First-year Colts head coach Shane Steichen is rounding out his coaching staff with a familiar face and a first-time NFL coach.
Gus Bradley has been retained as the Colts defensive coordinator and Notre Dame's Brian Mason has been named Indy's new special teams coordinator, the team announced Tuesday, along with a number of other coaching hires and retentions.
Bradley was hired ahead of the 2022 season after spending the previous year in Las Vegas under the same title. Mason succeeds Bubba Ventrone, who was hired by the Cleveland Browns as their assistant head coach/special teams coordinator.
Bradley's defense finished middle of the pack with 334.0 total yards allowed per game in 2022. Indianapolis excelled against the pass, allowing 209.9 YPG, but was consistently hurt against the run with 124.1 YPG allowed. The issues amounted to Indy giving up an average of 25.1 points per game, which ranked 30th in the NFL.
The Colts' persistent issues on offense throughout the 2022 season certainly affected those defensive averages, however. Starting three different starting quarterbacks in 2022, the Colts averaged 311.6 yards per game, the sixth-worst average in the league and was tied 31st with 17.0 yards per game.
Keeping Bradley figures to be beneficial for a veteran unit entering 2023. With linebacker Darius Leonard, defensive tackle DeForest Buckner and cornerbacks Kenny Moore II and Stephon Gilmore under contract, many of the same pieces of a defense that shined in 2021 remain.
Bradley, 56, has 10 seasons of experience as a DC in the NFL, first establishing himself in Seattle before eventually getting hired by the Chargers, Raiders and Colts. Bradley was the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars for four seasons from 2013 to 2016.
Mason, an Indiana native, enters the NFL after a successful season in South Bend, where the Irish blocked a school-record seven punts, including a streak of five games with at least one blocked punt.