Jaguars owner Shad Khan is looking forward to big things in 2016, and he wants Gus Bradley to lead Jacksonville there.
In a statement to reporters on Tuesday, Khan talked about the progress he has seen in 2015 and the hope that Bradley has the “best year of his career” next season.
“I spoke to Gus Bradley today to confirm to him that he will continue as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2016. It’s evident to see how far we’ve come in many aspects of our cheap jerseys from China and game, and Gus deserves a lot of credit for that progress,” Khan said. “It’s also evident the considerable work that remains to be done to be where we expect to be at this time next season, which is well above where we stand today. And Gus understands that. Dave Caldwell and I also spoke today and we are both confident that Gus will make 2016 the best year of his career. In the meantime, I expect his coaching staff and team to respond favorably to this news in preparation for Houston on Sunday and then begin thinking about what more they can provide next season. We have high ambitions.”
Khan hinted at this during a lengthy interview with NFL.com and Around The NFL ahead of the team’s trip to London in October. Khan believes that quarterback Blake Bortles, one of the highest-scoring quarterbacks of the year, along with wide receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns show that the team trending in the right direction. Bradley will also get 2015 No. 3 overall pick Dante Fowler in the fold for the first time in 2016. Fowler tore his ACL early in camp last spring.
So far Bradley has finished with records of 4-12, 3-13 and 5-10. A win over the Texans on Sunday would give the club their most wins in a season since 2010.
The game was won in large part by the Packers’ offensive line. Aaron Rodgers had a ton of time to survey the field throughout the game. While he didn’t find open receivers early in the down often, he used his legs and insane arm to drop a number of “wow” plays on Jacksonville. Rodgers’ 29-yard touchdown throw to Davante Adams while Jalen Ramsey pulled Rodgers by the shirt will be one of the plays of the year. The rebuilt Jaguars secondary did their job overall but coach Gus Bradley has to be disappointed with his group’s inability to rush the passer.
Two offseason narratives surrounding star players for the Packers came through in a big way and bode well for their future. Eddie Lacy looked excellent. While fantasy heads won’t be thrilled with his 78 yards from scrimmage, Lacy looked like his rugged old self. Clay Matthews also felt like a wild man unleashed on the outside of the Packers’ defense. He caused a lot of disruption in addition to his sack and two tackles for loss.
Give credit to Gus Bradley for coaching aggressive. The Jaguars went for fourth-and-5 in Packers territory in the first quarter and converted on the way to points. The practice came in handy when the team went for fourth down multiple times to keep the game alive before finally coming up short with 16 seconds remaining.
The optimist will say to focus on the Packers game, which they nearly won on opening weekend before heading cross country to get beat in a sleepy game against the Chargers that simply got out of control. The Buccaneers can tell you what that’s like.
The Jaguars are still a top 15 offense, their eye-covering third-down percentage (23 percent) has to rise back toward the mean at some point, 2015 top-five pick Dante Fowler logged a pair of sacks and the return of Chris Ivory should help stabilize the running game — which should also help even out Bortles.
The pessimist — or realist, at this point maybe — pegged this Chargers game as a must-win and gawked at the number of penalties (13), turnovers (3), net rushing yards (69) and 6.1 yards per passing play average.
“Terrible,” linebacker Paul Posluszny said. “I just felt like we were past situations like this — missed assignments that result in touchdowns, games that are this lopsided. We need drastic improvement.”
The problem with a promise-filled season is that a start like this can take the air out of a team pretty quickly. This Sunday’s matchup against the Ravens and next week’s game against the Colts could have the team’s 2016 fate stamped before their bye week. Or, it could prove that we all need a little optimist in us even when things go south.