Updated at: 10/21/2013 5:35 PM
By MARK LONG
(AP) JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville Jaguars coach Gus Bradley has left the team following his father’s death.
Bradley flew home to Zumbrota, Minn., on Monday to be with his family, turning interim coaching duties over to secondary coach DeWayne Walker. Bradley’s father, Roy James Bradley, died Sunday night following a lengthy illness. He was 85.
The youngest of the six kids, Bradley is expected to rejoin the team in London, possibly as early as Wednesday.
"Many of guys know coach Bradley and have been around him enough to know that he’s a very tough-minded man, has a lot of intestinal fortitude and he really struggled with this decision: whether to lead this team or to lead his family," general manager Dave Caldwell said. "And we made it for him this morning to go home and be with his family and his mom, Gloria, to take care of what he needed there.
"We have enough confidence in our coaching staff here and our team here that we’re going to take care of our business, and coach Bradley will rejoin the team as soon as he can. We fully support him and his family with that."
The Jaguars (0-7) are flying to London later Monday and spending the week there before playing defending NFC champion San Francisco.
Walker has 25 years of coaching experience, including the last four as head coach at New Mexico State.
"He could have closed his eyes and just picked any coach," Walker said. "I think all the coaches are capable of doing what he asked me to do. I just want to make sure I don’t embarrass him."
Jacksonville has lost every game this season by double digits, getting outscored 222-76. San Diego, dealing with a short week and a cross-country flight, dominated every aspect of Sunday’s 24-6 win over the Jaguars.
Bradley was Seattle’s defensive coordinator the previous four years. Caldwell and owner Shad Khan picked Bradley to lead the franchise’s latest rebuilding project, which clearly won’t be an easy fix.
Walker declined to address injuries, the team’s quarterback situation or any other team issues. It’s unclear whether Blaine Gabbert (hamstring) or Chad Henne will start Sunday against the 49ers.
"I’m going to sit in the chair for maybe a day and a half, so for me to have this big plan to try to rejuvenate our football team, I don’t think that’s my place," Walker said.
Walker addressed the team Monday, giving them the news about Bradley’s father.
"Coach Bradley has been good to all of us, and any time a situation like this pops up when you’re a family, you’re going to feel bad and you’re going to have some sensitive feelings," Walker said. "I think our team is a tight-knit family, and I’m sure guys are hurting."
Roy James Bradley is survived by his wife, Gloria, and six children.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)