Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Notebook; Bradley: Babich Gave Heart, Soul

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Notebook; Bradley: Babich Gave Heart, Soul

Article excerpt

Byline: Hays Carlyon

Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said Wednesday that former defensive coordinator Bob Babich "poured his heart and his soul into the organization" during his three seasons.

Bradley fired Babich on Tuesday, two days after a 5-11 season ended with a 30-6 rout at Houston.

The Jaguars ranked 31st in the NFL in scoring defense, allowing 28 points a game.

The two men have a long history, adding to the difficulty of the situation.

Babich not only retained, but promoted Bradley from linebackers coach to defensive coordinator after being named head coach at North Dakota State in 1997.

"Extremely difficult," Bradley said. "It's probably one of the toughest aspects of this job. ... Bob and I have got a long-standing relationship that goes back many years, and it's not only Bob and I, but our families. It makes it even more difficult - someone you care deeply about, you have great respect for and you have great trust in."

Bradley, who enters the 2016 season with a 12-36 record, said his meeting with Babich was a long conversation that Babich handled in classy fashion.

"I can't begin to tell you how difficult of a discussion it was," Bradley said. "This was my choice. It was my evaluation."

The Jaguars gave up 30 or more points in eight games. The offense produced great improvement, so the 11-loss total fell mainly on the defense.

"Sometimes it falls on the defensive coordinator, and sometimes when you look at it, it is spread out," Bradley said. "We all could've had our part in it to help and to ensure that the product was better, and in some cases, it falls back to the defensive coordinator."

BORTLES READY TO DICTATE

Quarterback Blake Bortles threw for franchise records in passing yards (4,428) and touchdowns (35), but that mostly came from his natural play-making ability.

As Bortles enters his third season as a starter, he's hoping to be comfortable enough in offensive coordinator Greg Olson's scheme to start dictating to opposing defenses. …

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