There’s only been some passing discussion on what the expectations should be for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2016 now that Gus Bradley is returning as the head coach, on top of a one-year extension, despite a thoroughly disappointing 2015 campaign. Expectations for fans and expectations for owner Shad Khan could be different, as owners don’t often put a win total requirement on their coaches, because circumstances etc. can change, but Khan did seem to put a clear expectation on Bradley during the State of the Franchise on Friday last week.
"We don’t want to have any reason other than be focused on winning on the field, so this (contract extension) really removes any distraction off the field," Khan told reporters on Friday after the State of the Franchise presentation.
While Khan didn’t explicitly give a record requirement for Gus Bradley, it seems pretty clear that Khan is not expecting another sub .500 season in 2016 and that something like an 8-8 record may not be good enough. After all, 8-8 isn’t really "winning". Just simple improvement over the win-loss total from 2015 doesn’t sound like it will be good enough, nor should it be. The fact that the Jaguars finished with a 5-11 record considering how everything played out is a massive disappointment.
Khan knows though, that improvement in 2016 is going to rely on the defensive side of the ball taking a big jump.
"I think the offense last year, if we had said it would have improved as much as it did certainly I’d be delighted," Khan said on Friday. "I think the defense ... we’ve got some heavy lifting to do."
The heavy lifting on the defense is something Khan can lend a helping hand to in the offseason, by opening up the checkbook he’s shown he’s clearly not afraid to open. The Jaguars are going to need to be very active in free agency during the 2016 NFL offseason trying to bring in a few impact defensive players. The NFL Draft will help, but if the Jaguars can acquire 2-3 playmaking veterans on the defensive side of the ball, it will go a long way in assisting Gus Bradley to get that winning record in 2016.