Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley accepted the head coaching job with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Bradley, who presided over the NFL’s No. 1-ranked scoring defense this past season (15.3 points per game), replaces Mike Mularkey, who was fired after the Jaguars went 2-14, the worst record in franchise history.
The 46-year-old Bradley received a strong endorsement from Seattle head coach Pete Carroll this past week.
“He’s got a brilliant football mind. He’s got a way of reaching people and touching people and getting the best out of them, players are coaches alike,” said Carroll. “He’s got everything that you’re looking for.”
Bradley, who completed his fourth season with the Seahawks, joined the franchise Jan. 12, 2009 as defensive coordinator under head coach Jim Mora, after spending three years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as their defensive quality control coach.
Prior to joining the Buccaneers, Bradley spent 10 seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, North Dakota State, including six (2000-05) as assistant head coach.
The Seahawks ranked fourth in yards allowed (306.2) and tied for fourth in takeaways (31). Bradley’s defense improved in each of the past three seasons and finished in the top 10 in points and yards allowed in the last two.
Yet Seattle struggled to hold on in late-game situations, including the Seahawks’ 30-28 loss to Atlanta in the divisional playoffs. Down 27-7 to start the fourth quarter, the Seahawks took a 28-27 lead with 31 seconds left. Atlanta then hit two quick passes to get into field goal range, where Matt Bryant’s 49-yarder won the game..
It was the fourth time the Seahawks surrendered points in the final 30 seconds of regulation that either lost them the game or sent it to overtime.
Bradley also interviewed with the Philadelphia Eagles, who hired Oregon’s Chip Kelly as their head coach Wednesday.
In addition to Bradley, the Jaguars also interviewed Jaguars defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.
Two of Bradley’s players, safety Earl Thomas and cornerback Richard Sherman, made The Associated Press All-NFL first team announced last week.