The Tampa Bay Buccaneers aren’t wasting time filling their coaching vacancies.
On Friday, the Bucs filled their vacant linebackers coaching job by promoting from within. The Bucs have promoted defensive quality control coach Casey “Gus” Bradley to linebackers coach.
Bradley, who joined the Bucs last season, replaces Joe Barry, who recently was hired by Detroit to serve as the new Lions defensive coordinator.
"I was very impressed with Gus' attention to detail and his innovative approach to coaching," Bucs head coach Jon Gruden said in a statement released by the team.
Before joining the Bucs in 2006, Bradley spent 10 seasons as an assistant coach at North Dakota State. He served six of those years as the team’s assistant head coach. From 1997-2002, Bradley also served as NDSU’s defensive coordinator.
In his final year on the job at NDSU, Bradley wore several hats, serving as the team’s assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.
But that didn’t stop him from succeeding. Under Bradley’s guidance, NDSU’s defense led the Great West Football Conference in scoring defense (13.7 points per game), pass defense (150.3 avg.) and total defense (272.4 avg.) in 2005.
Before embarking on a coaching career, Bradley played collegiately at NDSU for four seasons (1984-88) and played as a free safety and punter.
On Tuesday, Tampa Bay fired defensive backs coach Greg Burns and defensive line coach Jethro Franklin, both of whom were hired during the 2006 season.
Burns was replaced by Raheem Morris, who left Tampa Bay in ’06 for a one-year stint as Kansas State’s defensive coordinator before re-joining the Bucs.
Tampa Bay’s coaching staff is not yet set for 2007. Quarterbacks coach Paul Hackett’s contract is set to expire, and The Birmingham News recently reported that Bucs tight ends/special teams assistant Ron Middleton has been offered the tight ends/special teams coaching job in Alabama by new head coach Nick Saban.
Needless to say, more coaching changes could be on the way before Bucs head coach Jon Gruden and his coaching staff head to Mobile, Ala. to coach the North team at the Senior Bowl later this month.
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