Every first-time NFL head coach need an experienced guy or two on his staff he can really lean on.
Jaguars coach Gus Bradley has his.
Bradley once served on the staff of Bob Babich at North Dakota State. Now Babich is Bradley’s defensive coordinator.
Babich has spent the past nine seasons with the Chicago Bears, where he served six years as linebackers coach and three as defensive coordinator under head coach Lovie Smith.
He will undoubtedly be a key lieutenant for Bradley as he takes over the Jaguars and looks to shape his team.
But since Bradley is a defensive guy, his other early hire likely ranks as even more important.
Jedd Fisch is the Jaguars offensive coordinator. He spent the past two seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Miami.
He and Bradley know each other from 2010 in Seattle, when Fisch was quarterbacks coach.
Fisch worked as a graduate assistant for Steve Spurrier at Florida. And in nine seasons of NFL work, he’s been on the staffs of Pete Carroll, Mike Shanahan and Brian Billick as well as Dom Capers.
In an August 2011 interview with Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel, here’s how Fisch described those influences on him and the offense he intended to run at Miami:
“I would say the greatest influence on our offense would be Coach Shanahan in regards to what we do,” Fisch said. “I think Coach Billick has the greatest impact in terms of how we do it, and I think Coach Spurrier’s impact is that in the back of mind always it’s OK to take a chance and go for it. I really think it’s the trifecta.
“If you turned our film on, Coach Shanahan would recognize the plays more than anyone else because it’s from the book we ran in Denver and Seattle. If you stood in our meeting room, Coach Billick would recognize how it’s being installed and the terminology.
“Play-calling is probably the closest to Coach Spurrier in terms of I hope to one day be as good as him and take on that approach of ‘Hey, you can take some chances and they’ll work if you believe in what you see.’”