Sam's Commentary

January 05, 2016 Commentary Archive

For Gus' Sake, I Hope He's Right

by Sam Kouvaris
Posted January 05, 2016 ===========================================================================

During his three-year tenure as the Jaguars Head Coach, Gus Bradley has redefined what 'victory' means. He was always looking for improvement, getting better, playing your best. But with Owner Shad Khan's expectations that the team be ahead of where they were at the conclusion of the 2015 season, I asked Gus today whether he would have to move on to the traditional definition of victory in the won-loss column.

"Like I said, you have to be real and understand that it is a results-driven league.," Bradley said during his year-end press conference. "We talk in terms of victory in terms of being the best that you can be. You go back and look at it, well, what happened yesterday? Why didn't we win? Well, we weren't our best. It comes back to that. If you're not at your best, then the results don't come. That part of it is still the message, and we have to find out how to be our best consistently. That part of the message won't change."

It's not hard to get caught up in Gus' message of "be your best" but the reality is he has to win more games next year to keep his job. Barring some calamitous injury to many of the stars, Bradley's 2016 Jaguars will be expected to compete in the division. Against Houston on Sunday, they didn't appear to be ready for that. But Bradley said with the number of draft picks they have and the money available in free-agency, they can improve the roster through competition or cuts. That might mean parting ways with some players he and GM Dave Caldwell brought in from the beginning.

"I think that's the one thing that I do appreciate with Dave is that, boy, we really try to fight to not let our egos get involved because if your egos get involved then you make decisions based on who's right rather than what's right," Bradley explained with the turn of a phrase.. "I think you have to know the time and place to know, it's time. We need to move on. But it's always a challenge. What I appreciate is our conversations about them are, as much as possible, without any ego involved."

Which means once he gets his staff in place, (Doug Marrone has been mentioned as a possibility for several of the head coaching vacancies in the league) they'll have to take a hard look at how they coached and how the players responded this year. Agreed, there were several one possession games and the Jaguars nearly cut in half their points differential per game, but winning those games and not taking a step backwards is imperative.

"I think this offseason we really need to dig deep. But I think also the emphasis was on how much work needs to be done, and as a coaching staff we have to dig deep."

And they have to be willing to accept what they find. If that means changing some things, personnel, coaches, schemes, then so be it. Because it's about the results.

"It's a results-driven league and we're not to the results that we had hoped for," Bradley agreed. "So I think that's what we need to look at."

One of the things Gus explained today at his year ender was how he looks at a player's development, especially on defense. He said there's the learning process, then the understanding of "coach speak." But he emphasized how the players have to play above the coach speak. That they have to make plays within the schemes and the system, something they have flexibility to do once the coaching staff thinks they're ready.

"There are some guys that you look at and are new to the system, and then there are those guys that you talked about that it's their third year. And I think knowing the difference who can you offer flexibility to, and trust them?

No doubt the Jaguars will spend money on free agency differently this off season than they have in the past three. They need players who can contribute now, not develop a few years down the road. Last year Bradley reportedly wanted to bid on Ndamukong Suh but Caldwell said, "Not yet." Well, now's the time to break the bank on a player like Suh if he's available. Otherwise, somebody else will be making the decisions for 2017.

When posed with this situation, Bradley said he has a loyalty to the organization and the people there, trying to put his ego aside.

"And then I think it always comes back to," Gus said, 'Let's stay true to what we talked about. Let's always make decisions [for] what is best for this team and this organization,' and not let my ego get in the way., I know it sounds like the holiday season when I say it, but it means a lot to me and it means a lot to everybody here. And I think [what's] most important is to stay true to the plan."

I've said many times Bradley is easy to root for because he's authentic and truthful. You could see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice today that he really believes it's going to work and the decisions he and Caldwell have made and will make in this off season will pay off for the organization for years to come.

For his sake, I hope he's right.


Commentary by Sam Kouvaris

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ARCHIVE of The College Weekly Report

