Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley is relishing a return to Wembley Stadium in November when his exciting young team takes on the Dallas Cowboys.
Speaking to me for a Sky Sports interview that will be aired during the NFL season, the second-year head coach looked ahead to the Week 10 showdown with the Cowboys and admitted that an overseas visit to London had a positive impact on his team in 2013.
“It’s exciting to be heading back to London. Our players didn’t know much about it last year and it was an unbelievable experience for our team. And now they know what to expect, the excitement has grown even more.
“How everything was set up and organised, and the reception for our team and our players was unmatched. The environment on gameday was great and it’s now our job to go in there and finish. We need to capture that opportunity.”
The Jaguars are playing at least one home game at Wembley Stadium for the next three seasons. They kicked off their four-year commitment to the United Kingdom in 2013 but suffered a 42-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers to fall to 0-8 on the season.
But after that difficult start, the Jaguars showed signs of life in the second half of the season. A fact that was not lost on their head coach.
“After that game in London, we had a really good team meeting and talked about where we were as a team. We came back from London and won four out of our next five games. That was a pivotal point in our season – that trip to London brought us closer together.”
After adding key talent on both sides of the ball in the off-season – including a potential franchise quarterback of the future in first round draft choice Blake Bortles – Bradley is looking forward to the 2014 season and is more than happy to return to Wembley Stadium.
“The enthusiasm the British crowd shared with us was amazing. Any time we have a chance to go out and showcase our organisation in a positive light, we want to do that, both here in Jacksonville and over in London.”
Categories: American Football in the UK