The 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars will bring in a new head coach who has a chance to right the ship and lead a talented roster to greatness in the post-Gus Bradley era.
It’s a tall task to come in and turn a team with a decade-long culture of losing into a bunch of winners. Still, it’s a task that some coaches – the great ones – are able to do.
Turning a team around is no cakewalk and it takes the right blend of capacity, capability, and persistence to get the job done. Some coaches have it while others don’t.
That is the job that general manager Dave Caldwell has to focus on over the coming months. It’s a tough job and the kind of job that makes or breaks careers. Caldwell got it wrong with Gus Bradley, leading to his dismissal, but he has a chance to get it right on his second try.
With that second try comes hope. It’s a hope that is familiar to Jacksonville Jaguars fans, having seen Jack Del Rio’s dismissal lead to Mike Mularkey leading to Bradley. It was a quick succession of coaches that ultimately looked like the right decision and a planned, drawn out rebuild.
2017’s hiring probably won’t be similar. The Jacksonville Jaguars aren’t going to be in the midst of the biggest drought of talent in a decade. The Jaguars aren’t going to be without a vision. This new head coach can walk in and build what he wants but will know he doesn’t have to do it alone.
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This won’t be 2013 all over again (or 2012 for that matter). With plenty of time to focus on the search (a key reason for excusing Bradley before the end of the season), the Jaguars can be hopeful that whoever they bring in will be in a much better situation than the last time the franchise was at this juncture.
As fans, this is promising. A jolting firing before the end of the season was certainly rough for the recipient, but it allows the franchise to focus on making a strong hiring decision now. The search doesn’t begin at the same time as everyone else’s. The search begins early with the Jags front office’s eyes wide open and everybody a possibility.
It’s time for hope again in Jacksonville. Something new will bloom in the coming year and it will be fresh and invigorating and we, the fans, can all tune into the games again, excited to see what may come.