INDIANAPOLIS — The Colts are hiring Gus Bradley as defensive coordinator, a source confirmed. Bradley replaces Matt Eberflus, who is now the head coach of the Chicago Bears.
Bradley is taking over a defense that’s led by linebacker Darius Leonard and defensive lineman DeForest Buckner. The Colts finished second in the NFL in takeaways last season with 33. They were ninth in the league in points and 16th in yards allowed per game in 2021. Bradley will have to find at least new defensive line, linebackers, defensive backs and assistant defensive backs coaches because those staffers were either not retained or went to Chicago with Eberflus.
Bradley spent last season as defensive coordinator of the Las Vegas Raiders. He helped that unit go from 25th in yards allowed in 2020 to 14th last season.
Prior to the Raiders, Bradley spent four seasons as defensive coordinator of the Chargers. It was in Seattle, though, that Bradley got his reputation as a defensive coordinator. He was the coordinator of the Seahawks (2009-12) when the secondary, led by cornerback Richard Sherman, was known as the Legion of Boom.
Bradley’s success in Seattle helped land him the head-coaching job in Jacksonville, which he held from 2013 to ’16.