Can Gus Bradley and the Jaguars Take the Next Step?
The Jacksonville Jaguars are struggling to take the next step under head coach Gus Bradley. After finishing 4-12 last season following a 0-8 start to the season, things were supposed to be looking up.
Unfortunately for the Jaguars, things have apparently regressed and the team has either taken a step backward or is caught in limbo with its foot in the air, waiting to see if it will come down forward or backward.
Senior Writer John Oehser at Jaguars.com summed it up nicely when he said:
"Not that losing was ever acceptable, but this was different. You heard it from Head Coach Gus Bradley. You heard it from players, who had seen and heard from an angry Bradley at halftime. It’s hard to know if it was embarrassment, or just being worn out on losing. Whatever it was, it felt different. We’ll see where it goes."
Gus Bradley is also quoted as saying:
"It’s time we take another step. It’s time that we get it done, and get it done by playing consistent football from the first snap to the end."
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The trouble for the Jaguars too often appears to be young player mistakes. There are a lot of rookies and second year players starting or having significant roles on offense, defense, and special teams, and those players aren’t able to perform consistently for the team. Whether it is the multitude of interceptions from rookie quarterback Blake Bortles or the muffed punt by second year receiver Ace Sanders, the Jaguars are struggling to show that they are making steps beyond the potential they showed in the second half of last season.
The Jaguars are sitting at 1-9 currently and they need to move beyond that to prove they’re making a step in the right direction. While they are a blocked field goal away from 2-8 and a few bad interceptions away from 3-7, what matters in the NFL are wins and losses and they are the measurement by which Gus Bradley and the 2014 Jacksonville Jaguars will be judged.
So, can the Jaguars take the next step? Can Gus Bradley get his team there?
That’s the question and right now it’s hanging in the air over the team like a big black cloud.
I honestly believe that progress is being made and that the mistakes we see on a weekly basis can be corrected. Yet the same mistakes continue to be made. There’s a disconnect between the coaching and the product on the field and that needs to be closed. The Jaguars desperately need to tighten up.
It’s up to Gus Bradley to prove they can do that.