jacksonville and Arizona. The Chargers are also interviewing Lovie Smith, who met with the Eagles yesterday.


Andy Reid has found his next defensive coordinator, and it’s not Juan Castillo or Todd Bowles.

Reid will have Jets linebackers coach Bob Sutton run his D, according to ESPN’s Ed Werder. Sutton, 61, spent 13 seasons with the Jets, including three (2006-2008) as defensive coordinator.

Per the report, Monte Kiffin was Reid’s top choice, but Kiffin is headed to Dallas to become the Cowboys defensive coordinator. As we’ve pointed out, Bradley coached under Kiffin for three years under in Tampa. The 72-year-old thinks highly of his protege, but there’s now no possibility of the two coaching together in 2013.

The Eagles are clearly being thorough in their coaching search, but the one downside to that philosophy is they could miss out on some top-level assistants who sign on with other teams.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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Eagles Wake-Up Call: Waiting On Gus Bradley

As Week 2 of the coaching search nears its conclusion, a lot of Eagles fan are asking: What is going on with Gus Bradley?

It was back on January 4 when word came down that the Eagles requested and were granted permission to speak to the Seahawks defensive coordinator, but all has been quiet since then.

This much we know: The interview has not taken place yet, according to a league source. Some have opined that perhaps the two sides already met and were keeping it under wraps, but that does not appear to be the case.

The sense I get, though, is that the Eagles are laying low on the Bradley front out of respect for the coach. If there is a date set for the sitdown, they’re not saying just yet. Bradley wants the attention squarely on Seattle’s playoff game against Atlanta Sunday.

Still, it can’t be blocked out completely. Bradley was asked about the Eagles’ interest in him at his press conference Thursday.

“Well, it’s flattering,” said Bradley. “And I know people talk about our entire focus is on Atlanta, and it really is. It’s so important to us and we worked so hard to get to this point. And our whole message to the team is keep raising the bar and keep getting better and better every week. They are talking that and we’re talking that, so it’s easy to stay focused on it. It’s flattering but really our entire focus is on Atlanta and doing everything we can to get one step closer.”

It’s hard to picture Bradley taking the time this late in the week to interview for the job. So does it spill into next week? Beyond that if the Seahawks win? Jeffrey Lurie has demonstrated  patience when it comes to this process, a virtue that will come in handy as Bradley and any other coveted assistants finish out their postseason runs. [Note: It has since been reported that the Chargers met with Bradley on Thursday night; maybe he’d be open to a sitdown this close to a game after all.]

In the meantime, here is Bradley’s press conference to keep you satiated.


In the latest coaching buzz, Sheil looks at news around the league that could impact the Eagles.

Fletcher Cox was named to the All-Rookie team.

Kapadia uses the All-22 to figure out how these playoff teams are generating pressure.

Mike Mayock gives his thoughts on Brian Kelly and who should be the next coach of the Eagles.

In my Twitter Mailbag, I explain why Notre Dame’s performance against Alabama should not change your thinking on Kelly.


Dan Graziano senses that Kelly’s flirtation with the Eagles is all about gaining leverage with Notre Dame:

But from here, what this looks like is an attempt by Kelly to get a sweeter deal in South Bend. Kind of a transparent attempt, actually. And if it is, good for him. That’s how the world works, after all. That’s how you get raises. Make ’em think somebody else wants you.

Would this mean the Eagles are being used as a pawn in this game? It would, yes. But there’s no harm in that. It’s not as though the Eagles are putting off other interviews while they wait for Kelly to come back from vacation. They’re still talking to Lovie Smith today and proceeding with the methodical process of trying to find their next head coach. They are not, as we discussed Wednesday, behind any kind of reasonable timetable here and they’re determined to find the right guy.

Could RGIII‘s recovery take more time than people think? From SI.com:

With Griffin requiring extensive work on both his LCL and ACL, his status for the 2013 season is very much in jeopardy. Initial reports tabbed Griffin’s recovery at six-to-eight months, but injury expert Will Carroll told SI.com that may be pushing it.

“With a ‘normal’ ACL reconstruction, we’d normally say eight-to-12 (months), but even that is a bit optimistic unless we start considering the kind of returns we’ve had,” Carroll said. “It’s more than just Adrian Peterson and Wes Welker — those are the extreme positives — but six-to-eight seems a bit short to me.

“Possible? Yes. Optimistic? Probably.”


We’ll continue to track it all for you.



Coaching Buzz: Moves That Impact the Eagles

Things have been relatively quiet with the Eagles today, but there has been plenty of movement around the league that could impact the Birds.

