Carroll is a big fan of Jaguars coach Gus Bradley, who was the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator under Carroll for three seasons and helped construct the defense that led the Seahawks to the Super Bowl XLVIII championship. Carroll said he’s not surprised that the Jaguars have struggled over the past three seasons because rebuilding and changing the culture of a franchise isn’t a quick process.
Now that he’s entering his fourth year as the Jaguars’ head coach, Bradley has the pieces in place to win, Carroll said.
"I think it takes a long time and the formula that they have put together, it’s taken some time to make their efforts on the roster and going after the players and spending the money and all that kind of stuff," Carroll said at the NFL’s annual owners meetings. "I think they’re really going for it, and I think he’s laid the foundation, which he has a great foundation of what he stands for and all as a head coach.
"You could see them really improve last year. I think you’re going to see them take off this year."
Because of the moves the Jaguars made in free agency – particularly on defense with the addition of tackle Malik Jackson, free safety Tashaun Gipson, and cornerback Prince Amukamara – there has been some talk of the team making the playoffs. The AFC South isn’t exactly a strong division and the Jaguars, despite having only five victories, still had a chance to win the division into late December.
The Jaguars’ emphasis this offseason has been improving a defense that has been one of the league’s worst over the past three seasons. The Jaguars gave up the second-most points in franchise history (448) in 2015 and a franchise-record 449 points in 2013. From 2013-15 the Jaguars’ defense has recorded the fewest interceptions in the NFL (26) and ranked 31st in scoring defense (27.3 points per game), 31st in third-down defense (43.8 percent), and 29th in total defense (375.0 yards per game).
In addition to signing Jackson, Gipson and Amukamara, the team also hired longtime NFL assistant coach Monte Kiffin. Bradley said last week that Kiffin’s role has not been completely defined yet, but he will have some on-field duties as well as advance scouting.
Carroll said Bradley’s decision to hire Kiffin was a good one.
"He’s a great football coach," Carroll said. "He brings tremendous wisdom, background, support for Gus and all that. Kiff has done more to help guys coach on this side of the ball than maybe anybody that’s coached in this league in a long time. So the fact that they’ll have him, however they use him, I think it’s going to be an adviser, an analyst for them, a consultant and all that. It’s a great role for him."
ESPN.com Seahawks reporter Sheil Kapadia contributed to this report.