While there are several NFL coaches who are on the hot seat right now, none may be feeling as much heat as Gus Bradley of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The third-year coach, who was the hired in 2013 after serving as Seattle's defensive coordinator, has won eight games in a two-plus year span. No other coach in the history of the NFL has survived past a third season with those numbers. The team Jacksonville beat for their only win this season - the Miami Dolphins - have already fired their head coach, Joe Philbin, and won their first game under interim head coach Dan Campbell.
The fate of Bradley's season may rest in what happens when the Jaguars travel to London this weekend for their annual "home" game against the Buffalo Bills.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article: https://gms.to/haveyoursay4
If there was ever a team that needed a win in the worst way, it is Jacksonville - a team that would own the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft if the season ended today. Believe me when I say this is not how management and team owner Shad Khan envisioned the 2015 season.
Gus Bradley's likable demeanor, his passion for the game and his desire to win had made him a favorite with the Jaguars' fan base, but a string of losses - four in a row and the last three this team should have won, have caused more than a stir here on the First Coast. This is another rebuilding project that appears to have reached a roadblock.
The fans, the media, and potentially management may have all become weary at the same time. As a writer and a fan, sometimes it is hard to sit back and be impartial. I have been a fan and season ticket holder for the better part of 21 years. I want to see a better project and I demand better play out of this roster.
There is a real belief Bradley will not be back with the team after this season - and frankly, I am starting to think a new start is warranted, but it won't help the fans who have been through this before. The team should be 4-2 this season. Instead, it looks like another high draft pick and hope of better things in the future.
Personally, I have heard that before.
Should management give up on this season, fire Bradley, give the reins to offensive coordinator Doug Marrone and see what happens? It worked this past week in Miami. But the Dolphins have a better roster than the one in Jacksonville. The Jaguars have a solid quarterback, two solid receivers, a rookie running back and little else.
Oh, how I miss the days of Mark Brunell, Jimmy Smith and Fred Taylor. This is a team that needs to move forward. Any kind of win would do. But again, we all sit and wait and wonder. Is it the coach, the coaching staff or the roster?
Maybe it's a combination of all three. And in that case, this team is no better off than it was before Bradley was hired.
And in that case, this team cannot move forward until it fixes the backward steps it's taking right now.