The power trio of owner Shad Khan, general manager David Caldwell, and head coach Gus Bradley have given Jacksonville Jaguars fans plenty of reason to be optimistic about the future, and the national media has started to take notice as well. Bradley in particular is starting to receive more and more praise as an effective teacher and leader. After a horrific start in his rookie season, Bradley was able to right the ship and win 4 out of the last 8 games with an underwhelming roster.
Similar to a piece he did earlier in the summer about quarterbacks, Mike Sando recently posted the results from a survey he did with 30 NFL insiders on how all 32 coaches are ranked in relation to “tiers.” The tiers are from 1-5 where 1 is the best and 5 is the worst. Gus Bradley ended up with a 2.80 average, good enough for 19th overall and tier 3.
19. Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars (2.80 average)
Carroll’s success in Seattle seemed to work in Bradley’s favor as voters attempted to evaluate a coach with just one season on his resume. One GM put it this way: “I think he has done a nice job of bringing the Pete Carroll blueprint to life in an authentic way.”
A former GM said he could tell from watching the Jaguars even during preseason that the players are energized, having fun and taking care of one another in a manner that puts team before the individual. “I love the guy and think he could be a star,” another executive said. “But he went 4-12. Nobody would say he cannot turn it around, but no one has any idea what his coaching actually did. I would bet on him any day of the week, though.”
It’s clear coach Bradley’s message is getting across to the players, but it’s completely justifiable for people to want to see more tangible results before buying in completely to what he’s doing. 4-12 is a bad season no matter how you frame it, but he should have significantly more success in his 2nd campaign. With personnel improvements across the board and the potential for a franchise quarterback to start sooner rather than later, Bradley could realistically work himself into the coach of the year conversation.