01-04-2016 - Coughlin Out At Giants HC
01-03-2016 - Jaguars Lose To Texans, Work To Do
01-03-2016 - Jaguars Playing Today, Thinking About Tomorrow
12-30-2015 - Khan: Win Next Year
12-29-2015 - Bradley Not Going Anywhere
12-27-2015 - Brees, Precision Beat Jaguars
12-27-2015 - Jaguars Still Motivated?
12-24-2015 - Jaguars: Third Down Could Fix Slow Starts
12-22-2015 - Bradley: Back to Basics
12-20-2015 - Jaguars: One Mistake
12-20-2015 - Falcons A Good Test For The Jaguars
12-19-2015 - Grier To Transfer From Florida
12-18-2015 - Julius Thomas Paying Dividends
12-15-2015 - Bradley: "Tremendous Message"
12-13-2015 - Jaguars Find Momentum, Rout Colts
12-13-2015 - Jaguars: 2016 Starts Now
12-10-2015 - Despite Losing, Jaguars Still "Together"
12-09-2015 - Long Drive King At Home In Jacksonville
12-08-2015 - Bradley On Defense: "We're Not Getting What We Need"
12-06-2015 - Jaguars Mistakes Doom Them Vs. Titans
12-06-2015 - Jaguars/Titans: A Glimpse Ahead
12-05-2015 - A "Speed" Friday For The Jaguars
12-04-2015 - Mariota vs. Jaguars Defense
12-04-2015 - Bell and JU: A Messy Split
11-30-2015 - 22 Years Ago Today: The Jaguars Are Born
11-29-2015 - Rivers Beats Jaguars, 31-25
11-29-2015 - Richt Fired: Who's Next?
11-29-2015 - Jaguars/Chargers Preview: All About Rivers
11-25-2015 - Bradley Likes The Improvement
11-24-2015 - Bortles: "The pieces are there"
11-21-2015 - Bradley Day After: Keep it Tight
11-20-2015 - Jaguars Beat Titans, Win Back To Back Games
11-19-2015 - Jaguars With A Chance Tonight
11-18-2015 - Marks Out: Jaguars Short Week
11-17-2015 - Bradley: Playing Our Best Is Always The Goal
11-15-2015 - Breaks Fall Jaguars Way In Win Over Ravens
11-10-2015 - Bradley: Spirit? Good, Play? Not Good Enough
11-08-2015 - Same Mistakes, Same Result: Jaguars Lose to Jets
11-07-2015 - Healthy, Jaguars Looking For A Road Win
11-02-2015 - Jaguars "Bonus Monday"
10-29-2015 - Jaguars Bye Week: Honest Talk
10-28-2015 - Poll: Bradley Still Popular
10-27-2015 - Bradley Sees Good And Bad In Win
10-25-2015 - Beat Teams You're Supposed To Beat: Jaguars Win In London
10-24-2015 - Khan On Replacing Bradley: "It hasn't crossed my mind."
10-23-2015 - Jaguars Long Day In London
10-22-2015 - Jaguars Deal in London through 2020
10-21-2015 - London is a Jaguars Reality
10-20-2015 - Jaguars "Ignoring The Noise"
10-18-2015 - Jaguars All Wrong, Lose to Texans
10-17-2015 - The Bradley Coaching Experiment
10-16-2015 - Jaguars Groundhog Day?
10-15-2015 - Bortles Practices, Bradley Louder
10-13b-2015 - Spurrier Retires On His Terms
10-13-2015 - Bradley: "Still Painful"
10-12-2015 - Bradley Is Angry
10-11-2015 - Jaguars Falter Again, Lose To Bucs
10-10-2015 - Jaguars on the Verge? Or More of the Same?
10-09-2015 - Jaguars Ready for Tampa
10-08-2015 - Jaguars Know What They're Lacking
10-08-2015 - Lindy Infante: Jacksonville's First Glimpse
10-06-2015 - Jaguars Sticking With Myers
10-06-2015 - Like You, Bradley is "Confused and Disappointed"
10-05-2015 - Jaguars Can't Covert, Lose To Colts
10-04-2015 - Reports: Luck Won't Play Today
10-02-2015 - Mixed Injury Report For Jaguars Vs. Colts
10-01-2015 - Jaguars Move On To Colts
09-30-2015 - Bradley On Bortles: Keep It Simple
09-29-2015 - Bradley: "Our Margin is Tight"
09-27-2015 - Patriots Maul Jaguars
09-25-2015 - Jaguars Beat Up For Pats
09-24-2015 - Belichick a Believer in the Jaguars
09-21-2015 - Jaguars Beat Dolphins: Grow Up Fast
09-14-2015 - Jaguars Tell The Truth Monday: We Can be Better
09-13-2015 - Jaguars Lose Opener, Momentum
09-10-2015 - "Pedro's Last Dance: Far From Goodbye
09-06-2015 - "We're Built" Jaguars in Year Three
09-03-2015 - Jaguars Washington Preview
09-02-2015 - Shad Khan: Jaguars in London through 2030?
08-29-2015 - Jaguars/Lions: Good and Bad
08-28-2015 - Jaguars/Detroit Preview: Starters, Roster Spots
08-12-2015 - Jaguars Wrap "Public" Training Camp
08-11-2015 - Jaguars Prepping For Pittsburgh At Training Camp
08-05-2015 - Jaguars Full Pad Practice, Lee hurt?
08-03-2015 - Jaguars Cancel "Road" Practice: Admit they need the work
07-31-2015 - Jaguars Optimism: Real or Pipe Dream?
07-23-2015 - US Soccer: Is It Our Best?
07-18-2015 - Shad's Not Going Anywhere
07-17-2015 - Blake Bortles in Tahoe
07-09-2015 - Kingfish Tournament: Back to it's Roots
07-09-2015 - Get Better: Sea Island Golf Performance Academy
07-05-2015 - Notre Dame/Navy Here in 2016
07-02-2015 - Golf Technology Can Make You a Better Player
05-26-2015 - Jaguars OTA Preview: Questions or Answers?
05-11-2015 - Fowler wins Players
05-07-2015 - McElroy vs. Speith: Rivalry or Not?
05-02-2015 - TJ Yeldon "Need Met Best Player Available" for Jaguars
05-01-2015 - Jaguars Draft Day Two: Now the Real Work Begins
05-01-2015 - Jaguars Take Fowler for Talent, Effort, Need
04-30-2015 - Jaguars Draft Possibilities
04-25-2015 - Jaguars Pre-Draft 2015: Endless Possibilities
04-21-2015 - FSU in Transition: Fisher Anxious to Get Started
03-23-2015 - March Madness in Town: What Fun!
03-19-2015 - UNF Already Looking Forward
03-14-2015 - Gate River Run (and Race): Worth a Day
03-12-2015 - Jaguars spend Money, Goodwill in Free Agency
03-11-2015 - "Pedro's Last Dance" Should be Fun
02-12-2015 - Can Tiger Come Back, Again?
02-06-2015 - Jaguars New Assistants: Experienced, Upbeat
02-05-2015 - Fisher on FSU Signees: "Big, Powerful"
02-05-2015 - Gators' McElwain Gains Momentum
02-04-2015 - Signing Day is now HUGE!
01-24-2015 - Patriots: Probably Deflated for a While
01-08-2015 - For Jameis, More Questions Await
01-01-2015 - FSU Beaten By Oregon In The Semi

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