Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley recently said that he’s open to changing the defensive scheme, but don’t be fooled, it’s just coach speak.
It’s the time of year when head coaches and general managers talk the talk and don’t have to walk the walk.
As teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11) try to right the ship and get back into contention, head coaches will often say what they need to in order to make the franchise appear interesting to possible free agent additions, draft picks, and keep those already on contract from jumping ship.
After three disastrous seasons with Bob Babich at defensive coordinator, Jags head coach Gus Bradley made a change and elevated Todd Wash to the DC job from his spot coaching the defensive line. The move ensured that Bradley could still implement his Seattle Seahawks-style defense and have buy-in from someone who has been on his staff. It was not a promising move in my mind – and others – as it was clear the scheme was not flexible enough for the lack of quality personnel the Jags field on defense.
Specifically, Bradley was stating his interest in building around possible new additions from free agency and the draft. It’s no secret that the Jaguars going to be focusing heavily on defense this offseason, so there will be plenty of new additions. But will any of them really be so foundational as to shift Bradley’s entire scheme around?
In the past there hasn’t really been a player to focus the scheme around. It’s been about fitting square pegs into round holes that almost seemed arbitrarily defined and promoted by the coaching staff. The scheme reigned supreme and personnel felt almost like an afterthought.
Now, with Wash working with Bradley and both finding the scheme to be alright, will they really shift things around with the right players in place?
I’m calling this what is is right now: coach speak. Bradley is simply marketing the team and it would be surprising, based on the work put in over the last three seasons, to see Bradley suddenly tweak his scheme. We have seen the Jaguars persevere almost to the point of madness, stubbornly sticking with lackluster defensive matchups rather than tweaking to fit the personnel.
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Sorry Gus Bradley, but this fan isn’t buying it until we see it on the field.