A week ago, the Chicago Bears hired Matt Eberflus to be the Defensive Coordinator, and we found out that he was taking our entire defensive coaching staff with him. People started to ask: Why was our entire staff (minus Brian Baker whose contract expired) leaving such a talented defensive unit? Will the next candidate come from the Lovie Smith School of Defense? If we steer away from that coaching philosophy, what will the Colts change to? Well, to answer this question, I am going to have to address some of the ideas that our fans have about Matt Eberflus and his defense. Most fans think Matt Eberflus primarily ran Tampa 2 and “soft zones.” They did… in his early days. What the Colts began to run more towards the end of the year was a lot of Cover 1 and Cover 3 with many match zone concepts. His defense blitzed at a league-low rate which meant they had to disguise many coverages on the back-end and disguise pressures on the defensive front, lots of simulated pressures, etc. However, his defense did struggle to get home with 4, and when they blitzed, that did not work a lot either. That is why this next candidate I am about to mention would make a ton of sense to hire as the new Defensive Coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts.
Who is Gus Bradley? Gus Bradley has been around the NFL for almost 15 years now, and he has been a Head Coach, Defensive Coordinator, and Linebackers Coach. In addition, Gus Bradley was recently Defensive Coordinator for the Las Vegas Raiders. According to our own Rashaad McGinnis, Gus Bradley is believed to be the frontrunner for the Colts Defensive Coordinator Position.
— Rashaad Mcginnis (@KingOfColts) February 4, 2022
What would the Colts get from Gus Bradley? Gus Bradley would likely use a 4-3 defensive front like we are used to seeing in Indianapolis but with a new twist. You would likely see a lot of Cover 1 and Cover 3 Match concepts, similar to what Kris Richard would bring. Gus Bradley was the original Defensive Coordinator of Seattle’s famous “Legion of Boom” defense. This defense was known for forcing turnovers and their elite secondary play. Recently, Gus Bradley led a defense with the Raiders that had a great pass rush and did not blitz a lot. A Gus Bradley-led defense would be simple and allow players to play fast. It would be a change from what we are used to under Matt Eberflus. With Gus Bradley’s pedigree and experience, he should have no problem fielding a good staff, too, so that we can expect better from the Colts going forward.
Why should the Colts hire Gus Bradley? I think the Colts should hire Gus Bradley for a variety of reasons. First, he has a lot of experience in the defensive coordinator position, and we know that he can run an excellent defense, even dating back to his time in Seattle, where he fielded some of the best defenses in the NFL. Secondly, he would provide the Colts with a breath of fresh air and new ideas compared to what was run under Matt Eberflus. His defense would still force turnovers and be opportunistic, but hopefully, they would be good at rushing the passer as we saw in Las Vegas last year from Coach Gus Bradley. I would be pleased with the hiring of Gus Bradley; he would represent a change in philosophy while also giving us a guy who is more than capable of running a good defense system and developing talent.