New Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley had more than a few options after he was let go by the Jaguars in December, but the talent level in Los Angeles was especially rich. While Bradley would never admit that's the reason he chose the team over Washington or San Francisco, where he was waiting to see if long-time friend Tom Cable got the job, he did gush over the talent in an interview with the team's official site this week.
"I'm excited to coach everybody, but of course it's exciting to have players like that," Bradley said when asked about the young core of stars, including NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Joey Bosa. "But what really is more so for me is that when you have good players like that, they have the ability to elevate everybody around them. That is what is so exciting. They know a standard, other players will learn that standard, and together we will raise it as a whole."
When asked about Bosa specifically, Bradley had this to say:
"What a great year he had. You talk about a competitor -- there is a lot that goes into being able to come in that early into the NFL and play at the level he played at his first year. I knew when we were scouting Joey Bosa (while with the Jaguars) that this is the player he is with his work ethic. Football is extremely important to him, and he is highly competitive. When you put on the tape and watch it, that is what you see play in and play out. He had a fabulous first year, and now the challenge is we have to add to it."
Of all the openings this offseason, it seems the Chargers were one of the least talked about but most coveted in terms of an ability to win early. New coach Anthony Lynn inherited a solid offensive coordinator in Ken Whisenhunt and secured the best defensive coordinator on the market. The team could theoretically have first or second-round picks at seven of their 11 starting defensive spots next year to go along with an offense that returns Philip Rivers, Melvin Gordon, Antonio Gates, Keenan Allen and Travis Benjamin.
Any attention paid to their offensive line could push them over the hump in a division that seems to be opening back up again.
Should Bradley want to climb the ranks and become a head coach again, there really was no other choice. This was the best scenario.