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Assistant search begins


JACKSONVILLE – The staff-building begins immediately.

Gus Bradley, hired as the Jaguars' head coach Wednesday and introduced Friday, said the process of identifying and hiring assistants already is ongoing, but he said Friday he had no specifics on positions on the staff.

He said he and General Manager David Caldwell will "share ideas," with the ultimate decision on staff members belonging to Bradley.

"We're trying to bring in people that have the same philosophy as (Owner) Shad (Khan)," Bradley said Friday moments after he was introduced as the Jaguars' fourth permanent head coach.

"The passion for the game, the excitement – let's bring some enthusiasm to Jacksonville like the city deserves, and we're trying to find coaches that have that same type of demeanor."

He added, "We're not going to hire coaches that are loyal to me. I don't want that. I want loyal to Jacksonville. I want them loyal to the Jaguars. That's who you need to be loyal to, and let's go. That's what our whole purpose is."

Bradley, who spent the past four seasons as the Seattle Seahawks' defensive coordinator, didn't offer details on what assistants from the current staff might stay.

The assistants from former Head Coach Mike Mularkey's staff had been given permission to speak with other teams before Mularkey was released from his contract on January 10. Tight ends coach Bobby Johnson has joined the Detroit Lions staff, offensive line coach Andy Heck joined the Kansas City Chiefs staff and running backs coach Sylvester Croom joined the Tennessee Titans staff in the same capacities.

Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker has been mentioned with the same position in Chicago, and Bradley said he expects to know more on assistants in the next couple of days.

According to reports, former Chicago Bears defensive coordinator and former Detroit Lions Head Coach Rod Marinell is a possibility for a staff position. Bradley on Friday also discussed Seahawks defensive line coach Todd Wash and former Bears linebackers coach Bob Babich.

Bradley said he planned to put no timetable on the hiring process, and that he doesn't want to make the mistakes some coaches make of hiring a staff too quickly.

"We're trying to find the best," Bradley said. "It's important to find out about people because it is a people business. There's going to be some really good times and there's going to be some tough times. During those tough times you want to really have quality people with you and that's what we're going to do. We're going to dig and find them, and I think in our mindset it doesn't matter, NFL, college, it doesn't matter. We're going to find the best.

"We're starting to put it together now and we're on the right track. Somewhere down the line we will announce those candidates and who's going to be part of this staff, but we'll take that time to do it."

Also on Friday:

*Bradley said though his background is as a defensive coordinator, he believes he can help on the offensive side, too.  "One of the things that I understand is what hurts defenses," he said. "What causes those problems? Multiple personnel groupings, multiple formations, diversity, with the quarterback run game, with the spreading out, the two-back run games and so on. All things are issues. I have great faith in an offensive coordinator we're going to hire, but we will work together now on some issues that cause defense great difficulties."

*Bradley said a key in the next few months will determining how to fit the team's scheme to players. "I think the number one thing is we have to evaluate talent," he said. "When we first got hired (in Seattle), we took a look at all the talent and we moved some guys from different positions. We said, 'Here's who we've got, let's put them in the best position to make plays and give us the best opportunity to be successful.' I don't think it's any different here. I think that we've got to look at personnel and place them in a position where they have the best opportunity to succeed, and hopefully in doing that we become more explosive."

*Bradley was asked about the possibility of acquiring Seahawks quarterback Matt Flynn, who was signed as a free agent last offseason before spending the season as a backup to rookie Russell Wilson: "He's part of the Seattle roster right now, so he's a Seahawk."

*Of the eight head coaching vacancies in the NFL, Bradley was the only new head coach hired with a defensive background. Caldwell said side of the ball was not a consideration in the hire. "You have to be a good coach and I think you have to be a great leader, and the rest will take care of itself," Caldwell said. "You have to put the right people in place to fit the offensive and defensive scheme. I think he will be able to put it all together."

*Caldwell said three candidates interviewed for the position – Bradley, Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and Tucker. He said he may have interviewed San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman next week had Bradley not been hired by then. "All three of the candidates," Caldwell said. "They were really good and I was impressed." Bradley said he signed a four-year deal, with Caldwell having signed a five-year deal last week.

*Bradley said he hasn't ruled out the idea of calling the defensive plays next season. "It could happen," he said. "I'm going to see how we progress, and I'll be heavily involved in the defensive side."

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