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Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Gus Bradley

Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Gus Bradley

Even though we have yet to hear that he has interviewed for the job, the buzz among NFL insider types is that former Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley is the favorite to become the Redskins’ next defensive coordinator. Let’s take a look at Bradley’s resume to see what the Redskins might be getting if he does come aboard.

Before becoming a coordinator: Bradley played safety at North Dakota State and became a graduate assistant there. He was a defensive coordinator there and at Fort Lewis College and after 16 years of college coaching he made the jump to the NFL when Jon Gruden hired him as the Buccaneers’ linebackers coach in 2006. Jay Gruden was an offensive assistant on that coaching staff and Bruce Allen was the general manager. His reputation grew quickly and in 2009 he was hired to be the Seahawks defensive coordinator. Scot McCloughan came to Seattle as a personnel executive a year later.

Note: If you want more complete stats on Bradley’s defenses check out his page on Pro Football Reference. DVOA stats via Football Outsiders. A negative DVOA percentage is better than a positive number. Zero is average.

For players, * designates Pro Bowl selection, + designates first-team All-Pro

2009 Seahawks (5-11)

Rankings: Yards 5,703 (24th), points 390 (25th), takeaways 23 (24th), 3rd down 39.0% (19th), DVOA 12.0% (29th)
Notable players: CB Marcus Trufant

The core of players that had helped the Seahawks to the Super Bowl following the 2005 season was aging or gone. While the performance of the defense was not good, it actually was improved slightly from the previous season when it ranked 30th in yards allowed.

2010 Seahawks (7-9)

Rankings: Yards 5,897 (27th), points 407 (25th), takeaways 22 (25th), 3rd down 39.5% (24th), DVOA 12.0% (29th)
Notable players: CB Trufant, S Earl Thomas, S Kam Chancellor

The team improved somewhat, winning the NFC West at 7-9 and beating the Saints in a playoff game. But the defense basically spun its wheels; that’s not a typo, they did finish with the exact same DVOA percentage and ranking in 2010 as they did in 2009. They did add a couple of future key pieces in Thomas, who had five interceptions, and Chancellor, who played 16 games but had no starts.

2011 Seahawks (7-9)

Rankings: Yards 5,315 (9th), points 315 (7th), takeaways 31 (5th), 3rd down 34.8% (9th), DVOA -7.1% (10th)
Notable players: S Chancellor*, S Thomas*, CB Brandon Browner*, CB Richard Sherman

It’s amazing how the addition of some talented players can suddenly transform a defense from near the bottom of the heap one season to a top-10 unit the next. Sherman was a rookie, still learning while the safeties were hitting their stride.

2012 Seahawks (11-5)

Rankings: Yards 4,899 (4th), points 245 (1st), takeaways 31 (7th), 3rd down 38.4% (17th), DVOA -14.5% (2nd)
Notable players: CB Sherman+, S Thomas*+, S Chancellor, DE Clemons

They went from good to elite as the Legion of Boom was formed and the Seahawks made the playoffs and won in Washington before losing to the top-seeded Atlanta.

2013 Jaguars (4-12)

Rankings: Yards 6,070 (31st), points 449 (28th), takeaways 21 (21st), 3rd down 42.4% (27th), DVOA 10.9% (28th)
Notable players: MLB Paul Posluszny*

He was the hot commodity as the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator and the Jaguars brought him in as the head coach. Bradley did hire a defensive coordinator in Bob Babich but he did have plenty of influence on the defense. It wasn’t very good although it did improve marginally from 2012.

2014 Jaguars (3-13)

Rankings: Yards 5,932 (26th), points 412 (26th), takeaways 20 (24th), 3rd down 42.8% (23rd), DVOA 1.5% (20th)
Notable players: LB Posluszny, DE Chris Clemons

This unit did improve slightly in terms of the standard stats and significantly in the DVOA metric. What set the team back on both sides of the ball was Bradley’s decision (possibly influenced by upper management) to force rookie QB Blake Bortles into the lineup after three games.

2015 Jaguars (5-11)

Rankings: Yards 6,000 (24th), points 448 (31st), takeaways 18 (27th), 3rd down 46.3% (31st), DVOA 9.7% (26th)
Notable players: LB Posluszny

The defense was supposed to get a boost when the team drafted edge rusher Dante Fowler with the third overall pick. But Fowler suffered a torn ACL the very first time he took the field in non-contact offseason workouts and he was out for the season. The defense continued to struggle although it should be noted that the points allowed total is inflated by the four pick sixes that Bortles threw and three Jaguars fumbles that were returned for touchdowns.

