NFL

Breaking: Gus Bradley Fired As Jaguars Head Coach; Appears As If GM Dave Caldwell Stays

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After blowing a nine-point fourth quarter lead in their 21-20 loss to the Houston Texans Sunday, the Jacksonville Jaguars have relieved head coach Gus Bradley of his coaching duties.

Here is a statement from Jaguars owner Shahid Khan:

I thanked Gus Bradley today for his commitment to the Jacksonville Jaguars over the past four seasons.  As anyone close to our team knows, Gus gave his staff and players literally everything he had.  Our players competed for Gus and I know they have great respect for him, as do I. 

Gus also represented the Jaguars, the Jacksonville community and the NFL in nothing less than a first-class manner as our head coach.  That counts for a lot.  It is unfortunately evident that we must make a change.  I thought it would be best to do it immediately after today’s result so Gus can step away, relax and regroup with his family during the Christmas and holiday season. 

Dave Caldwell agreed and will now be charged with exploring all options to hire the best head coach possible to lead what I feel is an extremely talented team and reward a very loyal and patient fan base in Jacksonville.

What is the fallout and advantages of this move?  

Khan basically put Bradley out of his misery as everyone knew for weeks that he would be fired on Black Monday at the absolute latest.  At least the former head coach gets to spend Christmas with his family and regroup.

The Jaguars now get to interview candidates out in the open without dancing around anyone’s feelings or having potential coaches say “no” to interviews because they currently have a head coach.

It would appear as if general manager Dave Caldwell is safe, as Khan said that he would be the one making the decision to hire the next head coach- “Dave Caldwell agreed and will now be charged with exploring all options to hire the best head coach possible to lead what I feel is an extremely talented team and reward a very loyal and patient fan base in Jacksonville.”

Although it hasn’t been announced yet, it would be surprising if anyone other than Doug Marrone became the interim head coach. Marrone has two years of experience with Buffalo and led the team to a 9-7 season in 2014.

Bradley is one of the nicest men you’ll meet in the business of football and due to some fault of his own things simply didn’t work out for him as a head coach.  His always positive attitude is contagious, but many believed that it gave the team a lack of accountability.

It’s unclear whether or not that is true, but Bradley made poor decisions on gameday and his teams were simply “going through the motions” far too often.  His record of 14-48 is unacceptable in any circumstance, and especially when you consider the amount of legitimate talent that the team has acquired on it’s roster.

I asked Bradley last week how he continues to go through the disappointment of losing and here’s what he said, “The advantage that I have going through this is I’m with them. I’m with these guys every single day and I see them, so there is no doubt that I feed off of them. Without a doubt, I feed off of them.”

Unfortunately, the players are the ones that should be feeding off the coach, not the other way around.

Not to kick a proverbially dead horse, but a 2-12 record considering the lack of major injuries and amount of talent on the 2016 Jaguars roster has to be considered among the worst coaching jobs in the history of sports.  Khan and Caldwell did the fans of Jacksonville a disservice when they brought Bradley back for the 2016 season and they did nothing but waste a year where they legitimately could have been competitive.

It would have even been more acceptable to fire him after the embarrassing Tennessee loss, or a few weeks ago to prove a point to the fans that what was happening on the field simply wasn’t acceptable anymore.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.