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Colts Hire Gus Bradley As Defensive Coordinator

Bradley brings nine years of experience as an NFL defensive coordinator to Frank Reich's coaching staff. 

Gus Bradley has coached and coordinated some of the NFL's best defenses over his decade and a half in the league. He'll now have an opportunity to make his mark on the Colts' defense.

The Colts hired Bradley as defensive coordinator Monday, replacing Matt Eberflus, who last month was hired as the Chicago Bears' head coach.

Bradley brings nine years of defensive coordinator experience and four years of head coaching experience to Reich's staff. He spent 2021 as the Las Vegas Raiders' defensive coordinator and saw two of his players – linebacker Denzel Perryman and defensive end Maxx Crosby – reach the Pro Bowl. Crosby led the NFL with 108 pressures, while fellow defensive end Yannick Ngakoue registered 10 sacks. Perryman totaled a career high 154 tackles, sixth-most in the NFL in 2021.

Prior to his stop in Las Vegas, Bradley spent four years as the Los Angeles Chargers' defensive coordinator.

In 2017, Bradley's first year with the Chargers, Los Angeles allowed 17 points per game – about 10 points lower than their 2016 average and good for third in the NFL. The Chargers didn't allow a wide receiver to reach 100 yards in a game until the final week of the season and were the best team in the NFL at preventing opponents from scoring touchdowns in drives that reached the red zone.

The Chargers had another fantastic season in 2018 on defense, allowing just 20.6 points per game (8th) while seeing two defensive backs – safety Derwin James and cornerback Desmond King – earn first-team AP All-Pro honors.

In Bradley's four seasons as the Chargers' defensive coordinator, he coached five Pro Bowl players: Safeties James (2018) and Phillips (2018, who earned the nod as a special teams player but started seven games at safety), defensive end Melvin Ingram (2017, 2018, 2019), defensive end Joey Bosa (2017, 2019, 2020) and cornerback Casey Hayward (2017).

Bosa and Ingram combined for 61.5 sacks in their four years with Bradley. James, in 2018, became the first safety in Chargers history to top 100 tackles in a season.

The Chargers ranked in the top 10 in pass defense in each of Bradley's four seasons in Los Angeles; his defenses ranked in the top 10 in total defense every year from 2018-2020.

Bradley spent four seasons as the Jacksonville Jaguars' head coach from 2013-2016 before joining the Los Angeles Chargers as defensive coordinator in 2017. In 2016, the Jaguars ranked sixth in total defense (321.7 yards/game) and fifth in pass defense (215.3 yards/game), while in 2014, Jacksonville finished sixth in sacks (45) and third in forced fumbles (19).

Bradley was the Seattle Seahawks' defensive coordinator from 2009-2012, helping get the "Legion of Boom" off the ground in the early 2010's. The Seahawks' defense under Bradley ranked in the top 10 in yards, points and takeaways in both 2011 and 2012.

The Seahawks in 2012 set a franchise record for fewest points allowed per game (15.3, No. 1 in the NFL) and yards per game allowed (306.2). Safety Earl Thomas and cornerback Richard Sherman both earned first-team AP All-Pro honors in 2012, while in 2011, Thomas, safety Kam Chancellor and cornerback Brandon Browner all earned Pro Bowl honors.

Bradley began his NFL coaching career as a defensive quality control coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2006 before serving as the Buccaneers' linebackers coach in 2007 and 2008. Bradley, with the Buccaneers, worked with Pro Football Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks, who earned a trip to the Pro Bowl in his final season in the NFL (2008).

Bradley got his coaching start at his alma mater, North Dakota State, in 1990 as a graduate assistant. He served as Fort Lewis' defensive coordinator and linebackers coach from 1992-1995 (including four months as Fort Lewis' head coach, from December 1995-March 1996) before returning to North Dakota State, where he spent the next the next decade as an assistant coach (1996), defensive coordinator (1997-2002, 2005) and assistant head coach/linebackers (2003-2004).

Bradley played collegiately at North Dakota State as a safety and punter from 1984-1988, where he won three Division II championships (1985, 1987, 1988) and earned Academic All-North Central Conference honors four times.

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