5 Questions to Ask Jacksonville Jaguars HC Gus Bradley
5 Questions to Jacksonville Jaguars HC Gus Bradley
For a 4-12 team like the Jacksonville Jaguars, I'm sure many of you have plenty of questions for head coach Gus Bradley. The year of 2013 marked another dismal season in the franchise's history. The 4-12 season was the sixth- straight season in which the Jaguars finished without a winning record. The last time the team had a winning record and clinched a playoff berth was in 2007.
In Bradley's first season with the team, the Jaguars showed very little improvement from the year prior to Bradley's hire, when they went 2-14 as the league's worst team. A lot of the lack of improvement had to do with the lack of production at the quarterback position for yet another season. To make matters worse, running back Maurice Jones-Drew had a miserable season, while former first-round pick Justin Blackmon was suspended for the second time in one season.
Because of the instability of the Jaguars' offensive stars, the offense was the team's main detriment. The offense ranked 32nd in points and 31st in yards. You know how the defense was supposed to improve under the leadership of former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Bradley? It didn't. It ranked 28th in points allowed and 27th in yards allowed.
The Jaguars will head into 2014 hoping to steer the franchise into the right direction for yet another season. The franchise will hope it doesn't have another directionless season next year. With that said, what are five of the most burning questions you wish you could ask Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley?
5. How are the Jaguars Going to Replace Maurice Jones-Drew?
Franchise running back Maurice Jones-Drew is a free agent and likely won't be back for 2014. Since being drafted by the team in 2006, Jones-Drew has been one of the top running backs in the NFL. From 2009-11, Jones-Drew had three straight 1,300-yard rushing seasons.
However, in 2013 the bottom fell out -- the Jaguars running back ran for just 803 yards and ran for 3.4 yards per carry over the entire season. A large reason why the offense could never get going was due to the lack of effective running by Jones-Drew.
So the question begs, how are the Jaguars going to replace their franchise running back in 2014?
4. Who Do the Jaguars Have In Mind to Replace Justin Blackmon?
As mentioned before, Jaguars' wide receiver Justin Blackmon was suspended twice during the 2013 season for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. A second strike in the policy usually means a full-season suspension. Blackmon has already served an eight-game suspension, which makes another eight-game suspension to start out the 2014 season a likely route. At the current moment, the Jags receiver has been suspended "indefinitely."
Which means the Jaguars need to look for a receiver either through the draft or free agency to replace their No. 1 receiver. Cecil Shorts III is the only capable receiver the Jaguars have at the moment. That is not a good sign.
3. Are the Jaguars Ready to Take the Next Step to Become a Playoff Team?
Many Jaguars fans may be thinking it's a bit premature to being talking about the Jaguars being a playoff team. But we recently saw the Kansas City Chiefs go from a 2-14 team in 2012 to being an 11-5 playoff team in 2013. So, it is possible.
Similar to the Jaguars in 2013, the Chiefs had the NFL's worst offense in and the 25th ranked defense in 2012. If the Jaguars hope to do what the Chiefs did in 2013, they will have to find a franchise quarterback either through free agency or the draft. Which leads to my next question ...
2. Are the Jaguars Going to Draft a QB With the No. 3 Overall Selection?
As scary as it may seem, the Jaguars might not even draft a quarterback with the No. 3 overall selection. General manager David Caldwell has publicly stated the Jaguars won't necessarily draft a quarterback with their first-round selection.
Which means in this scenario, the Jaguars would likely re-sign free agent Chad Henne, and either sign another veteran quarterback or draft a QB in the middle rounds and go into the 2014 season with Henne, Blaine Gabbert and a veteran/mid-round draft pick battling for the starting job.
I feel your pain, Jaguars fans.
1. Which QB Do the Jaguars Like in the Draft?
Assuming Caldwell is just bluffing, and the Jaguars really do intend on drafting a quarterback with the No. 3 overall selection, which one of the three quarterbacks do they like the most? Is it Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel or Blake Bortles? At least one of the three quarterbacks will go to the Houston Texans, who hold the No. 1 overall selection.
But after the Texans select one of the three quarterbacks, who will the Jaguars select, if they do go with a quarterback?