Bradley on Olson firing: I couldn't grasp that results were going to change

Hackett, Lewis discuss changes at offensive coordinator

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Despite the overall struggles of the Jaguars, only one man has been held accountable to the point of losing his job.

It wasn't head coach Gus Bradley. Instead, it was someone he considers "a great friend," now former offensive coordinator, Greg Olson.

The offensive play-caller was fired on Saturday, less than 24 hours after his boss and friend told local media that he didn't plan to make changes to his embattled staff.

Bradley addressed those same media outlets - this time in person - to announce Olson's dismissal and the promotion of quarterbacks coach Nathaniel Hackett to offensive coordinator.

The head coach, who has had limited success during his four-year tenure in Jacksonville, spoke about the evaluation process that was conducted following the team's embarrassing 36-22 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football during prime time.

"We're constantly evaluating," Bradley said. "We're evaluating our players, we're evaluating our scheme, we're evaluating our calls. We're in constant evaluation. Sometimes bye weeks or with extended periods of time, you get to reflect and that's what I tried to use this whole weekend to do."

Bradley felt the offense - which regressed from 18th in the league last season to 25th this year - needed a new voice.

"Olly is a great friend, he's a great coach, he's proven that last year, he did some very good things for us and was a tremendous asset. I just think with our team and where we're at right now, the direction that we wanted to go, we just wanted to have little bit different vision."

The Jaguars had to make a mid-season move to spark some sort of turnaround. At 2-5, the Jaguars are at the bottom of the AFC South.

Still, mid-season firings or major roster moves have never been Bradley's style. He has waited until the offseason to make changes in the past. Both original offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch and original defensive coordinator Bob Babich were fired during back-to-back offseasons.

They were not sacrificed for the good of the team until it was time to restock the shelves of the depth chart and coaching staff.

"I think there's things that you look at, just like with where we were going and you can say both sides can struggle at times, but I think it's just a bigger picture from that," Bradley said. "From here, where are we going? I just felt like the offense needed to be stimulated more in certain areas."

At 14-41, Bradley is coaching to hang onto a job that has come with very little public accountability. Dismissing his friend and the leader of the group that gave fans and media so much praise last year, was perhaps his way of acknowledging this is the last stand.

"It's not all just on Greg Olson, we all share the responsibility," Bradley said. "But I think - in that meeting room - it was like you know what, this is a tough business, it is a business. By the way we play it effects people's lives, it effects players lives."

Bradley didn't see a turnaround on the horizon for the offense under Olson. Quarterback Blake Bortles has regressed in several areas, while wide receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns have become less involved in making big plays. The running game is among the worst in the league.

To make matters worse, the Jaguars have been shut out in three of their seven games this season.

"I just couldn't grasp - in my mind - that the results are going to change if we continue going in this direction," Bradley said.

Hackett was promoted to offensive coordinator for several reasons.

"His relationship with the quarterbacks, his knowledge of the passing game, I think his relationship with the receivers and running backs - he's dealing with the quarterbacks so he's dealing with them - and I think the offensive line with protections," Bradley said. "He knows all the position groups and they know him and know his style."

Hackett served as offensive line coach Doug Marrone's offensive coordinator when he was the head coach of the Buffalo Bills. Given Hackett's experience as a play-caller and his familiarity with the players and coaches, Bradley thought he would be the best man for the job.

His relationship with Marrone may be the most important attribute. The offensive line has been extremely inconsistent and has struggled mightily to establish the run. Marrone and Hackett have an understanding of one another and that may improve the cohesion of the skill players with the offensive line.

"I did talk to Doug after making the decision and involved him in it like I did with all of the other coaches, but I thought that was important to see how that would work and that there was comfort level there working with Nate."

Bradley and Hackett have begun preparation for the Kansas City Chiefs. The head coach said the planning has stayed on schedule despite the coaching change.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.


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