Gus Bradley is clearly not the answer for this Jacksonville Jaguars franchise -- that much has been established in previous articles both by myself and the writers on this site. Now, it's time to focus on the potential replacements for him. With that in mind, here is a list of potential head coaching candidates that I feel would be the best hire for the Jaguars.
Sean McDermott, Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator
Since 2011, no one has done a better job of architecting and creating a defense from scratch than McDermott. Hand picked by Ron Rivera, he is the only coordinator in the NFL to field a top-10 defense each of the last four seasons. He has molded players such as Josh Norman, Luke Kuechly, Kawann Short, and Star Lotulelei. He runs an aggressive, attacking 4-3 scheme which would suit our current personnel. He has ties with some very impressive coaches, such as Ron Rivera and John Harbaugh.
The only criticism of McDermott is that it's hard to separate his success from Ron Rivera, who in his own right is a very smart and successful defensive coordinator. Rivera was the coordinator for Lovie Smith and fielded multiple top-five defenses during his time with the Bears. One is right to wonder whether McDermott is the true mastermind behind the Panthers' defensive renaissance, or if Rivers is the main reason.
Regardless, McDermott is well worth a shot, as the players describe him as disciplined and detailed oriented all while infusing a youthful, spirited energy to the defense
Jim Bob Cooter, Detroit Lions offensive coordinator
Hear me out. I know that he has a relatively bare resume, and at age 32, he's too young to be a head coach, but you can't deny the success he's had with the Lions.
If Cooter does another masterful job with Stafford this season, look for his name to be in head coaching circles, as teams tend to covet young, offensive geniuses. Cooter led Stafford to new, career heights last year. After promoting Cooter to Offensive Coordinator, Detroit finished with a 7-9 record after starting 2-7. Who's to say he can't lead Blake and the Jaguars to new heights?
As we know, this is a quarterback driven league, and people around the league are starting to take notice of Cooter. He also has perhaps the coolest name in league history. I mean, Jim Bob Cooter. Let it sink in.
Matt Patricia, New England Patriots defensive coordinator
Matt Patricia is someone I've been intrigued with for a long time. He's an engineer by trade, and only got into football in 2005. Regardless, Belichick saw something in him, and now he's stacked up a couple good years as their Defensive Coordinator.
Anyone who's had an opportunity to learn from Belichick has to be worth a shot in my mind, and Patricia has the football savvy and coaching resume to back it up. Patricia's entire coaching career has been with the Patriots, having worked his way up to defensive coordinator in 2012 after seven seasons with the team. New England's defense has finished in the top 10 in points allowed in each of Patricia's four seasons as coordinator, which is awfully impressive considering the Patriot's offense has received most of the attention. Of course, Patricia's scheme involves week to week changes that neutralize the opposing offense's best weapon, something that Bradley has failed to do in his four years.
Patricia is my personal favorite coaching candidate out there.
Doug Marrone, Jacksonville Jaguars, OL coach
Doug Marrone has successfully rehabbed his image, and he's worth a shot as a head coach. I mean, he guided the Bills to a 9-7 record with Kyle Orton and Fred Jackson as the main offensive threats!!! He did an underrated job as head coach, and I would be comfortable if the Jaguars hired him as head coach. His specialty is, of course, on the offensive side, so he'd have to bring in a good defensive coordinator with a scheme that fits our talent.
Additionally, the Jaguars possess infinitely more talent than the Bills did under his tenure, so I have no doubts that Marrone would be able to coach this group to at least a 9-7 record.
Josh McDaniels, New England Patriots offensive coordinator
There's no easy way to say it, but McDaniels failed spectacularly in his first head coaching gig. Like Marrone, he's rehabilitated his image as an offensive guru and has done a marvelous job ever since his epic firing. He's consistently fielded excellent offenses at every stop, even today as offensive coordinator of the Patriots. Remember, he was the architect of the deep threat, vertical attack of the 2007 Patriots, who went 16-0.
He's shown the ability to adapt to any personnel, as now the Patriots run a more horizontal, deliberate scheme aimed at getting the ball quickly out of the quarterback's hands. He was cited as too immature and frequently clashed with his players and front office, but a few more years of maturity and wisdom has alleviated those concerns. Imagine McDaniels with this Jaguars offense, especially with the talent that Dave has assembled over the years...
Although it's still super early in the season, it never hurts to look at the market for head coaches. It's obvious that the Jaguars would benefit immensely from a competent head coach, and any one of these names would instantly alleviate the numerous concerns surrounding the Jaguars. My only hope is that Shad Khan sees it the same way.
These are just some names that I've thrown out there. Feel free to continue the discussion in the comments!