Brandon Mebane’s phone has been buzzing ever since word came down that the Los Angeles Chargers plan to hire Gus Bradley as defensive coordinator. It didn’t exactly shock the Bolts’ captain that his teammates keep reaching out as the nose tackle played four seasons under Bradley when he served the same role for the Seattle Seahawks.
The questions are all the same.
What type of coverages are we going to run?
Are we going to stay in a 3-4 or move to 4-3?
What’s he like in meetings?
What type of person is he?
Some of Mebane’s answers are exactly what his teammates expect. Others are not.
“I describe him as the white version of Ice Cube,” he said with a laugh. “He brings* a lot *of energy. If he was a rapper he’d be one of the best rappers because he is a great storyteller. He puts things together very well. I’m definitely excited to be reunited with Gus. I’ve been with a lot of coaches, and I’ll miss Pags (John Pagano) because he is a great coach, but Gus is one of the best.”
As expected, Mebane’s teammates want to know what type of scheme the Chargers will run under their new DC. Truth be told, the nose tackle hasn’t spoken with Bradley since the news broke that he’d join the Bolts, so he is wondering the same thing.
While the Chargers have run a 3-4 defense for nearly a decade, Bradley has mainly operated a 4-3 scheme. Regardless, Mebane believes this current Chargers defense can easily transform to the type of 4-3 defense they ran in Seattle if that is the plan.
“I really don’t know what we are going to run, but he is definitely a 4-3 guy. Before he got to Seattle in Tampa he did a 4-3. And that is what they did in Jacksonville. So I guess we’ll see soon, but in my opinion, with Joey Bosa and Jason Verrett and Casey Hayward, really all the guys, if he wants to run that I think we will do it well. We can transform and play really well in that. For me, it is not too much of a difference. The biggest difference would be for the linebackers, but I think we can do it.”
Mebane flourished under Bradley from 2009-12, posting some of his top statistical seasons while anchoring one of the top defenses in the NFL. For instance, he set a career-high of 56 total tackles in 2011 and 2012. While there is a lot Bradley brings to the table, Mebane mentioned two specific points of emphasis he preaches to his players.
“He’s going to come in, and really focus on all the details and stress turnovers. He is so detail oriented; I mean, man, he is very detail oriented. And he is also big on turnovers. There are a lot of things he (emphasizes), but those are the two biggest ones. I’m just really excited. I’m getting a coordinator I’m really familiar with, and he’s a great coach. I’m excited for our team (next season). We know where we are going to play, and have all that uncertainty behind us. And now to see our coaching staff come together, it’s going to be very exciting to see what’s to come.”