Heaps: Why Seahawks should look to bring Gus Bradley back as DC

Jan 19, 2022, 9:32 AM
Seahawks Gus Bradley...
Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley runs onto the field before a game on Oct. 10, 2021. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

With the Seahawks now looking for their next defensive coordinator, a lot of names are being talked about to succeed Ken Norton Jr. at the position following him being relieved of his duties Tuesday after four years.

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On the top of the list is former Broncos head coach Vic Fangio, a longtime successful defensive coordinator in the NFL. Then there’s Ed Donatell, who was Fangio’s DC in Denver and goes way back with Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll. Current Seahawks defensive line coach Clint Hurtt is also said to be in the mix.

But maybe the best way for Seattle to move forward is to actually look back to its past.

On Tuesday’s edition of Jake and Stacy on 710 ESPN Seattle, former Seahawks quarterback Jake Heaps said he would like to see the Seahawks reunite with Gus Bradley, who was Seattle’s defensive coordinator from 2009 to 2012. That’s a very interesting time in Seahawks history, as Bradley was retained from previous coach Jim Mora’s staff by Carroll when he arrived in Seattle in 2010, and he led the defense as the famed Legion of Boom secondary formed. He also could be considered to have unfinished business with the Seahawks considering he left to become Jacksonville Jaguars head coach in 2013, the season Seattle won the Super Bowl.

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“Gus Bradley, to me, would be a tremendous hire back here to Seattle – somebody that has had head coaching experience, someone that’s experienced and knows what it’s like to coach under Pete Carroll and was a part of the most successful run for your defense when it first started out and built it up into what it was, into the Legion of Boom,” Heaps said.

The thing that keeps Bradley from being a slam dunk for Seattle, though, is that he’s not looking for a job – not yet, at least. He is currently defensive coordinator for the Las Vegas Raiders, who he joined for the 2021 season following four seasons as Los Angeles Chargers DC, which came after four years as Jaguars head coach. The Raiders are looking for a new coach and general manager, however, so it’s very possible Bradley won’t return to Vegas.

Heaps said if Bradley was to be let go by the Raiders, bringing him back to Seattle would be a “clear no-brainer.”

“If that ends up happening, Gus Bradley would be a perfect fit here – I think a pretty seamless transition, knowing who he is, knowing what he’s about and knowing that he has been able to produce some great defenses over the years,” Heaps said. “… Since Gus Bradley has left (Seattle), he has produced great defenses. (The 2021 Raiders) were two spots better than the Seahawks in points per game, and they were tremendous in terms of sacks and takeaways.”

You can hear Heaps’ thoughts in the opening segment from Tuesday’s show in the podcast at this link or in the player below, as well as during Four-Down Territory in the podcast of the second hour from Tuesday here.

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