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Jaguars New Coach Gus Bradley and What the Future Holds

Smith's Firing Brings More Change


Well, that didn't last long. Almost exactly one year after the Jaguars hired former Head Coach Mike Mularkey, the club relieved him of his duties.

This change was brought on in part by owner Shahid Khan's firing of General Manager Gene Smith, and in part because the Jaguars finished the 2012 season with a dismal 2-14 record -- the worst season record in the franchise's history.

So, to recap: Khan fired Gene Smith primarily due to his failure to successfully rebuild the team. He then hired Dave Caldwell (formerly of the Atlanta Falcons) to replace him. In doing so, Khan gave Caldwell the power to choose the fate of the head coach (Mularkey was hired by the previous regime). Caldwell quickly dismissed Mularkey and hired Bradley.

Now that that's over, let's talk about Gus Bradley.

Bradley has never been an NFL head coach, but enjoyed tremendous success in recent seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. Bradley was the defensive coordinator of a top-ranked squad there. He was known for his unique and tough defensive schemes.

Bradley's start in the NFL came in Tampa Bay, as the Buccanneers' Linebacker's Coach from 2007 to 2008. He played college football at North Dakota State (Free Safety and Punter) and owns a Master's in Athletic Administration (1992).

Oh, he also really likes to blitz.

Some considered the move to hire Bradley a surprise, given the Jaguars' offensive woes. It's clear, however, that Caldwell hired Bradley for his leadership skills, which are generally considered top-notch.

The Jaguars new offensive coordinator is Jedd Fisch, a veteran with 16 years of coaching experience. He most recently served as the University of Miami's offensive coordinator and quaterback coach.

The Jaguars new defensive coordinator is Bob Babich, formerly of the Chicago Bears. The Bears hired former Jaguars Defensive Coordinator Mel Tucker -- so essentially, the clubs swapped defensive coordinators.

So what about the assistant coaches? Most of the assistant and position coaches, save for Jerry Sullivan (Wide Receiver's Coach) and Mark Duffner (Linebacker's Coach) have been replaced by Bradley.

What does this mean for the Jaguars going forward? Well, for starters, it means the team is rebuilding (again). Judging by their roster, they probably have little choice. It's largely filled with run-of-the-mill players. Even worse, the quarterback position is widly unsettled. Neither Blaine Gabbert nor Chad Henne proved he can be a franchise quarterback going forward.

Still, there are bright spots. Young receivers Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon appear poised to become one of the better tandems in the league (now they just need someone to throw the ball to them).

A Jags fan should expect even more changes once free-agency begins. Many of the Jaguars' "core" players are set to become free agents.

The Jaguars do own the number two draft spot, so a splash in April is possible.

But a one-year turnaround seems unlikely.

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