The Jacksonville Jaguars have tabbed Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley to be their next head coach and the two sides are currently working on a contract, reports Jay Glazer of FOXSports.com.
The Jaguars have confirmed the hire.
"It was just a matter of time before Gus Bradley became a head coach in the NFL and the Jacksonville Jaguars are extremely fortunate that Gus will be on our sidelines for many years to come,” Jaguars general manager David Caldwell said. "Gus more than met every criteria we insisted on from our new head coach, and his intangibles and leadership abilities are exceptional. Gus is who the Jaguars need now and in the future.”
Bradley, 46, has spent the last four seasons as the Seahawks' defensive coordinator. First hired by Jim Mora in 2009, the Seahawks ranked 24th in his first season, but remained in that post when the organization hired Pete Carroll in 2010. Like Carroll, Bradley was mentored by Monte Kiffin, who gave Bradley his first NFL job as a defensive quality control coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2006. Bradley would coach the Buccaneers linebackers in 2007 and 2008 before joining the Seahawks the following year.
Over the last two seasons, Bradley has overseen one of the NFL's most physical and top-performing defenses. In 2011, the Seahawks ranked ninth in total defense and ranked fourth in the league with 22 interceptions as the 75 percent of the starting secondary - cornerback Brandon Browner, safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor - represented the NFC in the Pro Bowl. In 2012, the Seahawks ranked fourth in total defense and had the league's No. 1-ranked scoring defense, allowing just 15.3 points per game. Thomas is making a return trip to the Pro Bowl and was named first-team All-Pro, while Richard Sherman, a 2011 fifth-round pick, is now widely-regarded as the league's top cornerback and was also named first-team All-Pro after being snubbed for the Pro Bowl.
Bradley's success as a coordinator made him a candidate for several head coaching opportunities this offseason. The San Diego Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles had interest in Bradley, who met with the Eagles' search committee in Atlanta last Saturday. Bradley had a second interview in Philadelphia and was believed to be the choice, but was allowed to fly to Jacksonville to interview with the Jaguars as the Eagles finalized a deal with Oregon head coach Chip Kelly.
Bradley's hiring should help a Jaguars team that ranked 30th in total defense and was tied for 29th in scoring defense, allowing nearly 28 points per game last season. One area Bradley will need to address is the cornerback position as Rashean Mathis and Derek Cox are both scheduled to be unrestricted free agents in March.
Other candidates for the Jaguars' job included current defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. The presumptive favorite for the position, San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman, was not able to interview as the 49ers remain alive in the playoffs. Roman and Caldwell were teammates at John Carroll University in the early 1990s.