Author: Natalie Mars

Gus Bradley Might Be First Coach Fired this Season if Jags Lose on Sunday

After a disappointing 2015 season, the Jacksonville Jaguars entered the 2016 season with high expectations and great NFL odds of sneaking into the playoffs because of the moves they made during the offseason. After losing the first three games of the season, the Jaguars find themselves in a familiar position, which means that head coach Gus Bradley’s seat is getting hotter as we speak.

During the offseason, the Jaguars shored up their defense through the draft and free agency, and since they play in weak AFC South, there was hope they could make a run for the division title. After three games, the team is at the bottom of the division, two games behind the Houston Texans, who lead the AFC South.

After a failed comeback against the Baltimore Ravens, which dropped them to 0-3, the Jaguars will be travelling to London this week to take on the Indianapolis Colts, who won their first game of the year on Sunday.

In two of their three games this season, the Jaguars defense has looked good and managed to keep games close, but their offense hasn’t been very helpful so far. The team has also shot itself in the foot on numerous occasions, preventing them from winning games.

Penalties are one of the biggest reasons the Jaguars are still winless, with the Jaguars being one of the most penalized teams in the league. While Bradley has a lot of young players on the team, it is not an excuse to be as undisciplined as they have been in the first three games of the season.

If the penalties weren’t bad enough, the Jags also tend to kill drives with bad turnovers. Against the Ravens, the Jaguars had a great chance of winning their first game of the season after taking a 17-16 lead with seven minutes left in the game. However, two interceptions and a couple of bad sacks ended any hopes of the team winning the game.

Since Bradley took over as head coach of the team in 2013, the Jaguars are 12-39, which is the worst four year record of any coach in franchise history. Last season, the Jags 5-11 record was their best under Bradley’s watch.

The biggest reason the Jaguars were unable to win two of their first three games is their offense, which remains one of the worst in the league. Jacksonville is currently 28th in total offense, their 18 points per game average is 26th in the league, and the 55 yards they average per rush is 31st in the league.

Even though the Jags are ranked 8th overall in total defense, the team is allowing opponents to score an average of 28 points per game, which is 26th in the league.

If Bradley and his team want to avoid a 0-4 start, the offense has to start playing better. Blake Bortles, who was expected to be much improved this season, has seven turnovers compared to five touchdowns. He has also been sacked nine times.

Defeating the 1-2 Colts this weekend can help Bradley hang on to his job a little longer, but there are no guarantees that will happen. One thing is for sure, if the Jaguars fall to 0-4 after all the preseason hype they had, Bradley might find himself joining Miami’s Joe Philbin and Oakland’s Dennis Allen as coaches who have been fired after 0-4 starts the past two seasons.

 

Featured image via Jaguars Media Department

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Jaguars need LB Myles Jack to make rapid progress to take over for Paul Posluszny

If the Jaguars had one wish, it would be to get LB Myles Jack on the field as soon as possible. The Jacksonville Jaguars lost to Green Bay last Sunday in a game that saw Cornerback Jalen Ramsey on the field for all but three defensive snaps. The fact that Myles Jack, Ramsey’s fellow rookie, didn’t see a snap on defensive didn’t upset any NFL betting predictions.

Coach Gus Bradley’s mindset is easy to understand in this situation. He wants to give Jack enough time to adjust to his new position as weak side linebacker. There is no chance of the Jaguars thrusting him onto the field until they are sure that he is comfortable in the position.

At the very least, it is easy to see why Gus wouldn’t want to pit him against someone like Aaron Rodgers. There are a lot of great quarterbacks in the Jaguars immediate future. Gus is most likely to limit Jack to playing only special teams.

At the moment, the team is doing everything in its power to get Jack to a place where they can begin depending on him. The game with Green Bay was difficult, not only physically but mentally. There is no denying that Jack has made great strides so far. He understands football and his athletic prowess have positioned him to make quick and steady progress.

