Jaguars vs. Chargers Will Include Another Return of Gus Bradley
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Los Angeles Chargers defensive coordinator has coached a game or two at TIAA Bank Field before. After all, he served as the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach from 2013-2016, coaching in 62 games.
Since then, Bradley has coached against his former team once, a 20-17 Jaguars overtime victory over Bradley and the Chargers in Jacksonville in 2017. Week 14's Jaguars vs. Chargers tilt will mean yet another return for Bradley, but a lot has changed since then.
It has been three whole seasons since the Jaguars were last coached by Bradley, so obviously the roster is much different. Plus, those Bradley teams went 14-48 in four seasons, the fourth-worst winning percentage of any head coach in NFL history. The rosters badly needed to be revamped.
Now, the only holdovers left from the Bradley era on Jacksonville's roster consist of nine players: wide receiver Marqise Lee, tight end Ben Koyack, center Brandon Linder, right guard A.J. Cann, offensive lineman Tyler Shatley, defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, nose tackle Abry Jones, safety Jarrod Wilson, and linebacker Myles Jack.
Head coach Doug Marrone also spent time with Bradley, serving as the Jaguars' offensive line coach under him from 2015-2016. When asked about his relationship with the man whose job he ended up taking, Marrone said it was still a solid one.
“Good, yeah. Obviously, Gus gave me an opportunity," Marrone said Wednesday at TIAA Bank Field. "You’re always appreciative of anyone that gives you an opportunity and you’re appreciative to be able to learn from anyone that’s around you. I saw Gus and Michaela [Bradley] this summer, it was great. There is nothing uncomfortable about it.”
Marrone was also asked about how he thinks the situation is with Bradley returning to his old stomping grounds, a place where his tenure was marred by losing in historical fashion. After all, Marrone has experience playing a team he used to coach, facing the Buffalo Bills twice in the last three seasons. He gave context for how some coaches may feel, and why it may not be as big of a deal as many think.
“I think each person deals with it differently, so it would be hard to talk about it individually. I know for me, it’s different things," Marrone said. "I think when I go back to – when we play New York, because I worked for the Jets, and then when I go back to Buffalo, and I worked in Buffalo, my focus really is on getting the guys ready to play. Because you really don’t have a lot of time during the week to put your personal feeling – and the players, [in] my experience, the players don’t really give a shit about your personal feelings towards what might have happened."
This would likely apply to Jacksonville and Bradley considering just how few players are left on the roster. But as Marrone said, he tries to point to the positives of his last stops, though he knows everyone is different.
"So, for me, I look at all the positive things, all the people. And you get to see some of them, which is exciting, either pregame or after the game, so that’s how I look at it. I don’t go back and remember the bad stuff, or the challenges that happened."
Bradley was known as a fountain of positivity during his time in Jacksonville, even during the bad points of his tenure. While Sunday will be a return for him, it is unlikely to be made much of a talking point due both to his infections positivity and the fact that there has been so much turnover.