FOX Sports’ Alex Marvez has gone through and ranked the new head coaching hires based on how difficult their job is going to be. Coming in at last place is the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Gus Bradley. While some coaches like Doug Marrone in Buffalo get a pass based on the talent on the roster, Jacksonville is struggling from a number of different standpoints.
Let’s see what Marvez says about those.
Chief among Marvez’ concerns for Bradley is the need to garner more interest in the “tepid” fan base in Jacksonville. Despite the Jaguars not having a single blackout since 2009, they just can’t seem to shake the lack of fan support stigma. Apparently playing games in London is to make up for a lack of fan support in Jacksonville rather than expanding the brand. The Jags have higher attendance and percentage of stadium filled numbers than a number of more high profile and popular teams. Over the past couple seasons the Jaguars organization has been excellent at gaining more fan support.
The biggest concern for Bradley, according to Marvez, is the evaluation of quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne. That evaluation has already begun and it would not be shocking to see Gabbert return and Henne walk. Henne was worse than Gabbert (lower completion percentage, much worse under pressure, though more yards) and did not provide the veteran leadership the Jaguars needed after Gabbert struggled and was placed on IR following two injuries. Gabbert will be allowed to fight it out, at least that’s what it sounds like coming from GM Dave Caldwell and Bradley, with new competition. The biggest task may not be evaluating Gabbert as much as it will be finding talent to spur him on or beat him out.
The Jags have a lot of work to do to become a contender, but neither the development of Gabbert nor selling out the stadium is on Bradley as the largest task. In my opinion, reviving a struggling 2012 defense and finding an offensive line that can blog for more than two seconds are the more pressing tasks.
- Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims