Jaguars need to move on from Gus Bradley

Updated: October 21, 2015
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The 2013 Jacksonville Jaguars were in about as tough of a place as any NFL team has been in. They were coming off a 2-14 season, which led to the firing of their head coach and general manager. The roster was an absolute joke, and they had almost no promising players to keep moving forward.

Their head coach for the 2012 season was Mike Mularkey, who was not only a bad coach, but just plain boring. He showed almost no emotion, and it was something that drove Jaguar fans crazy. He never held accountability, and by the halfway point in the season, it was clear the team lost respect for him.

After the team hired Dave Caldwell to be their general manager, who was the right-hand man to Thomas Dimitroff in Atlanta, his pick for head coach ended up being Gus Bradley, who was the defensive coordinator for the  Seattle Seahawks for four seasons. As soon as Bradley came to town, there was one thing certain about him: he brought a ton of energy. Spend time around Bradley, or watch one of his pressers, and it’s clear to see that he brings an extreme enthusiasm to everything he does. His energy was a huge  refresher from the blandness of Mularky.

In Bradley’s first season, the team went 4-12 with maybe the worst roster in the NFL. They did win four out of their last eight games though, which led many to believe the Jaguars were headed in the right direction.

In 2014 the expectations were a little bit higher, but the Jaguars still were far away from a good team. With a rookie quarterback starting the last 13 games, the Jags went 3-10 in those games. However, there were a couple of winnable games that the Jags seemed to give away.

As of right now the Jaguars sit at 1-5, and in last place in the AFC South. Blake Bortles is on track to throw for more than 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns. And Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson are both on pace to go over 1,000 yards receiving, something no Jaguars receiver has done in a decade. Despite all of this, the team still sits at 1-5, and looks almost no better than they did last season. Somewhere along the lines, the development has stalled. You can see the improvement, but it’s not translating into wins.

I’ve watched every Jaguars game the last two-and-a-half years, and in almost all of them, I can say for certain that Bradley has been out-coached. From dumb challenges, to coming out flat at halftime almost every week, he just doesn’t seem prepared. This season the Jaguars have blown four games in which they held the lead, and the last three, against the Andrew Luck-less Indianapolis Colts, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Houston Texans, have been especially embarrassing. Someone has to be held accountable for these fourth-quarter choke jobs, and at this point there is no one to point to except for Bradley.

The Jaguars are at the point where they are keeping games close, and have the chance to win them. They just can’t close them out. The defense, something Bradley is supposed to be an expert in, seems like it has made no progression. Too many times there are just wide open receivers for the other team. The defense seems to just sit back and let things happen. I understand that the defense lacks some playmakers, but there is no reason they should be giving up 38 points to the Bucs, or 31 to the Texans.

I am a big believer in continuity. I think it is one of the keys to success in the NFL. Teams who constantly change their coaches and management almost never seem to end up winning. However, I am also a believer in getting rid of coaches when it becomes clear they aren’t the right man for the job. Last week Joe Philbin was fired by the Miami Dolphins. Philbin recorded a 24-28 record as a head coach. It would take Bradley 16 straight wins to reach the 24 wins that Philbin has. Bradley was indeed in a completely different situation, with a rebuilding team, but 8-30 in 38 games is unacceptable, no matter the situation.

Bradley always talks about getting better, yet this team still makes the same mistakes that it did two years ago. At the end of each game they win, which has been far and few in between, the team chants “We believe in victory!” It is time for the Jags to stop believing in victory, and start to actually achieve it. And that will not happen until the Jaguars move on from Bradley.

Jimmy Siettmann

Jimmy Siettmann is an NFL contributor to SidelineSports. Jimmy is currently a journalism major and hopes to have a career in sports journalism either writing or doing radio. Jimmy has also written for TheDesireToWin on all things sports.

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