The Philadelphia Eagles built up Gus Bradley as their most likely new head coach until Jan. 16. But before the Eagles stunned the world by luring Chip Kelly from Oregon after all, Bradley seemed like he was ready to become a head coach. Yet a day later, Bradley is indeed making that leap, albeit with another team.
According to FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer on Jan. 17, Bradley is working out a contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. They had an interview with him right as the Eagles took themselves out of the running for him by hiring Kelly. With Jacksonville as the only other team that expressed interest in making him a head coach, Bradley apparently took the leap.
Of course, Bradley could have done better with the Eagles if Kelly didn’t re-emerge. In fact, he would have done even better if he stayed with the Seattle Seahawks as defensive coordinator. Although the Jaguars can make him a head coach, he would be coaching a 2-14 team with a bleak future.
Even with the higher title, that doesn’t seem more appealing than being with a rising Seahawks team, or an Eagles squad that still has big stars in a big market. However, appealing teams don’t usually have to look for new head coaches in the first place. As such, with the Eagles now unavailable, Bradley only had the Jaguars to turn to for a promotion.
Although Bradley gives the Jaguars defensive legitimacy, they have even bigger problems on offense, with no set No. 1 quarterback and with star running-back Maurice Jones-Drew recovering from foot injuries. What’s more, Bradley will inevitably face questions on whether he would bring local legend Tim Tebow to Jacksonville, especially since his Seahawks had success with a mobile quarterback in Russell Wilson.
While the Eagles celebrate Kelly’s arrival and forthcoming innovations, they have to keep an eye on what Bradley does with the Jaguars. If he actually brings Jacksonville back to respectability, and if Kelly can’t do the same in Philadelphia, the Eagles would be haunted for some time over their final decision.
Before Kelly roared into town, it looked Bradley was someone that the Eagles had to settle for, in lue of someone they really wanted. Yet will it turn out that the Eagles merely settled for Kelly instead?