Jan 15, 2013, 2:57 PM EDT
There are endorsements, and then there are glowing
endorsements. And then there is what Gus Bradley’s peers have been saying about
Bradley arrived in Philadelphia this afternoon for a second
interview for the Eagles’ head coaching vacancy, and the buzz is he could be
offered the job today. While most fans seem to be enthusiastic about the
possible selection, many coaches around the league believe emphatically that
this is the right man for the job.
We know Gus can coach defense, as evidenced by what he has
done over four seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. 2012 was his best effort yet
coordinating their defense, which finished fourth in the NFL in yards, and number
one in points allowed.
That’s great and all, but it doesn’t necessarily make him a
great head coach. If those numbers don’t do it for you, maybe the words of Pete
Carroll and Monte Kiffin will do it for you.
Here’s Carroll in an ESPN.com story about Bradley’s
“He’s got a brilliant football
mind,” Seahawks coach Peter Carroll said this week. “He’s got a way
of reaching people and touching people and getting the best out of them,
coaches and players alike. He’s got everything that you’re looking for.”
Okay, Carroll might be a little biased because Bradley works
for him. He has to say to nice things about the guy as long as he intends to
have him back if this head coach thing doesn’t work out – although it seems
unlikely Bradley wouldn’t get hired by somebody.
Kiffin of course is the legendary mastermind behind the
Tampa Cover 2 scheme, and as the recently hired defensive coordinator in
Dallas, is under no such obligation to speak highly of Bradley. Yet he first
recommended Bradley to then-Seattle chief Jim Mora, describing him as a “once-in-a-lifetime
coach.” What does he think, Phil Sheridan?
“He was born to be a head
coach,” he said. “I’ll tell you that right now. I promise you. He
will be a head coach in the NFL and a good one.
“He’s great with players. They
really respond to him. They work hard for him. He’s a great people person. The
fans will love him. The players will love him. Everybody in the building will
“He’s tough, but he knows when
to pull off. He knows when to be tough and when not to be tough.”
Bradley got his start in the NFL as quality control and then
a linebackers coach under Kiffin and Jon Gruden at Tampa Bay, so I guess it’s
natural he would only have good things to say, too. Still, this is nothing like
the tepid-by-comparison endorsement Peyton Manning gave Denver offensive
coordinator Mike McCoy a few weeks back, saying he’s paid his dues and all
sorts of other comments that played it safe.
According to those
who have worked with him closest, Bradley is a hell of a coach. Now what’s the
latest on the Eagles hiring him?
We don’t know, but Kiffin added this in Sheridan’s story
from last week:
“I’ve told people I’ve talked
to in the last week or so, if you interview him, there’s a good chance you’ll
hire him. He’ll walk in [to the interview] and take over the room.”
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