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Are you on the "Gus Bus"?

January 10, 2017
The Redskins are still in the process of hiring a defensive coordinator for the 2017 season and for their sake, hopefully beyond.

Monday, they interviewed former Browns head coach, Mike Pettine. We’ll get to him in another post.

They’ve also asked for and received permission to interview Carolina Panthers defensive backs coach and assistant head coach, Steve Wilks.

Meanwhile, multiple reports continue to say that Gus Bradley, the former Jaguars head coach and Seahawks coordinator, is at the top of their list.

As we’ve pointed out several times, and I always feel good when my buddy John Keim of ESPN is hearing the same thing, Greg Manusky, who joined the Redskins coaching staff before last season, is the top in-house candidate.

1 – The odds-on favorite….

We’ll start with Gus Bradley and you can judge for yourself if you are on the “Gus Bus.”

Rich Tandler of CSN Mid-Atlantic put together a statistical profile of Bradley in a year-by-year compilation format as both a defensive coordinator and head coach.

I hate to boil it down to one thing, but it is clear when you look at the numbers. Gus Bradley, like 98% of coaches in football are a byproduct of the talent they have to coach.

It’s that simple. I’ve said it repeatedly and once again, this proves it. Was Bradley a great coach in Seattle or did he have very good to great young talent in his final few years? You decide.

With the Jaguars, while he was the head coach and clearly, they tried to go hard on offense, the defensive results were certainly mixed. This year, the Jaguars were good with first overall pick Dante Fowler healthy and Malik Jackson added to the mix.

Image result for gus bradley


It’s OK to admit that a coach, especially in the NFL, is a beneficiary of talent and depth. If you don’t have it, there’s almost no one that can climb the mountain. There are isolated one-year examples but nothing consistent to point to.

Go ahead, check the numbers across the board. You’ll see.

So Bradley, like 98% of coaches, if not more, are a beneficiary or a victim of the talent around them.

OK, moving on.

Looking at the Jaguars on third down in 2016, while Bradley was still their head coach, showed some pretty good results.

Via ProFootballRefernce.com, the Jaguars defense faced a third-down 2016 times and yielded a first down 36.9% of the time. They allowed eight touchdowns and 76 first-down conversions.

The Jaguars were not good at generating turnovers and that was true on third-down as well, coming up with only one interception and one fumble recovery. They racked up ten sacks on 159 passing plays.

II – Ready for more on Gus?

I caught up with my old friend Ryan O’ Halloran of the Florida Times-Union and Jacksonville.com on 106.7 The FAN on Friday night to get some insight on Bradley, and a couple of things jumped out.

Ryan pointed out the following about Bradley:

1 – He has a lot of energy and never changed his personality from day one. He’s still a high-motor, personable guy who is considered a strong players coach.

2 – That led to problems with a lack of discipline and perhaps a lack of urgency. About the discipline and poise, the Jags had 129 penalties for 1,178 yards, which ranked second-most in the league for accepted flags and yards, during the regular season. Oakland led the NFL in accepted penalties at 147 for 1,251 yards. Miami had 125 for 1,141 yards. Of course, the Raiders and Dolphins both made the playoffs, so they were good enough to overcome a lot of mistakes. 

3 – O’Halloran pointed out, as I’ve tried to warn, that Bradley and the Jaguars defense are a basic 4-3 front without a lot of blitzing on third-down. That’s something that would seem to go opposite of what the Redskins want, which seems to be a more aggressive mindset.

4 – Bradley, per O’Halloran (and he’s right) is going to require two really good safeties so that his unit could play the preferred cover-three defense that Seattle has been known for, allowing a defense to drop an extra safety into the box and playing a single high, middle defender.

There are variations to any scheme, so this wouldn’t be the case all the time, but this is what Seattle has run forever and what Jacksonville ran a bunch.

III – You might want to read this, before going all in on the “Gus Bus”!

As in any losing situation, and Jacksonville has lost a lot over the years, frustration is going to reign supreme.

In a post on Jacksonville.com, defensive tackle Roy Miller talked with Phillip Heilman about the Jags culture and identity being the problem, more than the scheme.

Rookie potential stud  Jalen Ramsey had some eye-opening comments to ESPN.com about the Jaguars need for change in scheme and staff. This column is not exactly flattering for those on the fence about Bradley when it comes to putting the pieces of a defensive puzzle together. 

From a local media perspective, Manny Benton of BreakingBurgundy.com  weighed in with his thoughts on Bradley, and it certainly seems he is not a fan.

In part-two of our detailed profile of Gus Bradley, we provide a detailed video and screen-shot look at what Redskins fans could expect from a Bradley led defense. 


Chris Russell has covered the Washington Redskins for seven years for multiple media outlets and was a part of the Redskins Radio Network broadcast team for five seasons. He covers the Redskins for Monumental Sports Network (www.DCHotRead.com), WashingtonTimes.com, BreakingBurgundy.com & Warpath Magazine. Listen to Chris on Washington D.C.'s # 1 sports radio station, 106.7 The FAN.      You can e-mail Chris at SFTheRooster@Yahoo.com.     


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