Kubiak, Chudzinski were hurt by comparisons to Gus Bradley


Midway through the season, the Jaguars looked like the worst team in the NFL, and one of the worst teams in NFL history. But the Jaguars played hard over the second half of the season and even had a three-game winning streak at one point, with two wins over the Texans bookending a win over the Browns.

Jaguars coach Gus Bradley got a lot of credit for keeping his team playing hard late in a lost season, but Bradley’s strong coaching down the stretch may have also contributed to the Texans firing Gary Kubiak and the Browns firing Rob Chudzinski.

Kubiak was fired the day after the second loss to Jacksonville, and Texans owner Bob McNair made clear that he thought Bradley had out-coached Kubiak.

We’ve got a lot better talent than Jacksonville,” McNair said. “To have them beat us twice, that’s to their credit. They played harder, they played smarter, and that’s not acceptable to us to have some team beat us on that basis.”

And Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reported that the Browns’ front office compared its own situation to Jacksonville’s and was displeased with the way the Browns failed to improve over the second half of the season, the way Jacksonville did.

“They compared themselves, believe it or not, to the job Gus Bradley’s done in Jacksonville,” Glazer said of the Browns. “They said, ‘Is their personnel better than ours? No, it’s not. Yet they improved and got better as the year went on.'”

Ordinarily, you wouldn’t think a coach of a 4-12 team had done a great job. But Bradley took over a lousy team and had them playing competitive football late in the season. When Kubiak and Chudzinski’s teams weren’t playing as well as Bradley’s team, that cost Kubiak and Chudzinski their jobs.

29 responses to “Kubiak, Chudzinski were hurt by comparisons to Gus Bradley

  1. Yet we just assume the Texans are loaded with talent, Rick Smith stays, and not enough question it. Look at this roster, especially on the defensive side. 2012 Chiefs it is not.

  2. Texans have top 10 talent maybe top 5 talent and were the worst team in the NFL. They had a lot of injuries to deal with but that boils down to coaching plain and simple….

    Plus what I think really sank Kubiak was the fact that Manning wanted to come here and Kubiak said that we were set at QB with Schaub…. what a huge mistake.

  3. Honestly, this is an excellent point.

    Jacksonville was awful. It is testament to the leadership on that team and coaching staff that they didn’t mail it in after week 4 or 5.

  4. I’m all about bad teams getting better and becoming relevant. I didn’t watch them closely enough to know how their season went, but no fans should endure prolonged losing.
    Good to see that the jags may be on the way up!

  5. Kubiak collapsing on the field might have had more to do with his firing. He was so stressed out about losing that he was putting his life in danger. The Jaguars playing well is sort of a narrow viewpoint, and doesn’t really encompass the entire situation.

  6. That’s crap! The Browns were in most games this year with the crap quarterbacks that management gave them. There will be “unnamed sources” that will come out trying to justify the Browns canning Chud. Kubiak had plenty of time.

    Based on the facts that are public, Chud got a raw deal.

  7. The problem in Cleveland wasn’t the coaching, it was the talent evaluation.

    Lombardi missed on the draft. No impact players.

    Missed on free agency. No impact signings.

    Didn’t restock the team after Hoyer got hurt and they traded Richardson.

    Didn’t make attempts to sign free agents to be TJ Ward or Alex Mack. Both are now sure to walk.

    Banner and Haslam want talk about improvement but they fail to acknowledge Chud wasn’t given a complete deck of cards to play with.

    What credible coach is going to want the Browns job with Banner and Lombardi pulling the strings?

  8. .

    Oddly, Bradley and Greg Schiano had almost identical seasons. Although Tampa’s division with Carolina and New Orleans and the NFC West as their conference opponents made the Buccaneers schedule more difficult.

    Yet for every 10 stories calling for Schiano’s firing there was a grand total of zero calling for Bradley’s dismissal.


  9. It’s this kind of thinking that creates the instability Haslam says he won’t stand for. The questions they should be asking – and focused on – are: did Chud have the right systems and processes in place to win? And are the players buying into those systems? If the answers are yes, he should stay. If the answers are no, he should go.

    When you start staring down your neighbour and drawing conclusions based on surfacey issues, you’re doomed to fail in this league. A commitment to excellence requires more – and the Browns simply don’t have it, no matter what Haslam claims.

  10. Chudz getting fired is mainly on Chip kellys shoulders imo.

    Their front office is like Chip can do it and chudz didn’t so see ya later. It’s a joke. Their rosters are different entirely.

