Ryan Day of our sister site, Big Cat Country, is back for round two of our Pregame Recon series. The Texans got it done against the Jaguars earlier this year on the strength of the defense (thank you, Kareem Jackson), and not much has changed since then down in Duval County as the Jags continue to lose and Blake Bortles continues to regress. Here is what Ryan had to say about the state of the Jaguars as they close out the 2016 season:
1. So...Gus Bradley is getting fired, right? And everyone is in agreement that his firing is the correct course of action, right?
Yeah, I can't imagine a scenario where Gus Bradley is the head coach going into next season. If that happens, the fan base might implode on itself. He's literally the worst head coach in terms of winning percentage in the modern era of the NFL. We have some local media types who are pussyfooting around the obvious because Gus is a nice guy and Jacksonville has a lot of lousy reporters, but the vast, vast majority of the fan base knows that Gus and his staff need to go immediately.
2. Other than Bradley's coaching specifically, what the hell went wrong this season? There was so much hype for this Jaguars squad, including from us over in Houston, and yet it just never materialized on the field.
Well, Blake Bortles played like a drunk, the offensive line under-performed, our running backs are awful, Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee switched jerseys, and the defense (while good) doesn't have playmaking ability or the capability to force turnovers. Oh and our head coach is an idiot when it comes to in-game management.
3. Is Blake Bortles officially playing for his job, or will the front office give him one more year to become what they thought he would be when he was drafted?
He should be, but he isn't because this coaching staff doesn't know how to hold players accountable, or at least how to hold the quarterback accountable. And here's the crappy thing about keeping general manager Dave Caldwell -- Blake may not even be playing for his job next year either because Caldwell went in on Blake and (likely) has the power to hire the next coach and may force Blake on that guy too. WTF.
4. Assuming Gus is gone in a few weeks, who are your ideal candidates to replace him as head coach?
Tom Coughlin. Todd Haley. Josh McDaniels. Coaches who know how to win, have proven they know how to win, have an acumen for coaching up quarterbacks and an offense.
5. The Jaguars are sitting pretty at third overall right now in the 2017 NFL Draft order. If that pick order holds, who do you take at that slot and why?
The best pass rusher available. If you see a mock draft with the Jaguars picking anyone other than a pass rusher, they did it wrong. I don't care if the guy went to ITT Tech -- I'd rather have a pass rusher. I've seen safety, offensive lineman, and cornerback mocked to us -- NO. GET ME A PASS RUSHER. NOW.
A big thank you to Ryan for stopping by again. You can read all of his (and others) excellent work on all-things Jaguars over at Big Cat Country.