2016 Jaguars (3-13)

Rankings: Yards 5,147 (6th), points 400 (25th), takeaways 13 (30th), 3rd down 37.1% (8th), -3.1% (13th)
Notable players: LB Posluszny, DE Dante Fowler, DT Malik Jackson

The defense added some talent, signing Jackson from the Broncos as a free agent and by getting Fowler on the field for 16 games. They took some steps forward in defense, particularly in yards, third-down conversions, and DVOA. But Bradley was the head coach and the offense continued to struggle. After 14 games Bradley was fired with an overall record of 14-48.

RELATED: Redskins announce interview of first DC candidate

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Fantasy football: Ranking the top eight rookie quarterbacks in 2017

Fantasy football: Ranking the top eight rookie quarterbacks in 2017

Rookie camps are in the books as teams now move to organized team activities. Does that mean it's too early for fantasy football rankings? 

Probably, but seeing as the rookies are new to the scene, we might as well start projecting where and how they fit. 

CLICK HERE FOR CSN'S 2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL ROOKIE QB RANKINGS

Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott, Sterling Shepard and Michael Thomas were among the rookies who produced and then some in 2016.

Based on the early rounds of the 2017 NFL draft, there’s hope for even more first-year standouts.  

Starting with the Bears selecting quarterback Mitch Trubisky second overall, 19 skill players were drafted in the first and second round.

That includes fellow first-round quarterback selections Pat Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. Several sleeper candidates followed. 

Here’s my look at the Elite Eight quarterbacks with the 2017 fantasy football season -- and beyond -- in mind.

CLICK HERE FOR CSN'S 2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL ROOKIE QB RANKINGS

2017 Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings:

Running Backs - No. 1, Leonard Fournette, Jaguars

* Wide receivers - No. 1, Corey Davis, Titans

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Redskins 2017 OTAs to-do list: It's time to find a nose tackle

Redskins 2017 OTAs to-do list: It's time to find a nose tackle

Free agency is done. The draft is history. Rookie minicamp is in the rearview and the 90-man offseason roster has been filled out. Now comes the difficult part for Jay Gruden and his staff: putting it all together. With OTAs set to begin on Tuesday, Redskins Insiders JP Finlay and Rich Tandler will examine top priorities on Gruden’s to-do list as he prepares the team for training camp in Richmond later this summer.

Up today …

Nose tackle

Finlay: There's a lot to do on the Redskins defensive line, and it starts in the middle. Expect free agent addition Stacy McGee to have a big opportunity to take over the nose tackle job. McGee ranked as a +5.5 run defender last season as rated by Pro Football Focus, and at 6-foot-3 and 308 lbs., he has the size to man the middle. McGee has plenty of talent, health has been his hiccup. He has only played all 16 games in one of his four seasons, and in 2016, he played only nine games.

Beyond McGee, the Redskins have some lottery tickets. Practice squad players A.J. Francis and Joey Mbu both have the size to play nose, but neither have the experience. Could Francis or Mbu emerge for significant snaps with the Washington defense? Sure, but it would be unexpected. 

A bigger lottery ticket remains. Phil Taylor, a former first-round pick in 2012, has shown serious talent at the nose tackle position. At 6-foot-3 and 337 lbs., Taylor certainly has the size for the spot. At the same time, Taylor hasn't played an NFL game since 2014, losing both 2015 and 2016 to injury. Counting on Taylor would be short-sighted, but if he can remain healthy, there could be big value.

According to Jay Gruden, the most important piece of the nose tackle puzzle will come from new defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. Gruden said he expects Tomsula to "make" a nose tackle and improve the Redskins D-line. It's a tall order, but Tomsula has an impressive track record working in the trenches. 

Tandler: The organization’s refusal to get a legitimate nose tackle either in free agency or in the draft will lead to them again spend the spring and summer trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

That’s what they did last year with Ziggy Hood. He took a lot of snaps at nose tackle and he simply wasn’t a fit for the job. It wasn’t his fault that the Redskins allowed a league-worst 5.0 yards per rushing attempt on first down; he’s an end and he was much more effective there.

Matt Ioannidis, a 2016 fifth-round pick, also took some snaps at nose, with similar results. At 6-3, 308, he just doesn’t have the size to be effective.

The worst part of it here is that they really can’t get too far in identifying the 2017 nose tackle. In the spring with no pads and no contact allowed they really can’t do much besides work on technique and learn assignments. Tomsula’s effort to “make” a nose tackle won’t really get going until they get to Richmond in late August.

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