Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
In case you missed Gus Bradley's press conference on Saturday at the 2013 NFL combine, we have the transcript. Bradley talks a little about the offensive system, Blaine Gabbert, and the LEO position on his defense.
Are you a fullback team?
"Yeah, I think we'll be multiple and obviously incorporate some of that into our game. With (offensive coordinator) Jedd (Fisch), we've had some conversations leading into that."
What do you want to see when defensive ends are asked to do outside linebacker drills?
"Anybody that knows our scheme that we've incorporated, we like those rush-type people on the end. We call them 'Leo's.' We had some success in Seattle with them - with Chris Clemons, with Bruce Irvin so we'll take a hard look at the outside linebacker types in the draft. We can see them work out with the linebackers and defensive line and we'll payparticularly close attention to that."
Pass rush has been issue for Jaguars for a long time.
"We come into it with our system and evaluate the players we have in Jacksonville. What we did in Seattle is say, 'OK, these are the types of players we have; let's incorporate a system that best utilizes their talents.' We've brought that same approach to Jacksonville. We have some good players and some unique talents. We're going to incorporate them but we also have a philosophy that we'll eventually get to and that's getting those ends on the perimeter that can rush, not only on first and second down but third down as well."
Teams going in direction of being 4-3 defense with 3-4 wrinkles?
"You see a lot of teams that might be 3-4 but on third down, they show some 4-3 principles. On first and second down, we'll have some 4-3 and 3-4 principles and in the past, what we've seen in the run game, some offenses might say, 'Here's our run game attack for a 4-3 team and here's our run game attack for a 3-4 team.' When they see us do both, the run game shrinks down a little bit and the philosophy behind it defensively is it pears it down and easier for us and the style of runs we'll see. ... You'd like to rush out of both, yes."
How different is attending the Combine as a head coach compared to coordinator?
"It's great. The other day, it was the first time I saw the punters and kickers do heights and weights. I was sitting there kind of shaking my head thinking, 'I've never done this before.' But it's been a great opportunity. Every day I've been learning, the football side, the Combine side and all the coaches in the NFL and making contacts and sharing conversations. It's been a tremendous learning experience for me but a great experience."
Preparing approach for Combine?
"We've had a lot of meetings, Dave Caldwell and I. One of the most important things is to develop a relationship with the GM. We spend a lot of time watching tape together and talking through philosophy and what we're looking for in our scheme both offensive and defensively. Now we're coming to the Combine and checking it out and it gives us an opportunity to watch players, whether they're running or doing the weights, have some conversation about the style of play we're looking for."
What are the differences in the read option offense in Seattle compared to San Francisco and Washington?
"A lot of my time was spent obviously on the defensive side during the season. In my viewpoint, it seemed like with Russell (Wilson), we started off a little conservative, making sure he was put in a position to be successful. The Green Bay game was a low-scoring game in Seattle, the early games were like that. But after the Chicago game, I think the philosophy turned and they turned it loose for him and that's when more of the option run game came into effect. It was really trying to utilize his athleticism and you are seeing that throughout the league with RG3, Kaepernick and Russell and we're probably going to see that more style of run. What puts stress on a defense is even if a quarterback can get 40, 50 yards rushing and it can be like Aaron Rodgers - it doesn't have to be the read option, it can be with scrambling ability. It really puts a lot of stress on the defense and forces you to be more accountable with all your assignments."
Most important part in defending it?
"For us, it started off with having really good coverage corners, guys who can play press and obviously at the defensive end spot, guys who can run. That's so important in our philosophy - you need a defense built around speed. The corners that press, it allows you to bring an extra player into the box to account for all the different option aspects and that's critical."
How much zone blocking will Jaguars offensive line do this year?
"You'll definitely see some of those concepts but we'll be multiple. You'll see some gap schemes, some zone schemes. Again, it's to best utilize the personnel up front."
Gabbert's status in open competition?
"Not only at quarterback but throughout the whole team. I think our players will understand that. I think there will be a sense of discomfort with our players because we'll be bringing in a lot of competition and it doesn't matter what position. Obviously we feel good about some of the skill sets we have on the team but the only way we'll truly get better is through competition and we're going to bring that in."
