Jacksonville Jaguars fans may not know the name Jed Hughes particularly well but he could end up being the key to the franchise’s return to greatness.
Some people have a knack that is tough to define. The word intangibles is often thrown around when discussing leadership and quarterbacks in the NFL but it is also a word that should be applied in other situations.
Jed Hughes, in charge of the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach search, is one of those people with intangibles. Hughes has an eye for talent that is tough to define. He simply finds greatness.
It didn’t immediately inspire confidence when the Jaguars turned to an executive search firm to find the team’s new head coach. It felt like general manager Dave Caldwell was simply in over his head and wanted to farm the task out. Then people started to learn more about Korn Ferry International and Hughes, the man in charge of the search.
Hughes is the man who married John Harbaugh and the University of Michigan, he’s the guy who gave Bill O’Brien to the Houston Texans, and he’s the guy who brought the Seattle Seahawks and Pete Carroll together. That string of successes is more than enough to speak for itself.
Jason Belzer of Forbes has called Hughes the most valuable connector of the sports industry. The former coach has found a way to become indispensable to any franchise, working his way into the industry like few others have before him.
While simply having Hughes in charge doesn’t guarantee success, it does help put many Jags fans at ease. Caldwell, a rookie general manager back in 2013, made a mistake in selecting first-time head coach Gus Bradley. The two men were both growing into their professions and combined to be one big mistake.
This time, the Jags are going a different route. Bringing in one of the most connected men in the industry is almost the exact opposite of hiring a first-timer to do things. This represents growth both by owner Shad Khan and Caldwell, showing they can swallow their collective pride for the good of the team.
Hopefully Hughes will be able to settle the head coaching gig for a decade to come.
Let that decade be a decade of prosperity. Hughes, more-so than anybody else involved with the Jags, holds the key to greatness. Now in charge, the Jags need him to succeed once more.