Much has been made about the shift in philosophy for the Jacksonville Jaguars as an organization since the changeover to owner Shad Khan and now with head coach Gus Bradley. There's always renewed excitement with fans when a new regime takes hold but that doesn't always trickle down to the players
With Gus Bradley however, it appears it has.
"After the past two years here, this was a tough situation for him to come into,'' Marcedes Lewis told Sports Illustrated. "At first, I was like, 'C'mon, man, this can't be real. You can't be that kind of guy every day.' Because this is my eighth year now, and I've seen it all."
"But he is like that every day. His energy is contagious. He's refreshing. He's a breath of fresh air," Lewis told SI. "He set the tone for us in understanding that it's not about expectations or what everybody else thinks. We don't talk about wins or our record. We talk about our effort and our attitude and getting a little bit better every day.''
It's a smart approach for a staff and team who probably aren't going to win many games in 2013, because they're cleaning up the mess of the old regime. Part of the mess of the old regime was that they lost the locker room early in the season and once the players tune out the head coach, nothing is going to get accomplished.
"It was tough, and it started early,'' Lewis told Don Banks of Sports Illustrated. "And when you lose your locker room, everybody starts checking out. When we had the coaching change last year, right away you buy in because you want to believe in the new start. But day after day, when things get tough, it's a little different story."
If you don't have the foundation and trust in a coaching staff, it's hard to get through losses during the season, especially when they come week in and week out in blowout fashion. Just like any job, and it's a job to the players, if you don't have the leadership in place at the top and things get difficult, morale gets low and that's what happens.
With Bradley's focus on each individual player getting better, rather than the win-loss record, the win-loss record should figure itself out naturally. If each player is dedicated to improving themselves each day and "getting better", it should trickle over to the win-loss record.
It's a brilliant approach for a Jaguars team this season that probably won't notch many W's, but with this kind of attitude you can potentially steal some close games.