- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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A look at what to expect as the Jacksonville Jaguars begin the Gus Bradley era:
Biggest change to expect: When I visited the Jaguars during minicamp, many players talked to me about how the new staff wants and cares about their input. That doesn’t mean players will be drawing up game plans or schemes. But this group will feel like it can offer feedback to Bradley and his assistants and be heard and taken seriously. That’s a giant thing for players -- it raises the stakes of a buy-in and will pay dividends for this regime. Also, look for more man coverage by the secondary and more zone-blocking in the run game.
What success would look like: We’ve seen bad teams make a big jump in just one year with a new coach in place. They’ve typically inherited or acquired more talent and a better quarterback situation than Bradley has. I think this team will feel better about itself, has more young upside, will show improvement and will win a handful of games that mess up the seasons of other teams. Five or more wins would be a success. Finding/developing a quarterback would be a gigantic success.
High energy: Plenty of new coaches enter jobs with high energy. But Bradley has an incredible bounce about him and it’s contagious. A young roster with a lot of unproven stars will feed off that, and how can it be anything but healthy? Bradley knows it’s a big job that will not allow for impatience. Energy won’t wane when things don’t go well. It’s simply not in his makeup to let down or mope. He’s not set on the team adopting his personality. He wants it to form its own. It’s inevitable, however, that his strongest trait trickles down to some degree.
More or fewer wins? The Jaguars were 2-14 last season and drafted second overall only because Kansas City won the top spot on a tiebreaker. These Jaguars will have some bad Sundays and no matter how smart they play, the talent gap between them and many of the teams on their schedule will be too big to overcome. But in his rookie season as their coach, Bradley is almost certain to put more notches in the win column than Mike Mularkey did a year ago.