The Jacksonville Jaguars were impressed by Josh McDaniels, but are they willing to wait for him to finish his season?
After firing Gus Bradley, the Jacksonville Jaguars moved quickly to interview candidates to be their next head coach. The Jaguars have run the gamut, interviewing greybeards like Tom Coughlin and Mike Smith, as well as up-and-coming young guys like Kyle Shanahan and Josh McDaniels.
Among the guys, there are two who have reportedly caught the team’s eye – Mike Smith and Josh McDaniels.
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The former is reportedly the favorite for the job, which means we should hear an announcement by the team fairly soon.
Meanwhile, Peter King over at Sports Illustrated is reporting that the Jaguars came away very impressed by Josh McDaniels:
"On Saturday, New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels interviewed with the Jaguars at 7 a.m. in Foxboro, the Rams at noon in Foxboro, and the 49ers at 4 in Foxboro. For some teams in the process, it seems like McDaniels is the No. 1 guy on their list. But we’re still early in the process. Very early. There’s no coach out there whom teams are racing to hire. But McDaniels had a good Saturday. Teams came away impressed, particularly the Jaguars."
I have no doubt the Jaguars liked what they saw out of McDaniels, but the question is whether or not they are willing to wait for him to become available.
Hiring a head coach isn’t as straightforward as it would appear. The Jaguars might have McDaniels at the top of their list, but they would have to wait until the Super Bowl most likely before negotiating with him. During that time, other teams could hire head coaches who would subsequently hire offensive and defensive coordinators. McDaniels’ pool of candidates for his staff would be thinned at that point.
Additionally, there’s no guarantee that McDaniels would take the job if the Jaguars offered it. If he doesn’t take it, the Jaguars would be left with their pants down and without a head coach in February.
Hiring Mike Smith now is the safe move. Let him come in and you have your entire staff built by the time McDaniels would even be available.
I would prefer McDaniels, but I can see the appeal in hiring Smith. Either way, I think the Jaguars end up a better team than they were under Gus Bradley.