With Thursday’s firing of head coach Mike Mularkey, the Jacksonville Jaguars are in the market for a new head coach. While some teams, like the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cleveland Browns, have started filling their vacancies, the Jaguars are just beginning. Potential candidates range, but the proposed emphasis seems to be on offensive coordinators. Fitting that bill is Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.
According to reports, Gruden has interest from the Jaguars as well as a number of other teams. Since working with the Bengals to revamp their offense around young Andy Dalton, Gruden has become a popular candidate for head coaching jobs the last couple of years. He turned down jobs last year, saying that he would like to focus on his family and continuing his work in Cincinnati. For those of us who really like Gruden, it is only a matter of time until he hunkers down and accepts an HC position with a team. It may as well be the Jaguars.
The Arizona Cardinals, San Diego Chargers, and Philadelphia Eagles have all made overtures to Gruden and it will be curious to see how he responds. Gruden is recognized as an innovative offensive mind who looks to exploit matchups with his personnel. He has helped Dalton’s development and contributed to the Bengals making the playoffs this year and the year before. Statistically, the up and coming coach is not as sound as other coordinator potential head coaches. Gruden’s offense plays smart football but has not been in the top ten of major statistical categories. He has only been at the job for two years, however, and it is anticipated that he will continue to grow as a coach.
If the Jaguars lean young, then Gruden could very easily be at the top of their list.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims