Scott Pioli believes Gus Bradley is under a lot of pressure in first year with Colts
New defensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts, Gus Bradley, will be under a lot of pressure to deliver in his first season with the team.
One of the many changes the Indianapolis Colts made this offseason was hiring a new defensive coordinator. Indy didn’t have much of a choice after Matt Eberflus accepted the head coaching job for the Chicago Bears. Eberflus’ departure led the Colts to the experienced Gus Bradley.
Bradley is now the defensive coordinator in Indianapolis and had the freedom to build his entire defensive staff. The new group of coaches have the privilege of taking over an immensely talented defense that has performed well in recent years. However, that also leads to some high expectations.
Scott Pioli, a former NFL executive and current analyst for NFL Network, recently made the case that Gus Bradley will enter the 2022 season with a lot of pressure. Pioli argued, “Last year, the Colts had a top 10 defense in the NFL in terms of points allowed, so the pressure is going to be on Gus Bradley this year to make sure their defense remains in that top tier in the NFL.”
Pioli goes on to say that whether or not Bradley can do that will be “critical” for Indianapolis because the offense is going to be better with Matt Ryan. The defense just has to maintain its level from last season— or get better.
Colts’ defense can’t afford to regress under Gus Bradley
Of the many moves Indy has made this offseason, the Bradley hire may be one of the most scrutinized. Some have argued that Bradley’s system is dependent on a star safety, something the Colts currently don’t have, and others have claimed that Bradley is just a bad fit and will make Indy a predictable defense.
While those claims are debatable, Pioli’s point isn’t. Indianapolis doesn’t have the luxury to withstand a defensive regression. In fact, the expectation for Bradley is to lead a more improved defense. While the Colts had a solid unit last year, they had noticeable weaknesses that hurt them.
Chris Ballard and the front office did their part to address those weaknesses by bringing in Yannick Ngakoue, Stephon Gilmore, and many other depth pieces. Gus Bradley has been given a loaded defense with multiple Pro Bowl-caliber players at every level.
Having that much talent already creates pressure to deliver, but since Indy has been good defensively in the last few years, that provides another layer of pressure for Gus Bradley to step in and keep the ball rolling. Hopefully, he can meet expectations.