The Jacksonville Jaguars have won 10 games since they fired current Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio.
That was 5 years ago.
I was very high on this team coming into the season, and why wouldn’t I be? I expected Blake Bortles to take the next step in year along with a lot of his fantastic young playmakers on the offense to go along with a revamped offensive line.
Well, the offensive line has performed well in the run blocking game, but players such as 2015 draft pick AJ Cann, 2013 first round pick Luke Joeckel and free agent addition Jeremy Parnell have all struggled pass protection, especially Parnell. He’s already allowed a sack, 9 QB hits and 17 QB hurries.
His defense was supposed to be improved…. after all, he got the job in Jacksonville because of what he did in Seattle as the defensive coordinator. He helped to form and mold a young group of players that eventually became the Legion of Boom. The Seahawks were on the doorstep of the NFC Championship in his final year in Seattle. But this defense just hasn’t been good at all. The 2014 Jaguars were right outside the top 5 in terms of sacks, but so far this year they are tied for 15th with 12 sacks and if they keep up with their current pace, they’ll finish with 32 sacks, 13 less than their 2014 total. Losing their first round draft pick in Dante Fowler Jr. to a torn ACL during rookie minicamp definitely seems to play a major part in this. One would assume Bradley was putting a lot of stock in the Florida edge rusher.
But Jacksonville’s issues go further than their lack of a pass rush. They are dead last in forcing turnovers with just 3 on the season (they are actually a -6 in their turnover differential. They give up a good amount of passing yards while being average against the run. Players such as Chris Clemons, Jonathan Cyprien and Telvin Smith haven’t played well this season and in the case of Smith, there was a lot of stock being put into him as a potential breakout candidate on this defense and it just hasn’t happened.
But as of late, it seems like London is slowly becoming a coach grave yard. Since the start of 2014, 3 teams have fired their head coach either right after their loss (Dennis Allen, Joe Philbin) or at the end of the season (Mike Smith). Years ago Josh McDaniels got the scissors as well.
I’m a big fan of Bradley and Caldwell as a head coaching/GM duo but this team almost looks as if they are regressing at times. I don’t think Bradley will be fired if they lose to the Bills, but depending how ugly it is anything can happen.
Ultimately this is once again another cautionary of tale for coordinators around the NFL. Not every job is a good job. Maybe Gus had the intentions of being able to build Jacksonville into a powerhouse but it just hasn’t worked that way. But each week I grow to realize that he just isn’t ready. Pete Carroll wasn’t at first…he struck out twice if you remember. But the writer is on the wall. Bradley is 8-30 since taking over and they are continually trending in the wrong direction.
But it’s a lot of football left to be played. All I know Is if your team can make Brian Hoyer look like prime Tom Brady, you have a problem.