Gus Bradley, who most recently served four seasons as defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Chargers, enters his first season as defensive coordinator of the Las Vegas Raiders. Bradley brings 15 years of NFL experience to the position including four years as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars (2013-16) and eight years as defensive coordinator, spending four seasons as the architect of the Seattle Seahawks' exceptional defense from 2009-12. He landed his first NFL position as a defensive quality control coach in Tampa Bay in 2006 and also served two seasons as the linebackers coach with the Buccaneers (2007-08).
In four years with the Chargers, Bradley's unit produced four players that were selected for Pro Bowl honors. Included in that group are DEs Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram III, who combined for six Pro Bowl nods. The duo also combined for 61.5 sacks during Bradley's tenure in Los Angeles and both players received Pro Bowl selections in 2017 and 2019.
Last season, Bradley oversaw a defense that ranked in the top-10 in the NFL in total defense (343.4 avg.) and ranked ninth in the league against the pass (223.6 avg.). Bosa garnered his third Pro Bowl selection after totaling 7.5 sacks and rookie LB Kenneth Murray paced the team in tackles with 107, the second-most by a rookie in 2020.
Bradley coordinated a defense in 2019 that finished inside the top-10 for the second time in as many seasons, ranking sixth in total defense and fifth in passing. The 200.3 passing yards per game allowed was the fewest since his first season with the Chargers in 2017 and the second-fewest by a Chargers defense since 2010 (177.8 avg.). Bosa posted three-straight multi-sack games, including back-to-back games with two-plus sacks, to become the first Charger to do so since 2010. Bosa earned a Pro Bowl nod for the second time while Ingram III was selected for the third-straight year.
The defense allowed just one 300-yard passer in 2018, one of just four units to not allow multiple 300-yard passers. The Bolts ranked ninth in the NFL in total defense, rushing defense and passing defense while ranking eighth in scoring defense. Bradley's unit was highlighted by S Derwin James Jr., who became the first Chargers rookie to top 100 tackles en route to garnering first-team All-Pro honors from The Associated Press.
The Chargers saw a huge turnaround on the defensive side of the ball in 2017 as the Bolts ranked third in the league, allowing 17 points per game – the best mark by the team since 1992 and nearly a 10 points per game improvement from 2016. The 9.4 points per game improvement from the previous season is the second-best turnaround in team history. The Chargers also ranked third in the NFL against the pass, were the best in the red zone, posted a plus-12 turnover margin to rank third and were fifth in sacks.
The defensive unit was led by Pro Bowlers Bosa, CB Casey Hayward Jr. and Ingram III. Bosa recorded a career-high 12.5 sacks, which were the most by a Bolts player since 2007. Hayward Jr. anchored a secondary that didn't allow a 100-yard receiver until Week 17 en route to his second-straight Pro Bowl selection. Ingram III equaled his career high in sacks with 10.5 and combined with Bosa for the most sacks (23) by a Chargers duo in the same season since 2006.
Bradley joined the Chargers as defensive coordinator in 2017 after spending the previous four seasons (2013-16) as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
In his first season, the Jaguars posted a 4-4 mark following the Bye Week, with three of the wins on the road. In 2014, Jacksonville showed significant improvement in sacking opposing quarterbacks. The Jaguars raised their sack total from 31 to 45 in his second year (2014), a total that ranked sixth in the NFL. The Jaguars led the NFL with 12 sack-fumbles and ranked third with 19 total forced fumbles. In 2015, Jacksonville's offense produced 44 touchdowns, third in team history, and the team scored 376 points, fifth in team annals. The Jaguars ranked sixth in the NFL in overall defense in 2016, surrendering just 321.7 yards per game, while ranking fifth against the pass (215.2).
In 2009, the Seattle Seahawks hired Bradley as defensive coordinator and he helped mold Seattle's defense into one of the league's best. The Seahawks made postseason appearances following two of Bradley's four seasons (2009-12) in the Pacific Northwest. In 2009, the Seahawks posted two shutouts at home for the first time since 1986. In 2011, Seattle's defense ranked ninth in the NFL for just the sixth top-10 finish in the club's 36-year history and first since 1997. Three Seahawks defenders – S Earl Thomas, S Kam Chancellor and CB Brandon Browner – were selected to the Pro Bowl.
In his final season with the Seahawks in 2012, Seattle set franchise records for fewest points (15.3) and yards per game allowed (306.2), the former of which led the NFL. At the end of the 2012 season, Thomas was voted to his second consecutive Pro Bowl, while CB Richard Sherman earned AP first-team All-Pro honors after leading the team and tying for second in the NFL with eight interceptions.
In 2006, Bradley landed his first NFL job in Tampa Bay under Gruden. He spent one season (2006) as a defensive quality control coach and two (2007-08) as the Buccaneers' linebackers coach. LB Derrick Brooks earned Pro Bowl appearances in each of his two seasons working with Bradley.
Bradley began his coaching career at North Dakota State, spending two seasons (1990-91) as a graduate assistant, followed by a four-year run as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Fort Lewis College (1992-95). For four months (December 1995-March 1996), Bradley also served as the head coach at Fort Lewis.
Bradley returned to North Dakota State in 1996 and spent the next 10 seasons (1996-05) serving in a number of different roles, including defensive coordinator, assistant head coach and linebackers coach.
As NDSU's defensive coordinator in 2005, the Bison led the Great West Football Conference in scoring defense, pass defense, total defense and turnover margin.
PERSONAL: A native of Zumbrota, Minn. ...Played at North Dakota State from 1984-88, lining up at safety and punter...Helped the Bison win NCAA Division II Football Champions in 1985, 1987 and 1988, while garnering Academic All-North Central Conference honors four times...Bradley earned his bachelor's degree in business administration and physical education before earning his master's degree in athletic administration in 1992...Bradley and his wife, Michaela, have four children; Carter, Anna, Eli and Ella.