Jags’ Gus Bradley could be first coach to go

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

The Gus Bus might be first to hit the road. This was sup­posed to be the year Gus Bradley turned the Jacksonville Jaguars into a con­tender. Af­ter go­ing 12-36 in his first three sea­sons, Bradley got a one-year con­tract ex­ten­sion through 2017. That came with height­ened ex­pec­ta­tions.

Af­ter all, the Jaguars spent more than $350 mil­lion (nearly $150 mil­lion guar­an­teed) in free agency the last two years to sign 10 starters. They as­sem­bled a ros­ter of tal­ented young play­ers.

All signs pointed to­ward a ma­jor step for­ward. In­stead, the Jaguars are 2-6 and headed nowhere in the weak AFC South. There have been at least six coach­ing changes in the NFL in each of the past six off­sea­sons. Bradley could be the first to go this sea­son, and there’s no guar­an­tee he makes it through the sec­ond half. Here are other coaches on the hot seat:

The Bills haven’t made the play­offs since 1999, the long­est drought in the NFL. Ryan vowed to end that streak when he took over last sea­son. He failed in his first try, go­ing 8-8. Ryan fired of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Greg Ro­man af­ter a 0-2 start this sea­son, but he could be in trou­ble if Buf­falo (4-5) has a los­ing sea­son.

The 49ers have lost seven in a row since open­ing the sea­son with a shutout win over the Rams. Kelly has three years left on his con­tract and the 49ers fired Jim Tom­sula one sea­son into a four-year deal af­ter 2015, so it’s un­likely they would do it again. But if Kelly wants to re­turn to col­lege foot­ball, he’ll get a com­fort­able push out the door.

The Rams had four straight los­ing sea­sons un­der Fisher in St. Louis and they’re headed to­ward an­other one in their first sea­son back in Los An­ge­les. If the Rams (3-6) don’t turn things around in the sec­ond half, Fisher may not stick around to see the Jared Goff era.

The Pack­ers have reached the play­offs eight times in Mc­Carthy’s 10 sea­sons and seven years in a row. But they’ve had dis­ap­point­ing play­off losses since win­ning the 2011 Su­per Bowl and are 4-4 this sea­son. Unless Aaron Rodgers gets them back on track, Mc­Carthy’s time in Green Bay could be up.

The Colts (4-5) beat the Pack­ers on the road to get back in the race in the AFC South. Pagano led the Colts to three straight 11-win sea­sons, but he was in trou­ble last year af­ter go­ing 8-8 with An­drew Luck miss­ing a chunk of games. He signed a four-year con­tract ex­ten­sion in Jan­uary, so that gives him some se­cu­rity. But Pagano may have to win a play­off game to stick around in In­di­anapo­lis.

The Ben­gals have reached the play­offs seven times in 13 sea­sons un­der Lewis, in­clud­ing the last five years. They’re 0-7 in those games. At 3-4-1, Cincin­nati’s post­sea­son run is in jeop­ardy. That could lead to the first coach­ing change since 2003.

The Bears are 2-6 af­ter go­ing 6-10 in Fox’s first sea­son. Fox led the Pan­thers and Bron­cos to big jumps in his sec­ond year, but that’s not hap­pen­ing in Chicago. He might not get a third sea­son.

The Lions are 5-4 af­ter ral­ly­ing for an im­pres­sive win at Min­nesota. They won 11 games and reached the play­offs in Cald­well’s first sea­son, but they started 1-7 in 2015 and needed a 6-2 fin­ish to pre­serve his job. A col­lapse down the stretch could lead to Cald­well’s departure.

The Jets are 3-6 and reel­ing, a sea­son af­ter go­ing 10-6 and nar­rowly miss­ing the play­offs. Bowles could be gone if they con­tinue to spi­ral down­ward.

The Charg­ers tum­bled to 4-12 last year af­ter go­ing to the play­offs in each of McCoy’s first two sea­sons. Now they’re 4-5 and an­other los­ing sea­son could cost McCoy his job. —AP

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