The Los Angeles Chargers have hired former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley as the team’s new defensive coordinator, according to a tweet from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Former Jaguars HC Gus Bradley has agreed to become DC for then Los Angeles Chargers, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 21, 2017
Bradley’s name had been linked to the Chargers in recent weeks but several media outlets, including Niners Wire, reported that the San Francisco 49ers were making a strong push for Bradley.
In the end, this is a great move for Anthony Lynn as he builds his new staff.
Bradley struggled in Jacksonville, where he went 14-48 in four seasons with the team before being relieved of his duties toward the end of the 2016 season. However, prior to that, Bradley was one of the game’s best defensive coordinators while with the Seattle Seahawks, where he served from 2009-2012. He was partially responsible for shaping the defense in Seattle that eventually went on to dominate the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, though he was in Jacksonville by that time.
In Los Angeles, Bradley will replace John Pagano, who had been the team’s defensive coordinator since 2012 and was on the staff dating all the way back to 2002.
The Chargers were actually much better on the defensive side of the ball in 2016 than they were in 2015. Key free-agent signings Casey Hayward and Brandon Mebane were a key reason for that. Hayward led the league with seven interceptions while Mebane helped the team rank No. 10 in rushing defense before getting hurt.
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Still, Lynn wanted to go in a different direction, as the entire organization is doing that.
In Los Angeles, Bradley will get a secondary that features Hayward and Jason Verrett and could already have visions of modeling it after the Legion of Boom that he had in Seattle, should the team be able to find a dynamic young safety.
He will also get last year’s rookie sensation Joey Bosa, and he could turn him into the game’s most feared pass-rusher.
The tools are in place for Bradley to succeed, and his hiring is arguably the best move that San Diego has made this offseason.