Caldwell, Bradley are going to need time

January, 17, 2013
1/17/13
12:39
PM ET
When new GM David Caldwell decided not to retain Mike Mularkey and set off on a search for a head coach, he spoke of looking for a co-builder of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Caldwell’s guy is hired and Gus Bradley will be introduced Friday.

Now the two will embark on the toughest job in the league: Roster building for a team that doesn't have much talent.

[+] EnlargeGus Bradley
AP Photo/Paul SpinelliNew coach Gus Bradley inherits a roster with a dearth of playmakers and an upgrade needed at quarterback.
The Jaguars were technically the second-worst team in the league in 2012. They and the Kansas City Chiefs were 2-14, but Kansas City played an easier schedule and thereby qualified for the No. 1 pick in the draft.

Caldwell and Bradley will be looking to add a blue-chip player at No. 2, a building block.

The list of guys under contract that I consider pieces they can fill in around isn’t very long:
On offense: Receivers Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon, left tackle Eugene Monroe, tight end Marcedes Lewis (though he’s overpriced), running back Maurice Jones-Drew (who could be dealt with one year remaining on his deal).

On defense: Ends Jeremy Mincey and Jason Babin, middle linebacker Paul Posluszny, safeties Dwight Lowery and Dawan Landry.

That’s not a lot, and we don’t know if all those guys fit what Caldwell and Bradley will want to do systematically.

While a lot of teams have turned things around quickly, the Jaguars need a major infusion of talent. A quality free-agency class and a good draft can do a lot to help the team make a jump. But this roster needs major revamping, and it’ll take more than a year to turn the Jaguars into a playoff-caliber team.

The one element that can accelerate a turnaround -- a big-time quarterback -- does not appear to be available. The Colts went from 2-14 to 11-5 with a new regime, but the central player in the turnaround was No. 1 pick Andrew Luck. There is no Luck to be brought in here.

Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne are under contract.

Perhaps the Jaguars find a quarterback who’s a revelation like third-rounder Russell Wilson in Seattle, where Bradley comes from. Perhaps they deal for Matt Flynn (also in Seattle) or Alex Smith (San Francisco) and the new veteran is a big upgrade.

But the odds on either scenario are long.

More likely the leadership duo look to build all other areas of the roster while waiting for a chance at a quarterback in a year or two. Caldwell's contract is for five years. We don't know the length of Bradley's deal yet.

But their co-build is very likely going to take time.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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