The Jacksonville Jaguars have decided Gus Bradley deserved another year to try and fix the problems that exist with the football team.
Team owner Shad Khan issued a statement on Tuesday, putting to rest rumors that Bradley might be on his way out after Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans. The Jaguars have proven to be a better team on offense, but on defense, they are a different story.
Bradley was brought in from Seattle in 2013, where he served as the Seahawks defensive coordinator, to replace Mike Mularkey after a 2-14 season. The Jaguars have won a total of 12 games with Bradley on the sidelines.
“I spoke to Gus Bradley today to confirm to him that he will continue as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2016. It’s evident to see how far we’ve come in many aspects of our game, and Gus deserves a lot of credit for that progress,” Khan said in a statement that appears on ESPN.com. “It’s also evident the considerable work that remains to be done to be where we expect to be at this time next season, which is well above where we stand today. And Gus understands that.”
In essence, the 2016 season now becomes the make or break year for Bradley to prove he was the right person to correct the major issues with this roster and franchise. Team general manager David Caldwell could be under fire if the team does not show vast improvement as well. Caldwell was brought in from Atlanta in 2013, replacing Gene Smith. His first act after firing Mularkey was hiring Bradley away from Seattle.
The Jaguars have improved on offense, scoring 24.7 points per contest, good for 11th in the league and the team’s passing offense, led by Blake Bortles, is 10th in the NFL.
Look for the Jaguars to use free agency and the 2016 NFL Draft to find more starters and depth on defense. Wholesale changes may not be needed, but there is enough changes to be made if Bradley hopes to stick around.
COUGHLIN ON HIS WAY OUT
I saw Tom Coughlin’s first game as a head coach in the NFL in 1995 with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He guided the team to two AFC Title games and his current team, the New York Giants, to two Super Bowl wins. Now, it looks like Coughlin’s days in blue and red may be soon over.
A story on ESPN.com, written by Dan Graziano, talks about how Coughlin may be forced into retirement after a 5-9 season this year and another missed postseason berth.
The story goes on to say management for the Giants are hoping Coughlin calls it a career and retires on his own accord.
“If the New York Giants decide it’s time to move on from coach Tom Coughlin and Coughlin doesn’t agree, the situation could get ugly. No one wants that. If at all possible, the Giants would like to send their future Ring of Honor coach out with the respect and ceremony that his contributions to the franchise’s history deserve. But endings like these aren’t always easy or neat, and it’s possible things could be messy next week when this decision officially gets made.”
Coughlin won a Super Bowl in 2007 and 2011 with the Giants, beating Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots in both contests. Coughlin’s team this season has not played well, and with his future being an almost everyday issue in New York, he has openly said it is something he does not want to become a distraction for his players.
CAN THE SAINTS KEEP BOTH PAYTON AND BREES?
There has been plenty of speculation that Sean Payton may be parting ways with the team he took to a Super Bowl in 2010. Now, it appears the New Orleans Saints are going to work diligently to keep their coach and their star quarterback, Drew Brees, as well. There is talk that Sunday might be the last time fans see both player and coach on the sideline in the Big Easy.
“Per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, New Orleans could be hosting both head coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the final time on Sunday. The 5-9 Saints took down the Jaguars by a score of 38-27. They close the season in Atlanta next weekend.”
The story, on NFL.com, goes on to say there is talk the huge contract of Brees is an issue with the team, a team that must improve its defense on many levels.
Payton has been said to be on the Miami Dolphins radar and if other teams have openings after Monday, like Dallas or New York, Payton may be on a short list to coach in the NFC East.