Now that the final NFL regular weekend is over, the mayhem of the coaching carousel is at full speed. We do know that the Jaguars made their decision official two weeks ago, in part, to race the Rams and anyone else in the process of finding Gus Bradley’s replacement.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that former Jacksonville head coach Tom Coughlin, sitting out 2016 after being dismissed by the Giants, already met with owner Shad Khan last week. Likewise, word leaked yesterday that interim coach Doug Marrone had a dinner discussion with Khan about the head coaching position last week, as well.
The team obviously responded to Marrone in their final two games as the head coach. They decisively defeated Tennessee at home and eliminated them from the playoffs. Then Sunday, came out strong in Indy and lead the Colts 17-0, only to have Andrew Luck rally Indy in the final minutes to win. Marrone previously coached the Bills and was a college head coach at Syracuse, and is obviously “a” candidate, but probably not the top guy, for now.
Then, Monday there was this confirmation in this tweet that Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (above) is on the radar for an interview.
Source confirms others — #Jaguars have scheduled interview with Patriots OC Josh McDaniels.
— Ryan O'Halloran (@ryanohalloran) January 2, 2017
As the Patriots have a “playoff bye” this week, teams are allowed to contact and interview him and there are at least three others who want to talk to McDaniels. There is wide spread belief that after he failed in Denver as a head coach that McDaniels is willing to wait to be the eventual successor to Bill Belichick, even if it’s several more years from now. Stay tuned on that.
And then, there is the obvious and intriguing possibility of former Jags defensive coordinator and Falcons head coach Mike Smith. As our Roy Cummings wrote yesterday about Smith, the first year Bucs defensive coordinator, he’s a logical fit, but, does he really want this opportunity over others?
Smith would likely be in the mix in places like San Diego, Denver, etc. too, if he’s truly interested in getting back as a head coach. And this doesn’t take into account if Indy, or another job or two come open starting Tuesday.
Having been a division and playoff wining head coach, Smith has the resume’ to quickly to get another shot. But, if, and it’s an “if,” he wants to stay well-paid with a tremendously young and talented Bucs defense for another year and wait and see what’s there in the head coaching carousel 2018, that’s not the worst thing either.
Clearly the Jags have lots of early options, Shad Khan has known for weeks he needed a new head coach, and do not be surprised, if they move in the next couple of days, to get their guy.