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With new regime, will Jaguars continue to be a stern divisional test for Colts?

Posted Sep 26, 2013

Intro: Over the past 11 years, the Colts have controlled the reign on top of the AFC South. The most consistent challenger though has been the Jacksonville Jaguars. How have the new look Jaguars changed with a first-year head coach and general manager?



INDIANAPOLIS – Since division realignment in 2002, no team in the AFC South has given the Colts more trouble than the Jacksonville Jaguars.

While the Colts are still 16-8 all-time against the Jaguars, Indianapolis has had their fair share of battles with Jacksonville.

Outside of Pro Bowler Maurice Jones-Drew, these Jaguars that Colts fans will see on Sunday will look very different.

New head coach Gus Bradley takes over after four seasons as the Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator and he’s looking to change the recent culture in Jacksonville.

“We’re seeing flashes of doing things well but just not enough of them,” Bradley said of the Jaguars 0-3 start. “It’s our consistency. We understand that it’s going to take some time just offensively, defensively, special teams.

“It’s not something where we’re saying let’s build for the future. We feel like we’ve got the players now to help us be successful. We’ve just got to continue to grow with each other. I believe it will take place. We just have to really be strict and stay true to it.”

 

This week Bradley will get his first look at the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC South.

Bradley has already been impressed with what he’s seen on film from Sunday’s opponent, a team he will see again to close out the 2013 regular season.

“I really thought that San Francisco at times looked confused,” Bradley said of the Colts win in Week Three. “Indianapolis played more physical which is surprising because that’s what San Francisco brings to the table, playing them year-in and year-out (in Seattle).

“It just looked like Indianapolis is playing with a great deal of confidence and it continued as the game went on.”

During Bradley’s first season in Seattle, he had the privilege of coaching Colts defensive end Cory Redding.

Bradley, who’s Seahawks defenses evolved into the league’s best last year, saw the same leadership qualities in Redding (during that 2009 season) that the Colts have seen the last two years.

The two former neighbors in Seattle will now be on opposite sidelines on Sunday afternoon.

“Great guy, great motivator, high energy kind of guy,” Redding says of Bradley. “Real cool people, his wife and kids, they were just a great family.”

“He had the makings of (becoming an NFL head coach). Great leadership, he knew how to get guys going.”

Jacksonville will be looking for its first win of the season on Sunday and the fact that it’s a divisional matchup should bring a bit more attention.

During the Colts 2-14 season in 2011, both of their wins came against divisional opponents.

Redding was on the infamous winless Detroit Lions team of 2008 and he did not hesitate when talking about this week’s opposition.

“Jacksonville is in the NFL. It’s one of the 32 teams. They have guys over there with pride and guys want to go out there and make plays and contribute to their team,” Redding said of the Jaguars.

“We don’t take nobody lightly. You can’t overlook nobody in this league. Like I said, everybody has pride and they want to play hard, so we’re preparing this week just like we did last week and any other week that we’ve been preparing for any team. Go out there and execute all our plays in practice, fly around, try to make minor mistakes in practice and if you make it, clean it up before Sunday.”


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