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Gus Bradley signs contract extension with Jaguars


Gus Bradley is no lame duck.


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The Jacksonville Jaguars announced Friday they have extended the head coach's contract for one season, through 2017.

"It's an exciting day," Bradley said during a news conference. "It's been quite a process."

"For an organization that we believe is ready to make its move, extending Gus through the 2017 season provides our club with much-needed stability in every respect," general manager Dave Caldwell said in a statement. "It solidifies Gus' good standing with our current players, provides certainty for free agents who may be considering the Jaguars and helps to deliver the continuity throughout our coaching staff that we think is critical for us to turn the corner.

"It also gives us the best opportunity to win in 2016. I appreciate (Jaguars owner) Shad (Khan) supporting this approach as we enter a pivotal season with high expectations at every level of the organization."

The team also announced it promoted defensive line coach/run-game coordinator Todd Wash to defensive coordinator -- which NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday -- and signed Daniel Bullock as assistant defensive backs coach.

To be frank, the one-year add to Bradley's contract is a token gesture. It's abundantly clear 2016 will be a pivotal season for the coach after he received a vote of confidence from Khan prior to the end of the 2015 season.

Bradley is 12-36 in three years as the Jags' coach, which includes a disappointing five wins in 2015. If Jacksonville falls flat again, the extra year added to Bradley's contract will likely end up as his severance on the way out the door.

Bradley's most important endeavor is fixing his defense, one of the worst units in the NFL over the past three years:

2015: 31st in scoring (28.0); 24th in total yards (375.0)
2014: 26th in scoring (25.8); 26th in total yards (370.8)
2013: 28th in scoring (28.1); 27th in total yards (379. 4)

The Jags fired defensive coordinator Bob Babich and interviewed Jim Schwartz for the job, before he landed in Philadelphia. Bradley said that while he will be more involved with the defense, Wash will ultimately call plays on defense.

"He's a strong leader," Bradley said regarding Wash. "He has a strong presence in the defensive meeting room."

Providing an extra year to Bradley gives the Jags the air of more stability, something needed with a young stud quarterback in Blake Bortles. But make no mistake: Bradley needs his team to win and his defense to show signs of improvement. Otherwise, his extension will ring hollow in 11 months.


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