There Is Some High Praise for Gus Bradley around the NFL

There Is Some High Praise for Gus Bradley around the NFL





There are endorsements, and then there are glowing
endorsements. And then there is what Gus Bradley’s peers have been saying about

Bradley arrived in Philadelphia this afternoon for a second
interview for the Eagles’ head coaching vacancy, and the buzz is he could be
offered the job today. While most fans seem to be enthusiastic about the
possible selection, many coaches around the league believe emphatically that
this is the right man for the job.

We know Gus can coach defense, as evidenced by what he has
done over four seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. 2012 was his best effort yet
coordinating their defense, which finished fourth in the NFL in yards, and number
one in points allowed.

That’s great and all, but it doesn’t necessarily make him a
great head coach. If those numbers don’t do it for you, maybe the words of Pete
Carroll and Monte Kiffin will do it for you.

Here’s Carroll in an story about Bradley’s

"He's got a brilliant football
mind," Seahawks coach Peter Carroll said this week. "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."

Okay, Carroll might be a little biased because Bradley works
for him. He has to say to nice things about the guy as long as he intends to
have him back if this head coach thing doesn’t work out – although it seems
unlikely Bradley wouldn’t get hired by somebody.

Kiffin of course is the legendary mastermind behind the
Tampa Cover 2 scheme, and as the recently hired defensive coordinator in
Dallas, is under no such obligation to speak highly of Bradley. Yet he first
recommended Bradley to then-Seattle chief Jim Mora, describing him as a “once-in-a-lifetime
coach.” What does he think, Phil Sheridan?

"He was born to be a head
coach," he said. "I'll tell you that right now. I promise you. He
will be a head coach in the NFL and a good one.

"He's great with players. They
really respond to him. They work hard for him. He's a great people person. The
fans will love him. The players will love him. Everybody in the building will
love him.

"He's tough, but he knows when
to pull off. He knows when to be tough and when not to be tough."

Bradley got his start in the NFL as quality control and then
a linebackers coach under Kiffin and Jon Gruden at Tampa Bay, so I guess it’s
natural he would only have good things to say, too. Still, this is nothing like
the tepid-by-comparison endorsement Peyton Manning gave Denver offensive
coordinator Mike McCoy a few weeks back, saying he’s paid his dues and all
sorts of other comments that played it safe.

According to those
who have worked with him closest, Bradley is a hell of a coach. Now what’s the
latest on the Eagles hiring him?

We don’t know, but Kiffin added this in Sheridan’s story
from last week:

"I've told people I've talked
to in the last week or so, if you interview him, there's a good chance you'll
hire him. He'll walk in [to the interview] and take over the room."

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Flyers Notes: Wayne Simmonds defends hit on Andrei Markov

Flyers Notes: Wayne Simmonds defends hit on Andrei Markov

MONTREAL — Wayne Simmonds didn’t feel as though he did anything wrong. Or that he even touched Andrei Markov.
Thing is, however, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety may have a different view of it come Tuesday morning.
Early during first-period play Monday night, the Flyers' winger came out of the penalty box after serving a minor for holding and cross-checked Markov from behind.
The Canadiens' defenseman went face-first into the boards and fell to the ice, where he appeared to try and sell a penalty. Nothing came of it, but the hit will likely be reviewed anyway.
“I barely touched him,” Simmonds. “When you got a bunch of guys diving all over the place, what are you going to do? Stand on your feet.”