Right now, he just needs to understand the responsibilities he will be expected to undertake. The Sunday game proved that there is no place for complacency, not with the sorts of quarterbacks they will be facing in the coming weeks.

Jack has been learning from Paul Posluszny for most of the preseason as well as the training camp. Along with playing 12 snaps against the Packers, it is clear that the Jaguars want Jack to gain a clear understanding of the entire defense.

Jack will be the first to admit that he was a little behind at the start of the camp. The NFL’s graduation rule kept him out of all organized team activities. For now all Gus can do is hope that Jack will thrive as a weakside linebacker, a position he first filled in the final game against Atlanta in the preseason.

He is expected to keep working at that spot, not far from Telvin Smith who has had his own issues getting out of position in the past. Jack is decent enough when it comes to coverage.

The Jaguars could debut him in a defensive role the next time they find themselves in a nickel; of course, Gus will have to decide whether to pair Jack with Smith or Posluszny. Posluszny isn’t especially impressive when it comes to coverage, though he can get everyone lined up correctly.

The fact the Jaguars trust him to call the defense gives him an edge over Smith. The Jaguars will look to him when they face San Diego on Sunday. The Jaguars haven’t exactly performed as expected in previous games with San Diego.

After San Diego, the Jaguars must also face Baltimore (and Joe Flacco), then Indianapolis (and Andrew Luck). Whether or not Jack will play in these games will depend on his progress.

Featured image via

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Jaguars Swap Myles Jack Position Ahead of Preseason Finale

It seems rookie Myles Jack of the Jacksonville Jaguars is swapping positions. During training camp as well as in three exhibitions, he worked alone at middle linebacker after which, this week, he seemingly shifted positions to the weaker side of the linebacker to set him up for their game at Atlanta in the last match of the preseason on Thursday. Even as NFL picks monitors such strategic changes in their game, Jack expressed on Tuesday that switching positions makes him more versatile and somehow simplifies his world.

This move clearly indicates that the Jaguars believes that Jack vividly and comprehensively understands the role of a middle linebacker, a position he has been playing behind the experienced Paul Posluszny. He has embraced the change probably as an opportunity of increasing his defensive skills and knowledge with the aim of becoming more versatile as the regular season approaches. However, the Jaguars are stuck with one major challenge: only less than two days remain for Jack to make the ultimate decision about switching positions. According to Posluszny, even though this will turn out to be a fascinating challenge, Jack has the potential to manage it very well.

In a deeper perspective, Jacksonville have a strong belief that Jack will grow and develop his skills to become the future middle linebacker of the franchise. However, it seems this move will draw critic’s opinions across the league because Posluszny played way better in the training camp than projected, especially when it comes to pass coverage; therefore, the team has to seek other prospective strategies of ensuring Jack stays on the field. Some of the options include replacing him with Telvin Smith, who keep on losing his position unnecessarily during play. In the draft, Jack was seen as one of the most talented coverage linebackers, but with a doubtful right knee, he slipped to the second round.

In September 2015, Myles Jack tore a meniscus to rule him out of the remaining fixtures of his junior season immediately. He had to join rehab in the beginning of October in Phoenix. The Jaguars reexamined his knee twice prior to the draft, after which GM Dave Caldwell seemed fully satisfied to trade up two spots to enable him secure the 36th overall pick for him before his fall began. Throughout training camp, Jack seemed to cope very well with his knee and this week we will see his mind being tested. Jack expressed his sentiments saying he has always played in the middle position for many games and now h has to start adapting and comprehend the weak side. He added that even though it seems easy for him, he has to have an open mind for it.

During his college years, one of the most outstanding attribute that Jack possessed was his versatility. Throughout his freshman year, he played as a running back and a linebacker, which makes the Jaguars convinced that he has the potential to create an effective game with his passing and running games. However, for now, he has to execute such ideas from a considerably different position. According to Posluszny, all Jack needs to do is transferring most of his tactics and skills to the new position and play fast with a sober mind.

 

Featured image via Jaguars Forever

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