Here’s a roundup of what’s going on:

* Let’s start in Cleveland where Joe Banner and the Browns are interviewing Ken Whisenhunt for a second time, according to Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain-Dealer. The Bills expressed some interest in Whisenhunt before hiring Doug Marrone, but no other teams have interviewed the former Cardinals coach.

* The Jaguars joined the party late, firing Mike Mularkey today after one season. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, they’ll take a look at 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman and Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Surprisingly, Roman has not had a single interview up to this point.

* Jay Gruden is currently interviewing with the Cardinals, and he told reporters the plan is to meet with the Eagles next week.

* League sources tell ESPN’s Ed Werder that the Cowboys, who fired Rob Ryan this week, have focused their defensive coordinator search on 72-year-old Monte Kiffin. Kiffin’s age apparently is not scaring teams off. SI.com’s Peter King reported earlier this week that Kiffin could be on Andy Reid’s radar in Kansas City. As for an Eagles slant, the team is expected to interview Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. Bradley coached under Kiffin for three seasons with the Bucs, and Kiffin apparently thought Bradley was a “once-in-a-lifetime” coach. Perhaps the mentor wouldn’t mind running the protege’s defense if he gets back in the league? Just a thought.

* Multiple reports indicate that Doug Pederson will be Reid’s offensive coordinator in Kansas City. The former Eagles QB coach drew some pretty high praise from former Eagles scout Daniel Jeremiah:

* There was a report Wednesday night that the Bears were also interested in Brian Kelly, but Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times says that’s not the case.

* Bruce Arians told a San Diego radio station that his interest in the Chargers job has increased now that they hired Tom Telesco as their GM:

“I think so much of [the] success that teams have are great relationships between general manager and head coach,” Arians said, per SportsRadioInterviews.com. “And it’s not who has control of the roster, it’s how do we get the best players? … I had the opportunity to work for 12 weeks as a head coach this year with Ryan Grigson and Tommy Telesco, and it was a fantastic relationship. And I wouldn’t want to work in any other situation as a head coach, unless it’s that type of relationship where nobody’s got a power player [and] we’re all in this together trying to win.”

Arians is expected to interview with the Eagles.

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One Week In, New Names For Eagles To Consider

The Eagles are one week into their coaching search, and the landscape has changed considerably.

Chip Kelly and Bill O’Brien are staying at Oregon and Penn State, respectively. Dirk Koetter will remain offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons. And Doug Marrone signed on with the Bills.

All four were on the Eagles’ radar at one time or another during the last seven days.

So where do Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman and Don Smolenski go from here? The interviews will continue this week. Below is a list of candidates to keep an eye on.

Gus Bradley – Defensive coordinator, Seattle Seahawks

The latest: Based on our post from this morning, Bradley might be the fan favorite. He’s been the Seahawks defensive coordinator since 2009. This year, Seattle finished first in scoring defense (15.3 PPG) and fourth in Football Outsiders’ DVOA ratings. Bradley was part of the Tampa Bay Bucs’ staff for three seasons. Monte Kiffin called him a once-in-a-lifetime coach. Pete Carroll said Bradley’s the best teacher he’s ever been around. And players seem to love taking the field for him. The 46-year-old is expected to interview with the Eagles this week, although no specific date has been set. The process still has to play out, but Bradley appears to be very much in the mix.

Mike McCoyOffensive coordinator, Denver Broncos

The latest: The Eagles moved on from Kelly Sunday and interviewed McCoy in Denver. The 40-year-old Broncos offensive coordinator is drawing plenty of interest and has also interviewed with the Bears and Cardinals. We’ve discussed why McCoy’s attractive at length here. He’s maximized the potential of quarterbacks like Jake Delhomme, Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow. Most would agree that having a franchise quarterback is the most direct route to NFL success. But what happens when you can’t find one of those guys? It’s good to have a coach who can adapt to personnel. And McCoy’s done that. Peyton Manning said recently he thinks McCoy is ready to be an NFL coach. The Eagles are not allowed to interview McCoy for a second time until the Broncos are knocked out of the playoffs. If Denver reaches the Super Bowl, teams can interview McCoy again after championship weekend.

Jay Gruden – Offensive coordinator, Cincinnati Bengals

The latest: The Eagles have requested permission to interview Gruden, but have not yet received it. The Bengals are out of the playoffs after failing to score an offensive touchdown Saturday against the Texans. Andy Dalton has left plays on the field all season long. Then again, if Gruden is going to be credited with helping to develop Dalton, he surely deserves part of the blame for the second-year QB not playing better in the postseason. Gruden had never been a coordinator or position coach in the NFL or college before 2011. His resume won’t blow suitors away. Gruden’s best chance at landing a head-coaching gig will be to impress during the interview process.