There were a number of tough hits from both sides in the Flyers' 3-1 loss to the Canadiens (see game recap). It was evenly played and the Flyers deserved a point.
“We played a solid game,” Simmonds said. “Obviously, we lost and it’s not what we wanted but we have four more games this week.
“We go home and we've got to be focused on the positive things that we did and carry it over the rest of the week.”
Gudas eligible
Radko Gudas has yet to play a real game this season.
The Flyers' bruising defenseman has been serving a six-game suspension for a careless hit in Boston that closed out exhibition play earlier this month.
Tuesday night, the Flyers will play the back end of a back-to-back against Buffalo at the Wells Fargo Center and Gudas likely will return to the lineup now that his suspension has ended.
“It seems like forever,” Gudas said. “I could use more games behind me. I think I’m ready with my conditioning and skill level, so I can’t wait to get back in there.”
The decision as to who comes out will be difficult. A good guess right now would be Nick Schultz.
“We've got the information at this point,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. “It will be a tough decision, no question, if we are healthy.”
At some point — Nov. 5 — Michael Del Zotto will be eligible to come off LTIR. That means another veteran blueliner would become available and an even bigger problem will arise because Del Zotto carries a $3.875 million cap hit.
Barring injury or trade, when Del Zotto returns, the Flyers will have to move two players off their roster entirely just to be cap compliant.
For now, following Monday’s loss, Hakstol has to decide whether to stick with his current defense or put Gudas back in. Given the Flyers have missed Gudas’ physical presence — teams have taken liberties on smallish rookie Travis Konecny — it makes sense to reinsert Gudas.
“Obviously, teams are going to take advantage of smaller guys,” Gudas said. “I would love to be out there if anything happened. All the guys here are responsible and I think they did a pretty good job defending that. It’s not happening a lot.”
No, but it’s happened enough that the Flyers should take note of it.
Hakstol said his decision does not have to come until Tuesday.
“That’s not to say we haven’t looked at things and thought about the [issue], but that decision comes after tonight,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gudas finally has come to the conclusion that the NHL is watching his every hit.
“They’re looking at me since Day 1 I got here,” he said. “The guys made up their minds. I have to make sure I don’t give them an opportunity to call again.”
Maybe he should change his ringtone to say, “Player Safety calling.”

Loose pucks
Simmonds and Matt Read saw their four-game goal-scoring streaks come to an end. ... The Flyers were credited with 39 hits, the most they’ve had since 41 in a home game against Montreal on Jan. 5, 2016. Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and Schultz were credited with five apiece. ... Ice-time leaders: Ivan Provorov (21:31), Shayne Gostisbehere (21:27) and Brandon Manning (20:36). … Boyd Gordon was 10 for 12 (83 percent) on faceoffs. ... Jakub Voracek had five shots, giving him 21 overall, which ties him for 10th in the league. His goal gave him eight points and ties him with five other players for fourth in the NHL.

RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai 'calms the storm,' rebounds in 2nd start

RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai 'calms the storm,' rebounds in 2nd start

Halapoulivaati Vaitai wasn’t Lane Johnson on Sunday against the Vikings.

But he didn’t look like Halapoulivaati Vaitai either ... at least the version that was a revolving door last week in Washington.

In his NFL debut last week, Big V gave up two sacks, a quarterback hit and a hurry. Against the Vikings, he gave up just one QB hurry.

What led to the change?

“I just think learning from the week before, quite honestly,” head coach Doug Pederson said on Monday. “He really, again, detailed his work during the week. He practiced extremely well. He used his hands better.

“He was able to calm the storm, so to speak, and played a fine football game. He played the type that we saw [in] him and he’s capable of doing. Now it’s something that he can continue to build on.”

While it seemed like Pederson curtailed his offense some to counteract what could be a shaky offensive line, he said it was more about utilizing his team’s strengths. Still, Carson Wentz attempted just four passes that traveled over 20 yards on Sunday and didn’t complete a pass that went more than nine yards in the air.

Despite Vaitai’s scary performance in his debut, Pederson decided to stick to his plan and leave him at right tackle instead of shuffling the offensive line by moving Allen Barbre to tackle and replacing him with Stefen Wisniewski.

The jury is still out on the decision, but the Eagles probably have more confidence in their offensive line for the next eight games of Johnson’s suspension than they did before playing the Vikings.

The Eagles' O-line didn’t give up a sack to the Vikings after giving up five the previous week.

“I thought our guys [Sunday] did a great job of no sacks against a team that had 19 coming in,” Pederson said. “Protected [Wentz], kept him clean and it just gives him confidence now and gives our whole unit confidence moving forward and coming away.”