Gus Bradley

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the Philadelphia Eagles are trying their hardest to hire a college coach with no NFL experience, I’m still trumpeting what I think is in the best interest of this organization.

As you may know, I’ve been beating the drum about Mike McCoy and Gus Bradley for a long time now.  However, I’m starting to get a sense that McCoy may end up in Chicago or somewhere other than Philly.

Howard Eskin alluded to the Eagles not being impressed with McCoy after their interview with him.  Not that we can take anything Eskin says as gospel, but I’ve been having these thoughts anyway.

I still like what McCoy has done in his career and it makes sense for him to come to Philly.  But, the interview needs to go well and the interest ultimately has to be a two-way street.  As McCoy himself said, it has to be the right fit or he won’t go anywhere.

Perhaps the interview didn’t go well because McCoy doesn’t want to come to Philly?  Or, maybe he’s really still in the hunt…who knows.  Regardless, I’m getting the feeling he won’t be the guy (which is disappointing).

With that said, and the fact that I’m not interested any college head coaches (i.e., Brian Kelly at the moment), I figured I’d start ramping-up for Gus Bradley.  He’s been my No. 1a choice all along (McCoy was my No. 1).

I’ve already spoken about Gus here and here.  I also just found this recent quote about him from Pete Carroll, as provided by Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com:

“He’s got a tremendous personality, he’s got a great work ethic, he’s got a brilliant football mind,” Carroll said. “He’s got a way of reaching people and touching people and getting the best out of them, coaches and players alike.
“He’s got everything that you’re looking for and we’re fortunate he’s had a great three years with us now, and we’re playing the best football we’ve played. It’s really a great relationship that we’ve had and we’re very lucky to have him.”

I love the “he’s got a brilliant football mind” part!  We’ve already noted that his strong traits are teaching and getting the best out of his players, but having a brilliant football mind speaks volumes for his understanding of the game.

Since I’m on the Gus Bus, I started thinking about who would be ideal for the offensive side of the ball.  If the Eagles were to hire an offensive-minded head coach, we’d need a strong defensive coordinator.  The reverse is true for a defensive-minded head coach.

So, what strong offensive coordinator might be available?

Hue Jackson, that’s who!

Hue Jackson

Marcio Jose Sanchez, Associated Press

You can’t really look at current offensive coordinators and think they’d make a lateral move to Philly.  So, you’d logically have to look at coaches in assistant positions that would get a promotion.

Jackson would be a great candidate.  He has tons of experience at coaching several positions in the offense, including multiple stints as an OC and even one year as a head coach in Oakland.

Right now, he’s actually listed as the Bengals’ assistant special teams and defensive backs coach.  I find that odd since his entire career has been spent on the offensive side of the ball.

Let’s take a quick look at how his offense did in his two years at Oakland (2010 as the OC and 2011 as the HC).  In 2010, Oakland finished 10th in total yards, second in rushing, and sixth in total points.  In 2011, he finished ninth in total yards, seventh in rushing, 11th in passing and 16th in total points.

What’s even more impressive is that he accomplished this with instability at QB (Jason Campbell and Carson Palmer), no-names at WR, and an injury-plagued star RB in Darren McFadden.

The Raiders finished 8-8 both years.

The only red flag I’ll bring up about Jackson is that, when you look at his career, he never stays in one place very long…probably for various reasons.  His longest stint in one place was at USC, where he stayed for four seasons as the OC and QB coach (1997-2000).

Since 2001, Jackson has coached at various offensive positions with six different teams, including being an OC for three teams (Redskins, Falcons, Raiders).

However, I would not let that stop me from hiring the man.  With the Raiders, he was able to get a lot from nothing much and also showed he liked to run the ball…something we Eagles fans will appreciate.

Jackson has the vast experience on the offensive side of the ball that a defensive head coach would need.

There are no ties that I can find between Bradley and Jackson, so it’s a long-shot that this tandem would materialize in Philly, though it certainly sounds good to me.  Furthermore, it’s been rumored that if Bengals DC Mike Zimmer gets a head coaching job, he’ll bring Jackson with him.

With that said, it’s still possible that Zimmer won’t get a HC job and Jackson will at least be available, if he is even on Bradley’s radar.  For now, we can just sit back and only imagine how good of a combination these two could make.

Let Bradley concentrate on restoring our defense and developing the type of team culture you’re seeing in Seattle, and just put the offense in the capable hands of Hue Jackson.

Sounds like a championship waiting to happen!

 


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