Gus Bradley Is The Perfect Coach For The Jaguars Situation

Find out why the Jaguars have the perfect coach for their very rare situation.

Forget about the fact that the Jacksonville Jaguars have won just two of their first eight games.  

Also forget about the fact that the team's defense is ranked 30th out of 32 NFL teams in points allowed.  

As many blatent flaws, pimples and warts the Jaguars have, they still have an excellent opportunity to win the AFC South and secure their first home playoff game in 15 years.  

We can save the discussion whether they're deserving for another day.  

Believe it or not, head coach Gus Bradley, with his 9-31 record as head coach could be the perfect man to lead the team through this stretch.  

The Jaguars need confidence now more than ever, and Bradley is the commensurate glass-half-full leader.  

Even after the team's latest disappointment, a 28-23 loss against the Jets in which the team committed four turnovers, Bradley chose to publicly dwell on the positives. 

“We met today and like always, we tell the truth. We went through everything and I was very pleased with our team’s effort overall. I think our preparation going into the game, the clarity that we talk about with our team, I thought was very evident," Bradley proudly explained.

Despite Jacksonville being 2-6 and tied for last place in the AFC South, they only find themselves a game and a half out of first place in the league's most winnable division.  

With Tuesday's news that Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will miss anywhere from 2-6 weeks with a lacerated kidney and torn abdominal muscle, everyone in the division has an extra shot of hope.  

The Jaguars have a very manageable schedule to go along with their newfound hope.  

Jacksonville's next three games are against the 2-6 Baltimore Ravens, the 2-6 Tennessee Titans at home, then they host the 2-6 San Diego Chargers.  Following that they travel to take on those same Titans, then take on the Indianapolis Colts at home which could be a first-place battle and it could be without Andrew Luck.  

To put it simply, the Jaguars are getting a mulligan for the first half of the season, something that very few teams, if any in NFL history have had.  

While the Jaguars take on the NFL's worst over the next month or so, Tennessee will play the 8-0 Carolina Panthers, followed by the trip to Jacksonville, then the much improved 4-4 Oakland Raiders and 5-3 New York Jets, with a game against the Jaguars sandwiched in between.  To make matters worse, the Titans will travel to New England after the trip to New York.  

So what about 3-5 Houston?  They play at the 8-0 Cincinnati Bengals, host the 5-3 New York Jets and 4-4 New Orleans Saints, before traveling to Buffalo to take on the 4-4 Bills and then returning home for a date against the undefeated Patriots.  The Texans will be underdogs in most, if not all of those games. 

As bad as the AFC South is, one would assume that all the Colts will have to do is tread water to stay on top of the division.  That will be difficult to do with a 40-year old backup quarterback.  

"We've got all the confidence in the world in Matt Hasselbeck and we're not going to put Andrew back out there until he's healed and ready to go," Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said. 

Although Indy's schedule doesn't appear to be as difficult as Houston's or Tennessee's, there are some potential roadblocks.  The Colts travel to 6-3 Atlanta to take on the Falcons, before returning home to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Then they have a trip to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers who hope to have Ben Roethlisberger back before their showdown against the Jags at Everbank Field.  

With not a lot separating first from worst in the AFC South, the Jaguars have a legitimate schedule advantage going forward.  

It's now on head coach Gus Bradley to give the team confidence to turn the season around.  He realizes that they are catching some breaks and his team has a valuable second chance.  

“I think we are seeing progress offensively. Defensively, some of the things that we want to be strong in you’re seeing it and those things are showing up consistently. I also mentioned we’re not doing enough of those things at critical times so that’s the area that we need to continue to work on. The spirit, the relentlessness, the battling and all those aspects of this team were really evident yesterday. I thought to go into a good team in their environment and play like we did I see growth taking place but this team wants more. We had to put them in position to get more and to earn more. We’re learning that part of it so I think it’s always encouraging when you see those aspects in a team that’s fighting and wanting more. That’s what we will go for,” Bradley explained. 

This should be the easiest division to win in NFL history.  Why can't Bradley's team take advantage of their soft schedule and make a run?  


Jags Illustrated Top Stories