Things are going fairly well for Gus Bradley and the Jaguars in London today (at least score-wise), but the same can’t be said for much of Bradley’s tenure with the Jags. As Jacksonville’s head coach, Bradley sports an 8-30 record, and with his team off to a 1-5 start in 2015, there are some who believe his job could be in jeopardy.
But according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (via Kevin Patra of NFL.com), that is not the case. Rapoport says that, barring a player mutiny, Bradley will not only keep his job for the remainder of 2015–which team owner Shad Khan implied yesterday–but for all of 2016 as well. The team’s front office appreciates that Bradley inherited one of the least-talented rosters in the NFL when he took the job, and no one realistically believed that the turnaround would be completed in three seasons. Furthermore, 90% of the Jaguars’ roster is 24-years-old or younger, so the team will exhibit patience with Bradley as he attempts to get the most out of his inexperienced squad.
And it’s not as though there are no encouraging signs. The team made a concerted effort to address its offense this past offseason, and although the jury is still out on Blake Bortles, Jacksonville has a good deal of enviable young talent at the skill positions with players like Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, Julius Thomas, and T.J. Yeldon. The team is expected to place a similar focus on the defensive side of the ball this offseason, and the success of that unit will likely be what determines Bradley’s ultimate fate in Jacksonville. After all, Bradley came to the Jags as a hot head coaching commodity and defensive guru, after leading the Seahawks’ defense to prominence in his last two seasons as Seattle’s defensive coordinator, a position he held from 2009-2012.
If the defense does not improve, Khan’s rare and much-needed patience may begin to wear thin. And no matter the age or inexperience of the roster, Bradley simply has to start winning more games. Luckily for him, it looks as though he will be given ample opportunity to do just that.