Gabbert comfortable being in an open camp competition to start?
"I think he'll respond very well. It's hard because the only conversations we've had have been really general right now. We've tried to form our own opinion of Blaine by watching tape and until we get a chance to watch him on the practice field, we're going to be excited about that. Thus far, our conversations at a personal level have been tremendous."
Ideal size for hybrid OLB/DE position in scheme?
"Do I have to say it here? I think you can look at the past. It needs to be somebody who has good speed. A guy like Chris Clemons. Not to talk about another team's personnel but that type of individual who is maybe 6-3, 250 pounds and can run a 4.5, 4.6. Some teams may consider that a linebacker-type. We'll try and take a look at them and say, 'Hey, can he play that Leo end spot?'"
Influence of Monte Kiffin on Gus' career?
"He's had a tremendous impact on me. It was my first opportunity in the NFL and just to see how he treated players and his conviction to his scheme. The stereotype behind us in Seattle because I was under Monte was that we were a Tampa Two team. It was just the opposite. We might have played 25 snaps of Tampa Two in Seattle. We were more of a single safety, middle man, three deep team and that allows us to have the 4-3 and 3-4 principles. But he's had a tremendous impact on me as far as how important fundamentals are, getting the ball, tackling principles, leverage principles, those types of concepts have been with me since the day I met him."
What have you taken from working with Pete Carroll for three years?
"Pete is a tremendous coach, both offensively and defensively and special teams. He had tremendous impact offensively in the meetings, talking to them about what gave defenses problems. He was in our defensive meetings and special teams meetings. Every day, he was the same person and he had great vision and great conviction. I think I've always had a vision if I was in this opportunity and what it would be, but I have even a stronger conviction now that I'm with Pete. He's also someone that has had a great impact on me."
What he looks for from weak-side linebacker spot?
"We're seeing a lot of zone teams so that Leo spot and our OLB on the perimeter need to be guys who can set the edges. Zone teams are trying to stretch the perimeter and create vertical seams so it's important that those two edge guys can really set the edge as well as give you some rush."
Do you look at the AFC South teams and start thinking about a plan for them?
"Without a doubt, you look at your division because that's first and foremost but we have tried not to get into too much of that. We're really concentrating on what we need to do. It's probably an overused cliché - we do what we do, we're worried about us - but we're really trying to emphasize that. Our whole perspective is to get better. Practice is everything to our organization, competition is vital."
Thoughts on the staying power of the read option?
"It's probably similar to the Wildcat in some ways. It made a lot of defensive coordinators nervous and how much you were going to see of it. I know in the off-season, we were going to put in extended periods of time into looking at what we need to do to slow that down a little bit. It puts some strain. Is it here to stay? One of the things, in Seattle, they did a good job of, Russell was very sharp as far as executing - he would run out of bounds, he would slide, he would do things to keep him out of harm's way. That's the big thing with quarterbacks. - if they're going to keep the ball and run on the perimeter, they're really opening themselves up to some hits and injuries. Franchise quarterbacks are so difficult to find, you really need to protect them. Most teams will have a conscious about that."
Looking ahead to working with players in the off-season?
"All this stuff right now is great but I can't wait until April when we get our players in house to communicate the vision, the language we want to use in our building and how we coach as a coaching staff. I feel extremely good about the coaching staff we've put together and I'm excited about the opportunity to see them on the field coaching these guys. I think our players are really going to feel it. We believe in our guys. We know there are some areas we need to get stronger and we'll take care of that through free agency, the draft and competition. The overall sense I'm feeling from the short conversations I've had with players is true excitement."
How much will your energy will help players get excited?
"I don't know if I can control that. I can just control myself and I'm ecstatic. I can't wait. Our coaching staff has that same type of personality and energy. I know we all have a vision. I'll have tremendous belief in our players. This is a partnership we're working to build - it's the players, the coaches, and the organization. I can't tell you excited I am about getting this thing going."