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Gus Bradley was the Jaguars problem

Minnesota Vikings v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars fired Gus Bradley after their Week 14 loss to the Houston Texans. The team placed offensive line coach Doug Marrone in place as the interim head coach. Fast forward a month and the team announced Marrone would get the full time job, Dave Caldwell remained the general manager, they retained defensive coordinator Todd Wash and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. Essentially, the Jaguars kept everyone except for Gus Bradley.

The Jaguars effectively told everyone that it was all Gus Bradley’s fault.

Sure Wash and Hackett will run different schemes and Caldwell was clearly given a demotion, but they kept their jobs. The team looked completely different once Bradley was fired and things started to permeate that maybe Bradley was more stubborn and limiting than many had previously thought. Players spoke out that winning wasn't a focus, there wasn’t a lot of accountability and players/coaches might have been handcuffed. Marrone indicated the team decided to shift Allen Robinson around on offense, which begged why on Earth they didn’t try that in the 14 Weeks prior. We even saw Myles Jack suddenly play a lot more, Dan Skuta play more LEO and Dante Fowler Jr. used more being moved around and on stunts on the defensive line.

Even the introductory press conference featuring Tom Coughlin it was treated as a joke that someone had to ask if winning was going to be a focus of the team finally. Coughlin, rightly so, responded indignantly but it was a question that had to be asked because of Bradley’s tenure that didn’t make it a focus. As Coughlin told Peter King of SI’s MMQB, mediocrity had sat in which is what happens when you don’t make winning a focus.

While that may not be the intended message of the Jaguars as a franchise, given how they still compliment Bradley given the chance, it’s clearly the message being sent from the outside looking in. Non Jaguars observers aren’t going to care if the schemes on offense and defense change, because to the ignorant eye the coordinators are remaining the same and the only real difference is you eliminated Gus Bradley.

So to reiterate; the message the Jaguars are sending, intended or not, is that it was all Gus Bradley’s fault.

It’s a bold message, for sure.