Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Firing 101

OK, class. Today we're going to discuss the right way, and the wrong way, to fire your head coach. Pay attention. Someday Gus Bradley may be your head coach, after all.

Anyway, here's the thumbnail:

1. The right way: Invite Coach to your office, close the door and quietly tell him you appreciate all his hard work, but it's time to make a change. Ask him to gather the team. Show up in person to inform them, then give the players the opportunity to reach out to Coach privately to tell him goodbye.

2. The wrong way: The way Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell did it.

Which was to inform Bradley he was pink-slipped as the players were leaving the locker room after Sunday's 21-20 loss at Houston. Many of those players, consequently, found out about it on social media. Then they looked up, on the plane ride home, and there was Bradley on the same plane.

This produced a few awkward moments, to say the least.

"Yeah, that sucked," defensive end Sen'Derrick Marks said Tuesday. "If I had an opinion on if I thought that was the right move, I don't think that was the right way to do it. He had to ride the plane home back that way, but that ain't my call. They did it. They made the move.

"Gus was very cordial about it. Spoke with everybody. Came through the plane shaking hands and just talking with people. Gus has always been a great person in that aspect, but I don't think we as players were in the mood or were ready to actually see that at that moment."

And, yes, class, I'm sure you all have the same questions Marks and his teammates had. Like, why didn't Caldwell wait until they were back in Jacksonville to tell Bradley he was canned? Why do it immediately after the game -- especially since the Jags' brain trust (to use the term loosely) had already determined before the game they were going to let Bradley go?

They'd waited that long. They couldn't wait a couple more hours, just to spare the poor guy the embarrassment?

You there, in the back.

Yes, I do think this sort of cotton-headed decision on the part of Caldwell speaks to his general level of competence. But, no, I don't know if it will impact his job status.

But God knows it should.   

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