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Chargers hire Gus Bradley to become defensive coordinator

He’s back as a defensive coordinator, this time in Los Angeles.

Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Chargers have hired former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley to be the team’s defensive coordinator, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Friday night.

Bradley’s hiring comes one week after the Chargers named Anthony Lynn as their new head coach.

Bradley led the Jaguars from 2013 to Week 15 of the 2016 season before Jacksonville decided to relieve him of his duties after falling to the Houston Texans, 21-20. It was a ninth consecutive loss for the Jaguars, but part of a larger trend — after four seasons, Bradley’s record with the team was 14-48, the worst ever for a head coach with more than 60 games on the sideline.

But while the offense couldn't make enough big plays or score points, Jacksonville’s defense played well this season. The Jaguars decided that they had seen enough and fired Bradley, but the Chargers will hope he can replicate his defensive success.

Bradley didn’t do well as a head coach, but he has a good track record as a defensive coordinator. Before Jacksonville hired Bradley, he was the Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator from 2009-2012. During his tenure there, Seattle’s defense climbed from No. 25 in points allowed in his first season to No. 1 in his final season.

He is considered by many to be the architect of Settle’s ferocious front seven and the Legion of Boom, a defensive backfield that consists of Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, and Kam Chancellor. The Seahawks still have one of the best defenses in the NFL, and you have to give a lot of credit to Bradley for that.

In Jacksonville, there was a similar defensive turnaround after an infusion of talent. The Jaguars were No. 24 in total defense, but jumped to No. 6 after players like Jalen Ramsey and Malik Jackson were added to the mix.

The Chargers may need a similar injection of playmakers on the defensive side of the ball after allowing the fourth-most points in the NFL in 2016. But with needs on offense, the likely challenge for Bradley will be taking the defense to another level with the young players added in the 2016 offseason like Joey Bosa and Jatavis Brown.

The Chargers will also be helped by the return of Brandon Mebane and Jason Verrett, both of whom suffered season-ending injuries in 2016 and could contribute to a well-rounded unit under Bradley.