Former Seahawks Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley Lands With New Team: Report

Gus Bradley Pete Carroll

Getty Gus Bradley and Pete Carroll shake hands after a Week 3 matchup in 2013.

T

he possible reunion between the Seattle Seahawks and former defensive coordinator Gus Bradley came to a screeching halt Friday when The Seattle Times’ Adam Jude and Bob Condotta reported the Seahawks were expected to promote Clint Hurtt to defensive coordinator.

Then before the day ended, Bradley landed a different job.

Joel A. Erickson of The Indy Star reports the Indianapolis Colts are hiring Gus Bradley as defensive coordinator.

This will be Bradley’s fourth position, including third as defensive coordinator, since leaving the Seahawks following the 2012 season. Bradley will be replacing Matt Eberflus, who left Indianapolis to become the head coach of the Chicago Bears.

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The Original Leader of Seattle’s Legion of Boom

Bradley rose to stardom in the NFL coaching realm while he served as defensive coordinator for the Seahawks. He arrived a year prior to Pete Carroll, becoming the Seattle defensive coordinator in 2009 under Jim Mora. In 2010, Carroll elected to keep Bradley as DC on his first staff.

Over four years with Bradley as defensive coordinator, the Seahawks defense went from 24th in yards allowed and 25th in points yielded during the 2009 season to fourth in yards allowed and first in points yielded in 2012. That success landed Bradley a head coaching job with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In Jacksonville, Bradley posted a 14-48 record. His .226 win percentage ranks fourth-worst among NFL coaches with at least 50 games in league history.

But after losing his job in Jacksonville, Bradley became a successful defensive coordinator again. In four years with the Los Angeles Chargers from 2017-20, the Chargers finished outside the top half of the league in yards allowed or points allowed just once. In 2018, the Chargers were ranked in the top 10 in both categories.

This past season, Bradley coordinated the Las Vegas Raiders defense, helping the franchise make the postseason for just the second time in the last 19 years.

Seahawks Set to Promote Clint Hurtt, Hire Ed Donatell

While the Seahawks didn’t reunite with Bradley, they did fill out their defensive staff Friday.

In addition to the expectation that Hurtt will receive a promotion to become Seattle defensive coordinator, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports former Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell will join the Seahawks staff in a senior defensive role.

Hurtt, 43, who was previously Seattle’s defensive line coach since 2017, has never been a defensive coordinator at any level. But Donatell will bring a ton of experience to the Seahawks defensive staff, as he’s been coaching in the NFL for more than 30 years. He has served as defensive coordinator in 11 seasons for four different teams. Donatell was also the secondary coach of the Broncos championship teams in 1997 and 1998.

Donatell left Denver in 2000 only to return for two more coaching tenures in the Mile High City. Most recently, he was the Broncos defensive coordinator from 2019-21.

The Seahawks finished 11th in points allowed during the 2021 season, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement from the new coaching staff. The Seahawks were also 28th in yards allowed, including second-to-last in passing yards allowed.

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