Gus Bradley’s job is a tough one. It’s something I’ve said since he was hired to be the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars and I will continue saying it until his time with the Jaguars is done.
I love what he’s doing. He is a great persona for the Jags, a great vocal leader, and he has the optimism you need when dealing with incredibly young players and trying to turn them into a winning team. But after a 7-25 record during his first two seasons, people will start to wonder whether he really is doing all that great of a job.
Personally, I think that Gus Bradley deserves to be judged after the 2015 season. That’s three seasons into a massive overhaul of the roster and complete rebuild of a team rotting from the inside out. Whether fair or not, we’ll have a large enough sample size to judge Bradley and his crew and see where he is at with the Jaguars. Part of that judgment (whether positive or negative) should be the consideration of winning a Super Bowl under Bradley’s leadership.
Only a handful of coaches have won Super Bowls during the past decade and a half. Bill Belichick and former Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin have six between them and are a great example of weighing the ability of a coach to win the big game to doing well each and every season. In Belichick, we see arguably the greatest coach in the NFL. He’s consistently putting together 10 and 12 win seasons, dominating his division, and going deep in the playoffs. Meanwhile, Coughlin and the New York Giants struggle to get into the playoffs on a regular basis but tend to get hot when they do and are a threat to go all the way each time they sneak in. For Robert Kraft and the New England Patriots, it’s a no-brainer to keep Belichick. For the Giants, there’s seemingly a coaching controversy each year.
I like to preach patience whenever possible. Patience for quarterbacks, patience for general managers, and patience for head coaches. Allowing someone to secure his place with a team and build his system can take one year or it can take five years. The question of whether they can win a Super Bowl lingers over all their heads, though. Is that where we see Gus Bradley in five years? What about three? Ten?
It’s tough to make a measurement like that with such a young roster and a first-time head coach. Personally, I think Bradley is building things up to make a run. We may be five years away, but he’s putting together a team that can compete and from there will build to be a winner. Right now, it’s tough to extrapolate beyond that. He’s getting the doing well each season thing down, but until we see the Jaguars perform more consistently, we can’t weigh them against the best in the NFL. While I hope he could win a Super Bowl with the Jaguars, he may end up putting it together with a different team, much like Coughlin.
For now, it’s just too murky to tell.
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