I have been thinking about this since the opening game of the season. I don't quite understand most Jaguar fans' view on coaches and what makes a good coach. When we look at the last three Jaguar coaches, we see two defensive minded coaches, and one offensive guy. So far, all three have a combined record of 7-33 over the last three years. What's one thing all three coaches have had in common... vanilla defense, and a goal to execute and not try to "outsmart", as Del Rio would say.
Year after year we are forced to hear things like, "It's players, not plays", and, "coaches coach, and players play". As if these idioms have any real meaning whatsoever. It's drivel that people throw around to avoid believing that it really matters who coaches. Does no one remember the blockbuster trade that brought Jon Gruden to the Bucs, who subsequently won a Super Bowl? Same basic team as Dungy had, but Gruden was a brilliant player caller, and it was his coaching that took that team to the promised land. Just look at what Andy Reid has done with Alex Smith and the KC offense for a more recent example.
Now, we as Jaguar fans are faced again with a coach who isn't a schemer, but a motivator. We're told he "gets the most out of his players", well, if that's the case, then our team must be even worse than we thought. This is pathetic. Meanwhile, fellow 2-14 team the Chiefs, are on their way to a division title. I get that some people may say this is solely due to the quarterbacking of Alex Smith, and the defense made up of multiple perennial Pro-bowl players. While this may be true, the shocking turnaround of the 2-14 Chiefs can't be called "expected", as there was quite a bit of people on this blog who felt the Jaguars had a chance to win the opening day game.
To look at what a coach who brings his system to the team, and not just his personality, is quite impressive. I get that Gus Bradley is a good guy who motivates people, but please, you can't compare him to a coach like Andy Reid, who consistently took his previous team to the playoffs, and now has gone to another team and done the same with them. Gus Bradley is not in the same league (so to speak), as Coach Reid is, and it shows. Gus is learning on the job, and brings no play designs of his own to the fold. I understand he has a defensive scheme that involves press coverage, and one LEO rusher, but he is not a defensive mastermind, a' la the Ryan brothers, who seemingly always have strong defenses regardless of personnel. Again, looking at masterminds vs. a motivator.
Look at the offensive coordinator of the 49ers, who many pegged as our next head coach prior to Bradley's hiring... Are you telling me that if we had that offensive design, we'd still be struggling as much this year? I don't think so, but it is speculation, and many fans will understandably lash out at me likely for even suggesting that our record could be any different. No, it can't be anything but just horrible players, not a lick of it is on the coaching staff. Sigh... sounds like a democrat who blames Obama's failures on the previous regime... Guys, Gene Smith is gone, stop blaming the guy. He sucked, we get it, but don't just sweep this regime's deficiencies under the rug to cover for crappy coaching and personnel decisions (Roy Miller, no real QB brought in, trading a star LT for 3rd day picks [yeah, I said it], and letting Greg Jones go, who would definitely be an improvement over Will Ta-fe-fi-fo-fum, and no one could say wouldn't be helping our running game right now). I am a fan, die-hard, and I just call it like I see it. You may not agree, but I am not happy with the hires and moves thus far.
I saw an article that said that Bradley and Caldwell wanted to use their opportunity to give others a shot at their first time in the league at certain positions... Um, excuse me? Why not just hire the best people, instead of a bunch of inexperienced nobody's at the NFL level? This team is not one that is good enough to overcome poor coaching decisions, and bad play calls, as has been abundantly clear to any and all watching. This team needs its coaching to be top-notch, and thus far, it has not been that at all. We've seen players rushed back from injuries too fast, awful play calling, and nothing outside of motivational speeches. I'm not saying fire Gus, but I am saying that I am not sure we made the best decision we could have. Perhaps we'll see major improvement in year two, but if not, I'm hoping the next Jaguar coach is more than just a master-motivator... I want a Mastermind...