Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley is energetic. The man exudes inspiration and he’s someone that commands a room.
To put it simply, he wins the press conference.
We know how bad the Jaguars roster is and that they aren’t ready to compete for a playoff spot. We are aware that Bradley is going to have a less than stellar win-loss record as a head coach at this point.
Halftime adjustments are overrated in sports. With just 12 minutes of halftime, by the time all the players and coaches get in the locker room and the time it takes them to come out, it really means there’s only a couple minutes to actually instruct.
Blake Bortles former head coach, UCF’s George O’Leary once told me, “There’s no time for halftime adjustments. People think we can come up with an entirely new game plan in a few minutes, it’s not the case.”
What isn’t overrated is game management. Not by only the quarterback, but especially by the head coach. That’s where Gus Bradley has been lacking. It doesn’t matter much when the team is getting blown out. It matters when his team is in a close game and he wastes timeouts on ridiculous challenges.
"I could have done better with the game management, with the challenge flags," Bradley admitted after Sunday’s 16-14 loss to the Tennessee Titans. "We all challenge ourselves in areas that we could get better. I challenged the team and I pointed out the things that I could get better at, too."
It’s great that Gus Bradley takes responsibility and doesn’t try to pass the proverbial buck. It’s not great that these mistakes keep happening.
Bradley’s need to challenge obvious calls left the Jaguars with no timeouts when they recovered an onsides kick with 37 seconds left. After quarterback Blake Bortles masterfully led the team to the 37-yard line with 12 seconds left, Bradley panicked and attempted a 55-yard field goal. Although kicker Josh Scobee has one of the strongest legs in football, a 55-yard field goal is not something you “settle” for especially if you have enough time to run a play.
What kind of message does it send to the quarterback and the rest of the offense that you don’t trust your third-overall draft pick and face of the franchise not to get sacked or do something stupid?
"I know the clock was going down to five, four, three, and it made Josh a little nervous as far as we had no timeouts, what was going on," Bradley said. "It wasn't ideal for him, but we've still got to make those plays. I think he would be the first to admit that. I think we all, at times, were a little frustrated. It probably stems from me. We talk about, 'Let's be strong, let's understand the situation that we're in and make the most of it.'”
More than just game management, Bradley has routinely played lesser players in games. It’s tough to convince anyone that starting Chad Henne for the first two and a half games accomplished anything positive. Winston Guy started ahead of Josh Evans and he was waived for his poor play. The Jaguars couldn’t figure out who the best players on the offensive line were, tinkering with lineups through the first few games of the season.
All players want is for the coaching staff to play the best guys and put them in the best chance to win. When Bradley and anyone else in the Jaguars organization said publicly that Chad Henne gave the team the best chance to win it was simply laughable.
"We're all professionals and we've got to make plays, and I think I can do a better job of that. I know I could have led better (Sunday) as well,” Bradley admitted.
Gus Bradley is an excitable guy that has great leadership qualities. At this point those qualities haven’t translated to the football field.
Is Gus Bradley The Right Fit?
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