The Jacksonville Jaguars hired Gus Bradley in 2013. The offense was bad and the defense was worse. Led by Blaine Gabbert, an over-the-hill Maurice Jones-Drew, and a defense filled with guys who are now selling real estate, the team needed a complete overhaul.
Now? Well, now we have a lot of new faces. We have a better quarterback, we have two receivers in the top-25 of the league, and we mixed together prove-it guys, first round prospects, Pro Bowl players, and a Super Bowl champ on the defensive side of the ball.
But what has really changed? (It's a question @MadeByTim asked early in the game and it's a good one.)
With the offense it's easy to tell. It's a lot more vertical than the first year Gus took over, or at least it's designed to be. This is a strong-armed quarterback with a talented receiving corps, and an offensive line that's good enough. The offense has a lot of potential, but the quarterback is still making awful decisions, the running game flashes but is overall inconsistent, third down conversions are next to impossible, our running backs are our leading receivers, and we run screens every other play. Take away the names on the roster -- that's our 2013 season.
The defense, however... whew, the defense is even worse.
Take this play, for example. Paul Posluszny is still the team's middle linebacker. Fine. But he's matching up consistently with opposing receivers... and he pays for it.
Why is Posluszny, after three full years under Gus Bradley, still covering receivers in the open field?
And now we have Posluszny combined with lazy attempts at tackles from Johnathan Cyprien and Dwayne Gratz. Is this 2013? If you showed me this play and told me this was from Gus Bradley's first season as head coach, I don't know if I'd be able to tell the difference between now and three years ago.
And the run defense, which was supposed to be a strength (and honestly, had made major strides over the years) played like trash today. Danny Woodhead and Melvin Gordon combined for 58 yards on the ground on the opening drive and then when Woodhead was injured and the Jaguars knew that Gordon was the guy, they still couldn't stop him, allowing him 102 yards on the day and a score.
Don't get me started on the questionable coaching decisions (Myles Jack on the sidelines when the linebackers are repeatedly getting burned?), the secondary's inability to cover anything deep (Davon House wyd?), the tight ends getting a 10-yard radius of open space, the team looking completely unprepared, and #JaguarsTwitter's implosion from the middle of the first quarter onward... this game absolutely reeked of 2013.