Bruce Arians – Offensive coordinator, Indianapolis Colts

The latest: Arians missed yesterday’s loss to the Ravens after being hospitalized with nausea and headaches. Stepping in for Chuck Pagano, he has been at the center of the feel-good story in the NFL this season. Arians has experience working with young quarterbacks. He’s helped Andrew Luck along as a rookie and worked with Ben Roethlisberger from 2007-2011, a run that included a Super Bowl win and another Super Bowl appearance. He of course has Philadelphia roots too, having served as the head coach at Temple from 1983 to 1988. The one thing working against Arians is that he’s 60 and has never been an NFL head coach. Colts GM Ryan Grigson said recently that the team would like to try to keep Arians. The Eagles are expected to interview him, but no date has been set.

Darrell Bevell – Offensive coordinator, Seattle Seahawks

The latest: I’m guessing Bevell has an entire page on his resume devoted to Russell Wilson. The rookie QB completed over 64 percent of his passes and threw 26 touchdowns this season. And the Seahawks are headed to the divisional round of the playoffs to take on the Falcons. Bevell has seven years of coordinator experience – the last two with the Seahawks and the previous five with the Vikings. He also served six years on the Packers’ staff, including three seasons as quarterbacks coach. The Seahawks finished the year eighth in scoring offense and fourth in Football Outsiders’ rankings. So far, the only interview Bevell has lined up is with the Bears. But that could change.

Mike Nolan – Falcons defensive coordinator

The latest: The Eagles interviewed him last week. Tim talked to Dan Reeves about Nolan’s credentials and his desire for a second chance. There’s no doubt that Nolan is a respected defensive coordinator, but he went just 18-37 in three-plus seasons with the 49ers. That history will be tough to sell to a frustrated fan base. Then again, Lurie said the Eagles are going to make the right choice, even if it’s not the most popular one. No other team has been linked to Nolan.

Lovie Smith – Former head coach, Chicago Bears

The latest: You figure if the Eagles are willing to give Nolan a look, then they should at least see what Smith has to say. The former Bears coach went 81-63 in nine seasons in Chicago. Smith’s teams were almost always in the mix, but only made the playoffs three times. He had defense and special teams covered, but never could quite get the offense going. Smith interviewed with the Bills before they hired Marrone. He is 54-years-old.

Keith ArmstrongSpecial-teams coordinator, Atlanta Falcons

The latest: The Eagles interviewed him last week. Armstrong has drawn interest from the Bears and Chiefs too. There’s been a lot of talk this offseason about giving special-teams coaches a look. Armstrong played his college ball at Temple and is a Levittown native. Given some of the coaches he’s up against, Armstrong seems like a longshot at this point.

Mike Zimmer – Defensive coordinator, Cincinnati Bengals

The latest: Mike Mayock openly lobbied for Zimmer to get a look during Saturday’s broadcast. He’s spent the past 13 seasons as a coordinator – five with the Bengals, one with the Falcons and seven with the Cowboys. While Zimmer got a pair of interviews last year (Bucs, Dolphins), he’s yet to get a head-coaching opportunity. Zimmer’s units have finished in the top-10 in scoring defense in three of the past four seasons. In the second half of 2012, the Bengals allowed just 12.8 points per game. At 56-years-old, Zimmer may find himself stuck in the coordinator box. He has no reported interviews scheduled, even though there are still five head-coaching vacancies.

Greg Roman – Offensive coordinator, San Francisco 49ers

The latest: I’m a bit surprised he has not had any interviews yet. Roman, a Ventnor N.J. native, has worked on Jim Harbaugh’s staff for the past four seasons – two with the Niners and two at Stanford. Under the direction of Roman and Harbaugh, Alex Smith turned in his best season as a pro in 2011. The 49ers’ offense turned the ball over just 10 times last season, tied for the fewest in NFL history. This year, the 49ers have changed their offense to fit Colin Kaepernick’s talents. San Francisco is 11th in the league in scoring offense and ranks fifth, according to Football Outsiders. Roman, 40, has never been a head coach at any level and has only been an NFL coordinator for two seasons.

Ben McAdoo – Quarterbacks coach, Green Bay Packers

The latest: Tim introduced us to McAdoo last month as a potential sleeper. He’s worked with Aaron Rodgers and was being looked at as a coordinator by other teams last offseason. Lurie, of course, went this route once before and had success hiring a certain QBs coach from Green Bay. McAdoo is 35-years-old. The Packers take on the 49ers in the divisional round this weekend.

