Seahawks’ new coordinator up about defense
Renton – In his first NFL job as a defensive coordinator, Gus Bradley has looked the part.
Bradley’s been a ball of energy, bouncing from drill to drill, at one moment stopping a player to correct his stance, and at another encouraging a defensive back after an interception.
For Bradley, the constant motion is all part of establishing how he wants his defense play – with precision, intensity and effort.
“You didn’t see us do a lot this camp,” Bradley said. “We kept it pretty simple. We were just teaching them area-dropping and zone-dropping concepts and things like that. You saw sometimes while being out here where we did it really well, and other times where we need to work at it and the offense kind of got the best of us. But I think overall the players’ attitude – and I know it’s cliché – but it’s great. And whenever you’ve got that going for you, then it’s just going to keep getting better and better.”
Veterans such as linebacker Lofa Tataupu are focused on picking up the new schemes. But more than anything, Tatupu said he’s noticed the change in attitude, with players held more accountable in doing their jobs every play.
“He brings a lot of energy to that practice field, and guys are feeding off of it and getting excited,” Tatupu said. “This is a game we all love to play. He’s making a lot of guys realize we’re blessed.
“You don’t see the same practice you’ve seen before, and if you’ve got any fight in you, you like that. You like the challenge that they present, and they throw something new in front of you every day. I’m enjoying it.”
One point of emphasis during the three-day veteran minicamp has been creating turnovers.
Seattle was 27th in the league in forced turnovers last season (20 overall, nine interceptions, 11 recovered fumbles). The Seahawks were seventh in forced turnovers (34) during their 2007 playoff run.
So far, Bradley’s defense has emphasized keeping the ball in front of them, keying on the quarterback and rallying to the ball.
“And I’m not saying we’re always going to be a team that plays deep to short, but there’s going to be times where we need to,” Bradley said. “And if we get 11 or 10 guys to the ball like that, now we can be physical because there’s not just one guy hitting him, and that’s when the balls come out.”
Coach Jim Mora likes what he’s seen so far from Bradley.
“He coaches with a tremendous amount of enthusiasm,” Mora said. “Gus has a great knowledge of the game and a real passion for it. And it’s really been great to sit in his defensive meetings and see the energy he brings to it.”
Mora on the draft
A little over two weeks before the NFL draft, Mora offered no clue on who Seattle might select with the No. 4 overall pick.
“We haven’t narrowed it down yet,” he said. “We will start our intense draft meetings on Monday. But we’ve got some needs and we’ll have a chance to address them.
“But specifically, I can’t tell you yet. I can’t tell you what direction exactly we’re going to go. We’re always going to look to add quality players to this team. We’re always going to look to add impact players. Sitting at No. 4, we should be able to add an impact player.”
Injuries prevented 11 players from participating minicamp this week. They included offensive linemen Walter Jones
(knee) and Mike Wahle
(shoulder), defensive linemen Patrick Kerney
(shoulder), Cory Redding
(knee) and Brandon Miller
(undisclosed), cornerbacks DeMichael Dizer
(knee) and Kelly Jennings
(shoulder), wide receivers Michael Bumpus
(foot) and Deion Branch
(knee), linebacker D.D. Lewis
(leg) and kicker Brandon Coutu
Unlike previous coach Mike Holmgren
, Mora carried a coaching whistle with him throughout minicamp, holding it in his hand and blowing the play dead after each repitition during drills. “I use a whistle because we define for our players how far they have to pursue, or for offensive linemen how far they cover down on a throw,” he said. “Or a defensive lineman how far they have to move out of the stack. So for me the whistle is an indication of, ‘OK, I’ve seen you all. You’re all doing it the right way, and the play is over.’ ”
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437