The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in the middle of a series of changes to the coaching staff, have found one solution without even leaving team headquarters.
On Friday, the team named Casey "Gus" Bradley its new linebackers coach. Bradley, who joined the Buccaneers' staff last March excelled in his one season as the team's defensive quality control coach and will now take on an even more important role. Bradley replaces Joe Barry, who left on January 3 to take over the Detroit Lions' defensive coordinator position.
Bradley had 10 years of college coaching experience before making the move to the NFL. He made a quick impression in Tampa.
"I was very impressed with Gus' attention to detail and his innovative approach to coaching," said Gruden.
Bradley inherits a group that has perennially been a position of strength for the franchise. Since 1996, Buccaneer linebackers have earned a total of 14 Pro Bowl berths – nine for Derrick Brooks, four for Hardy Nickerson and one for Shelton Quarles. Brooks, who is a Pro Bowl alternate this year, and Quarles still form the core of the unit. The crew also includes 2006 strongside starter Ryan Nece and young up-and-comer Barrett Ruud, as well as veteran Jamie Winborn and special teams aces Antoine Cash and Wesly Mallard.
The Bucs have filled two newly-opened positions on their staff this week. On Monday, the team named Raheem Morris, a member of Tampa Bay's staff from 2002-05, its new defensive backs coach. Morris replaced Greg Burns, who will not return after spending one year in that post. The Bucs must also find a new defensive line coach, as Jethro Franklin will not return, either.
Bradley, who was a safety and punter at North Dakota State from 1984-88 (and an academic all-conference pick each year), first served as a graduate assistant at his alma mater in 1990-91. He then returned to NDSU in 1996 and spent the next 10 years on the Bison's coaching staff. He was the defensive coordinator from 1997-2002 and again in 2005, and also served as assistant head coach from 2000-05.