17 January 2013

Is Gus Bradley the right coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars?

For those counting, we have the first defensive-minded coaching hire in the offseason with the Jacksonville Jaguars hiring Seahawks defensive coordinator Casey "Gus" Bradley as their new coach. Bradley comes to the River City as a highly regarded defensive coach, but did the Jaguars make a good hire?

When Jim Mora became the head coach of the Seahawks back in 2009, then-Buccaneers defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin told him that Bradley, who was the linebackers coach under Kiffin at that time, was a "once-in-a-lifetime coach" and thus Mora brought Bradley on board. After Mora was dumped after one season, Kiffin urged the new Seahawks coach, Pete Carroll, to keep Bradley on board as the defensive coordinator, which Carroll did. It's safe to say that it was a pretty successful move considering this year they were one of the elite defenses in football this year, and certainly one of the most exciting, and thus it is important to note that Seattle was the third worst defense in the league the year before Bradley went to Seattle.

Now a lot of people do not love this hire because it seemed that the Jaguars were going to hire an offensive coach, with 49ers offensive coordiatator Greg Roman thought to be their top target, considering how awful their offense was this year, particularly in the passing game. But one should note that in terms of league standing, the defense was actually worse than the offense (30th compared to 29th). And don't forget that the Jags hired an offensive coach this time last year in Mike Mularkey, and that ended up with a 2-14 season.

There is no question that Bradley is a talented coach and his coaching resume is not that far off from the last successful coach in Jacksonville, Jack Del Rio. It will be critical for Bradley to find a quarterback, as Blaine Gabbert is a nightmare under center, and to hire a darn good offensive coach to run that side of the ball but I really like this hire and I think that the team is on the right track.

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