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It should come as no surprise that arguably the hottest team in the NFL entering the playoffs is employing more than a few assistant coaches who could figure in the head-coaching interview mix in the very near future.
“(Assistant head coach/offensive line) Tom Cable’s been a head coach and (offensive coordinator) Darrell (Bevell) and (defensive coordinator) Gus (Bradley) — they’ve been in settings that can earn themselves the right to be considered,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said early in the week before Seattle’s wild-card game vs. the Redskins. “I wouldn’t be surprised if those guys were all considered. So we’ll see what happens.”
While Cable, who coached the Raiders for three seasons, would appear to have a leg up from an experience standpoint, team sources believe Bradley is a legitimate “up and comer” who might be a more attractive head-coaching candidate.
“He was the one holdover Carroll kept from the previous staff,” one daily team observer said of the 46-year-old Bradley. "This is Pete’s defense, but the way Bradley has been able to adapt to a different system has been impressive.”
Equally feisty against the run and pass, Bradley’s quick, physical stop unit finished fourth in yards allowed and, more importantly, first in points allowed.
“His players love him,” the observer said of Bradley. “He’s very enthusiastic, very much like the guys he’s coaching. Intense. Fiery.”
Bevell, meanwhile, has been opening eyes around the league with his increasingly innovative play-calling.
“He’s done some very creative stuff,” the observer said. “He’s very low-key and unassuming. He never gets backed into a corner with anything he says. He knows what he’s doing.”