Jags Of All Trades

Chris Moore| BKD TV Insiders

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley poses with Blake Bortles (Central Florida) and Jaguars general manager David Caldwell

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley poses with Blake Bortles (Central Florida) and Jaguars general manager David Caldwell

The Jacksonville Jaguars have a losing history. They’ve had a couple seasons of success in the mid 2000’s with David Garrard and Jack Del Rio leading the way. For the most part, when you think of the Jacksonville Jaguars, you think of losing. Well I’m here to tell you, it will not be that way for very long.

Lets start with head coach Gus Bradley. Gus played four years of Division II college football and then became a coach in the Division II ranks. In 2006 the Buccaneers hired him to be the defensive quality control coach. Gus spent three years learning from Monte Kiffin, one of the great defensive minds in the NFL. In 2009 the Seahawks hired Bradley to be the defensive coordinator. In each of Bradley’s four seasons in Seattle the defense improved in points and yards allowed rankings,including the 2012 season in which they were fourth in yards allowed and first in the NFL in points allowed per game. Gus has spent his time in the NFL not only doing an outstanding job of running his part of the team, but also learning how to run the entire team. He spent four years in Seattle and you see what they just accomplished. Gus Bradley learned a lot there on how to build a championship team.

Now looking at the Quarterback position, we all know they drafted Blake Bortles in this years draft. One thing I love about the Jacksonville Jaguars is they understand that they are in rebuilding mode. They are taking there time and trying to build a team that’s going to contend for a very long time. Just like the franchise their coach came from. The Blake Bortles pick shows their understanding of where they are. They aren’t going to contend for a Super Bowl this year, but they have their future Quarterback who is going to spend this year in the backup role learning from Chad Henne. Sitting a rookie first round quarterback isn’t popular nowadays but if you remember, the Packers did it with Aaron Rodgers and he’s turned out just fine to say the least. Blake Bortles was my favorite quarterback going into the draft and I think the Jaguars found their guy for the years to come.

Lastly, the teams rankings of last year are misleading. While most people will see a 4-12 record and a bottom fourth ranking in all four major statistical categories (passing yards, rushing yards, passing yards allowed, rushing yards allowed), I see a team that went 4-4 in its last 8 games and went 3-3 against the division. Yes they started 0-8 but 6 of those teams were playoff teams including 3 of the 4 teams that played for a conference championship. Once the schedule softened up a little bit the Jaguars took off as a young team that began developing confidence.

So go ahead and laugh and say they’re the same old Jaguars. But these Jaguars are young, hungry, and led by an intelligent head coach. These aren’t the Jaguars we’re used to seeing and are only going to get better.


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