    That or haslem bought the browns in order to tank them so the steelers could have a better chance every season… Thats just a funny thought.

  11. The Richardson trade was the best thing Lombardi did all year. Lombardi probably should get a mulligan on the Chudzinski hire. The players supported him, but you can’t let the inmates run the asylum. McDaniels probably learned from his first go around in Denver. Let’s face it. Many of the star players on Denver (with the obvious exception of Manning) were brought in by McDaniels.

    As for Kubiak, there is no good argument to keep him around. That team fell apart last December and has only gotten worse. Neither of these two moves had anything to do with Jaguars fighting hard.

  12. Sometimes it’s difficult to assess teams in terms of talent in the NFL. All teams have virtually the same talent (I said virtually).

    What’s not difficult to assess is something like discipline. Houston is the NFL leader (therefore the worst) in penalty yards in 2013 (1138 yards). Cleveland is 10th (920). Jacksonville is 20th (only 797). That’s huge, just absolutely huge. Talent doesn’t matter when you are forking over that much penalty yardage.

  13. Gotta give it to Gus, he had those players playing hard. I mean they traded away their LT and their 1st round pick LT goes down the week after. Top WR gets suspended 8 games and they still came and played hard with so little.

    People were expecting them to get crushed by Broncos and it was a tough battle in the 2nd half. Excellent coach and one of those good guys. Happy he is doing well!

  14. The notion that the Texans have great talent is overblown and is a product of Rick Smith whispering in McNair’s ear as they sit in the owners box watching games. See Bob, it’s not my fault … look how Shiloh Keo outplayed Ed Reed this year…

    Who besides Watt, Cushing (IR), Antonio Smith (UFA), J. Joseph (IR), Danieal Manning (IR), Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins, Duane Brown, Arian Foster (IR), Ben Tate (IR/UFA) and Chris Myers would start for another NFL team? Texans depth sux, and that’s on Rick Smith. They’ve let a bunch of guys go in FA over the past several years (Brisiel, Winston, Ryans, Barwin, Casey, Dreessen, Jacoby, Holliday, etc) and it’s hurt them, while paying the wrong guys like Schaub, and arguably Foster after he was run into the ground.

  15. Simply put, Bradley had a decent GM; Chudzinski had a turd for a GM. Dumbardi did poorly in free agency, worse in the draft. He and Bummer engineered a trade that left no running back; in the end the blame fell to the coach. When the FO gives up on the season what do you expect from the players?

  16. If Jax traded away their starting running back, then you could compare them to the Browns.

    How hard is it to keep a team together when the ownership is shipping off the starting players and planning for some future team instead of the one you already have?

    At least Jax drafted someone in the first round to replace the player they traded. I can’t name one Browns draft pick.

  17. It was all about perception. Khan, Caldwell, and Bradley made a point of setting the bar very low before the season began. With no small help from the media who tabbed the Jags as the worst team in the league going in. So, they couldn’t fail, really. But the fact is that the Jags were as bad in their last game as their first. After a couple of lucky wins, they let two very winnable games get away from them late in the year and were trampled soundly by the Colts (who they did well against the previous two years) in the final game. They were right back at square one, and if Indy hadn’t rested their starters late in the game the score would have been much worse.

  18. Bradley did a terrific job, considering the circumstances. He did what a first year coach is supposed to do when you take over a terrible situation like the one in Jacksonville. They established an identity, even with the terrible players, and now can commence to improving the players who implement it. They looked like the certain first pick overall, but then came out of the bye going 500 down the stretch. The needle is pointing up finally, Jag fans.

  19. The best compliment is that of the competition.

    I never would have truly appreciated the job Bradley has done when you think of the worst team in football.

    And it’s so true.. fantasy wise, you could play any Defense vs the Jags and get serious points during the first half of the season and a game or two. After that, no more… literally like a switch got turned on for them.

  20. The NFL the ultimate zero-sum game, whiles one coach is winning the other is ultimately or indirectly being pushed closely towards the unemployment line albeit rich one.

  21. In the Texans case The owner wanted to see Keenum in action to see if he was really good but Kubiak kept benching him for Schaub. The Owner had to can him for not looking out for the best long term interests of the team.

    The Brown appear to have misjudged there own talent and compared themselves to the well stocked Chiefs who were a decent QB away from being contenders the Eagles who were Super Bowl contenders a season ago till the coaches son died the QB got injured and the staff started fighting each over the wide 9.
    They forget that the GM decided to tank the season when he traded Richardson and didn’t get much WR talent

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