According to Pro Football Weekly, Gus Bradley’s replacement may have already been chosen.
This was the season many predicted that Gus Bradley would turn the Jaguars around, and they would finally be fighting for a playoff spot. However, while the rest of the AFC South is locked in a tight race for the division crown, Jacksonville is staring at another top three draft pick. Many have predicted that Gus Bradley will finally be fired at the end of the season, and that idea is all but a certainty, according to Pro Football Weekly.
Multiple sources close to the situation confirm Gus Bradley is all but gone, and a replacement may be lined up: https://t.co/gGT357StIw— Pro Football Weekly (@PFWeekly) December 15, 2016
The most interesting part of the article isn’t that sources are saying that Gus is a dead man walking, but rather that a replacement may already be lined up.
Is Bradley’s replacement set to go in Jacksonville?
There is one very hot name we’ve saved because, the Way We Hear It, he might already have a job, and that’s Tampa Bay defensive coordinator and former Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith.
Sources have told us that Smith might believe the Jaguars job is his if he wants it, and that he has already begun reaching out to candidates to put a staff of assistants together.
To be clear, Jaguars owner Shad Khan has not confirmed that Gus Bradley will be fired, and we at Pro Football Weekly do not wish to play any role in promoting the loss of his job, but we have confirmed with multiple sources very close to the situation there is next to nothing Bradley can do now to save that job after going 14-47 though three seasons and 13 games.
There are multiple dots you can connect to get Smith to Jacksonville, but a number of them depend on whether Khan intends to retain general manager David Caldwell and allow him a second shot at hiring a head coach. Caldwell’s first act after getting the Jaguars GM job was to fire Mike Mularkey and hire Bradley.
According to our sources, Khan believes the Jaguars' talent is better than the record indicates and that Caldwell will get another crack at hiring a coach.
Well, that’s certainly an interesting scenario, if it turns out to be true. Mike Smith is currently serving as Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator, a role that he previously served in Jacksonville under Jack Del Rio. In between those two gigs, Smith was the Atlanta Falcons head coach, achieving an overall record of 66-46, and a playoff record of 1-4.
As the article mentions, a lot of this depends on whether or not Dave Caldwell is retained as the Jaguars general manager, but it seems as if that will be the case. Apparently Khan believes that the talent level is better than the record they've achieved, and so Caldwell will get another shot with a new head coach. The connection makes sense, as Caldwell was in the Falcons front office when Smith was the head coach.
What do you think? Is Smitty someone you'd like to see return to Jacksonville? Were you hoping for someone else? Let us know!