In the modern NFL, coaches and front offices rarely get the opportunity to build a franchise from the ground up over multiple seasons. Seven different teams changed head coaches this offseason, and most of those coaches had less than 4 years to try and move their franchise in the right direction.
When he hired David Caldwell to be general manager, Shad Khan knew the team was much farther away from competing for a Super Bowl than former GM Gene Smith led him to believe.
“So a year ago when I came here, the organizational judgment – or really opinion of itself – was we were a pretty good team. Just a few players and a draft away from really competing for a playoff spot… as the year progressed it was pretty obvious that that was not the case, and we would need really a fresh start and rebuild from the ground up.”
- Shad Khan
Rebuilding from the ground up takes time and patience, something general manager David Caldwell has preached in his time here. Even in the midst of the team’s horrific 0-8 start, head coach Gus Bradley’s job didn’t seem to be in danger. After finishing the season 4-4 and carrying a heap of positive momentum into the offseason, Gus Bradley’s seat seems to be anything but hot.
Still, people need things to write about during the offseason, and Kim Myers over at the parent FanSided site listed Gus Bradley as one of 10 head coaches on the hot seat.
Gus Bradley probably has a longer leash to work with in Jacksonville as he will just be entering his second year in 2014. However, after he finished his first season at 4-12, one would think that he would have to prove that he’s building a more competitive team to keep his job. He’s already stated that Blake Bortles will start as the backup quarterback and the rest of the team is relatively young as well. There is time to build, but not time to regress so Bradley’s chances to keep building the Jaguars into a competitive team rest solely upon showing signs of improvement in 2014.
While I agree Bradley has to put a more competitive team on the field in 2014, the Jaguars would have to show serious regression for him to be in any kind of trouble. The team looks significantly upgraded on paper, but most the young guys are going to take some time to get acclimated to the NFL level of play. After scraping 4 wins out of a team that probably shouldn’t have had any, Bradley should be able to at the very least match last season’s win total with the young, developing talent now on the roster. Barring a complete and catastrophic meltdown, Gus Bradley should be safe throughout the 2014 season.
- Daniel Lago