Teams tend to form around one central player who is the glue of the franchise. Ray Lewis was more than just a great linebacker, he held the Baltimore Ravens together. Adrian Peterson isn’t just the only offensive weapon with the Minnesota Vikings, he is their identity, their heart and soul. For the Jacksonville Jaguars, that glue is head coach Gus Bradley.
The Jags have a depressingly mediocre roster right now. There may be a star or two to pick up in the NFL Draft but ultimately there isn’t going to be a lot of talent in the first year of the rebuild. With Maurice Jones-Drew still rehabbing from his lisfranc fracture last season, the team has had to rally around someone else. That person appears to be Bradley.
Bradley is the embodiment of what the Jaguars should be. He preaches competition and competence and he expects his team to follow through and do their jobs. He lives what he preaches. While the Jaguars look almost rudderless in player leadership, particularly at quarterback, Bradley is there to hold the team together. He isn’t on the field, but he is acting as the glue that holds theJaguars together because, frankly, there isn’t somebody to do it right now.
While the Jaguars wait around to see if Blaine Gabbert can become the face of the franchise and carry this team forward for years to come, the only real constant that can be expected in the future is Bradley. He is here for the long haul and, in his position as head coach, he is expected to be a constant for some time. It is natural for a team to not really have “glue” players during a rebuild so it makes sense that Bradley is filling the role.
It is clear how much he is impacting the team just from the Jaguars’ first minicamp. The players are rallying around his message of competition, embodying his philosophy. From all accounts he is pleased with the way the players have responded. He is becoming their rallying point.
Eventually a player will become that Ray Lewis or Adrian Peterson and hold the team together and be its constant. For now, we have Bradley and to be honest I’m quite happy with that.
- Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims