One day after the season ended, Jack Del Rio takes a vacation and the knives come out aiming for his back.
FOX’s Jay Glazer reports that some members of the Jaguars’ organization have been “killing” coach Jack Del Rio behind close doors.
Jack Del Rio said that he and Gene Smith have a good relationship and I believe him. I don’t believe Gene Smith is behind these attacks on Jack. These are coming from someone closer to Wayne Weaver.
There are other reports that said the problem is a disconnect between Jack’s guys and the others. But who is deciding it is a problem?
Del Rio has never hesitated to change assistants but seemed headed for a stable off season. Indications from inside have long been, however, that there were two tiers on the staff — those who qualified as JDR’s inner circle and those who didn’t.
By Paul Kuharsky Jan 15, 2010
But from what I understand, the move to dump former defensive backs coach Donnie Henderson wasn’t necessarily Del Rio’s call. It was a call from above, which WASN’T a directive from new GM Gene Smith, either.
The big bosses up top, according to one of the recently-departed assistants, also just couldn’t understand why the secondary played so poorly at times (which in many ways was out of Henderson’s hands) and made him the scapegoat, despite Del Rio’s objections.
So the “Big Bosses” ran Donnie Henderson off. Jack had a lot of respect for Donnie, he liked him a lot. Apparently Jack was not allowed to decide his own staff.
This is what Vito Stellino reported about Mike Tice in the Times Union on January 15, 2010
Tice didn’t coach a position his first year and continued to serve as a sort of sounding board for Del Rio after Tice started coaching tight ends in 2007.
Tice also was a mentor for other coaches on the staff.
Mike Tice was the guy behind the scenes helping Jack run the team. They were teammates in Minnesota and Jack trusted him. I do believe Mike Tice found a good job with a team in an area he wanted to move to. I also think he read the tea leaves and knew it was time to go. Mentoring other coaches will no longer be needed.
Now it is Kennedy Pola who is leaving. This is the news out of Tennessee where Kennedy has been hired as a running backs coach. (Didn’t know he was looking for a job).
“Kennedy is a fine coach, and I am very much looking forward to working with him to see the contributions that he can add to our staff,” Titans coach Jeff Fisher said in a statement released by the team. “He did a great job with the running backs down in Jacksonville and he had an instrumental role in their run game.”
Pola spent the last five seasons in Jacksonville, and Fred Taylor (2008) and Maurice Jones-Drew (2010) earned Pro Bowl honors during the coach’s time there. The Jaguars also totaled the third-most rushing yards in the NFL over that time.
Am I just seeing a conspiracy here or is there something going on? It just doesn’t have a good feel to it. Everyone Jack trusts and was loyal to him are finding opportunities with other teams. They are not finding promotions with other teams, just “pursuing other opportunities”.
I honestly believe someone or some group have decided to “fire” Jack Del Rio despite what Wayne Weaver wants. I just don’t know who. If it isn’t Gene, and I don’t think it is, then who are the mysterious “Big Bosses” making these decisions? If it is the same group who leaked the “Jack is being fired” stories to the NFL writers, these actions are not welcome or helpful. The owner has spoken, let the man coach and let the team win.
– Terry O’Brien