With the 2016/2017 season officially over, don’t expect many people to give the Jacksonville Jaguars respect this offseason.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are halfheartedly closing the book on the Gus Bradley era, moving forward with interim coach Doug Marrone and two coordinators that participated in the condoning of a losing culture.
As you might be able to glean from my writings, I’m not exactly high on the moves the Jaguars made this offseason in restructuring the front office and coaching staff. Bringing in Tom Coughlin seems like a good idea and Marrone is a good coach in a vacuum, but there’s quite a bit returning to a team that went 3-13 in 2016.
Unsurprisingly, my sentiment is shared by quite a few people in the national media, including the folks doing the year end (or really early 2017) power rankings:
"27. Jacksonville Jaguars2016 record: 3-13Why they’re here: Nine consecutive non-winning seasons bottomed out with a 2016 record that tied for the second worst in franchise history. Quarterback Blake Bortles took a step backward in his third season, finishing with the NFL’s third-lowest QBR (49.2) and completion percentage (58.9) and forcing an end to coach Gus Bradley’s tenure. If new coach Doug Marrone and vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin remain committed to Bortles, as they appear to be, you won’t see much public confidence in the Jaguars’ chances to improve in 2017.What could change: The Jaguars have some nice pieces on defense that could coalesce in a different coaching environment. If Coughlin’s tough love filters onto the field, a group that includes defensive linemen Dante Fowler Jr., Malik Jackson and Yannick Ngakoue — along with cornerback Jalen Ramsey — could prosper. The Jaguars also have the No. 4 overall pick and, barring a trade, will have five top-five picks on their roster when training camp opens."
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"26. Jacksonville JaguarsTom Coughlin had taken them to two AFC title games in five years after starting from Square 1. Team’s new czar at least at Square 5 now."
"28. Jacksonville JaguarsMore than a new head coach, the Jaguars needed to hire a quarterback guru to work with Blake Bortles. If he’s going to be their franchise guy, he needs to be much better than he was in 2016, when he regressed in just about every department."
This is probably about where the Jaguars should be. In theory, anything should be a massive upgrade from Gus Bradley so there has to be a bump simply from removing his presence, but this team doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt.