INDIANAPOLIS — Gus Bradley watched Pete Carroll build a winner in Seattle by changing the culture of the franchise.
Coming off a highly successful nine-year run at Southern California, where he won two national championships, Carroll brought a collegiate enthusiasm to the Seahawks. He made everything a competition — including a special Wednesday session in which any player on the roster can challenge for any other's job — and stressed having fun with the game.
Now in his fourth season, the 62-year-old has Seattle playing as one of the top teams in the NFL.
And that's exactly the path Bradley wants to see Jacksonville follow. Hired in January as the team's third head coach in three years, the former Seahawks defensive coordinator is off to an 0-3 start.
He knows the NFL is not a patient league, but he believes a foundation is being laid that will help the Jaguars in the future.
"I believe that our environment is really, really good now," he said during a conference call at the Colts' training facility. "It's ideal for our players, for learning, for optimism, for attitude. We've got that accomplished, I believe. You can talk to our players to get a better sense of it. Our owner has been great and our GM. I think we understand where we're at. 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 be really strict and stay true to it."
Success couldn't begin at a better time for Jacksonville than Sunday. The Jaguars host Indianapolis in their first game against an AFC South opponent during Bradley's tenure.