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Coaching Buzz: Getting To Know Gus Bradley

With Chip Kelly returning to Oregon and Bill O’Brien headed back to Penn State, the Eagles are expected to take a look at several assistants from the NFL ranks this week.

One of those guys is Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. Seattle’s defense held a hobbled Robert Griffin III and the Redskins to 14 points in Sunday’s victory. During the regular season, the Seahawks finished first in scoring defense (15.3 PPG) and fourth in Football Outsiders’ rankings.

Bradley’s been Seattle’s defensive coordinator for four seasons. Here’s a look at how his unit has stacked up:

Scoring Defense
Total Defense (Yards)
Football Outsiders (DVOA)

Prior to landing in Seattle, Bradley spent three seasons working under Monte Kiffin in Tampa – two as linebackers coach (2007-2008) and one as quality control coach (2006). The 46-year-old was the assistant head coach at his alma mater, North Dakota State, from 2000 to 2005.

Impressing Kiffin has undoubtedly helped him make the steady rise up the NFL ranks. Here’s what Jim L. Mora said about hiring Bradley as the Seahawks defensive coordinator in 2009, per the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

“Monte [Kiffin] 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.’ “

According to ESPN.com, Mora originally planned to hire a different defensive coordinator, but Bradley won him over during the interview process and got the job.

A year later, the Seahawks fired Mora and brought in Pete Carroll. Bradley went through a similar process. Kiffin talked to Carroll. Bradley got an interview. And now Carroll speaks glowingly of his defensive coordinator. From The Seattle Times:

“He’s the best teacher I’ve ever been around,” Carroll said. “He’s so thorough, so thoughtful, and he’ll go to such lengths to find ways to make sense of the information so the guys can understand it in practical ways.

“It doesn’t matter how good we teach. It’s how well they learn. I think that connection is really clear with Gus. He’s great at it.”

That’s what I’d call a ringing endorsement.

So, what is Bradley’s personality like? Jerry Brewer of The Seattle Times called him “the nicest man ever to lead a pack of cutthroats.” He added that Bradley’s “blood type is sunshine.”

But there’s another side too. Head to the 2:01 mark of the following video where Bradley was mic’d up (hat tip to Brian Solomon for the link).

There are obviously two sides to Bradley, which can be a good thing.

The ability to motivate and to adapt to personnel are both key for a head coach. Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor seems to indicate Bradley has both those qualities.

“Other teams can try to figure it out or copy it, but the secret is that it’s built around the players,” Chancellor said of the Seahawks’ defense, per The Seattle Times. “That’s what makes us unique. You can’t create players exactly like the ones we have. And not everyone has that dog in them like we do. We’re hungry. You can’t imagine how well we work together, how much we bond, how bad we want it.”

So what are the question marks with Bradley? It’s tough to gauge how much of the Seahawks’ success on defense is due to Carroll, their defensive-minded head coach. And Bradley’s only head-coaching experience came during a four-month stint at Fort Lewis College in 1995-1996.

But if Jeffrey Lurie is looking for an up-and-comer, Bradley could fit the bill. He’s expected to interview some time this week.

For a full list of coaching interviews, check out our tracker.

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Eagles To Interview Bruce Arians, Gus Bradley

The Eagles requested and have been granted permission to speak with Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.

Stepping in for Chuck Pagano, Arians has been at the center of the feel-good story in the NFL this season. A year after earning the No. 1 pick with a 2-14 record, the Colts are headed to the playoffs. Arians has experience working with young quarterbacks. He’s helped Andrew Luck along as a rookie and worked with Ben Roethlisberger from  2007-2011, a run that included a Super Bowl win and another Super Bowl appearance. He has Philadelphia roots too, having served as the head coach at Temple from 1983 to 1988.

Arians, 60, has never been an NFL head coach before.

Bradley has spent the last four seasons as Seattle’s defensive coordinator, and the results this year speak for themselves. The Seahawks lead the NFL in scoring defense, allowing 15.5 points per game, and are second in Football Outsiders’ rankings. Bradley coaches a versatile, physical group, and the Seahawks boast perhaps the best secondary in the NFL. Bradley, 46, worked under Monte Kiffin in Tampa for three seasons. He was the linebackers coach from 2007 to 2008 and Tampa’s defensive quality control coach before that.

The Eagles are slated to meet with Oregon head coach Chip Kelly and Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy this weekend. They have spoken with Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and special teams coach Keith Armstrong, and reportedly also interviewed Bill O’Brien, who has opted to stay at Penn State.

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