If the Jacksonville Jaguars do indeed make a change and fire head coach Doug Marrone there are plenty of names that could become candidates.
After the 45–10 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, many of us believed Marone wouldn’t make it to Monday as the team’s frontman. Now, if he makes it through next Sunday, with the Oakland Raiders next on the team’s schedule, it’s a good bet team owner Shad Khan will wait till after the season to make changes.
Those changes could include a new head coach and new front office staff. The one thing that we can be almost 99-percent sure of is this organization will look different after the first of the year than it does right now.
There are currently two head-coaching vacancies in the league, with Carolina firing Ron Rivera last week and the Washington Redskins giving Jay Gruden his pink slip two months ago. According to several sources including ESPN.com, as many as six other vacancies could be available as of New Year’s Day. Jacksonville is expected to be one of those cities looking to add a fresh coat of paint to this organization.
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As we have discussed in the last couple of weeks, look for the usual suspects to serve as potential replacements for Marrone, including Josh McDaniels of New England and Mike McCarthy, who was in Green Bay last year.
It is possible Rivera may be a candidate, but if the New York Giants decide to make a change, he may be at the top of their list of potential replacements for Pat Shurmur.
There are other potential candidates to wind up in Jacksonville who may be flying under the radar right now.
One name the front office, whoever is making the decisions after the season to hire a new head coach, is Byron Leftwich. The current offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is considered an up-and-coming coach who has had success in Arizona before he came back to Florida to run the Buccaneers offense.
While left which did not have success as a quarterback in this league, as evident as his tenure was the Jaguars, his knowledge of the game and his innovation with the passing game should be attractive to teams looking to improve both their passing and running game next season.
Matt Rhule is currently the head coach of the Baylor Bears, but his success this season and his ties to the NFL could make him the new “hot” hire.
Rhule’s connection to the Jaguars is by way of Tom Coughlin, where he served as an offensive line assistant for the current executive vice president of player personnel during their time together with the New York Giants. It’s a consideration for the franchise if Coughlin is retained or remains with Jacksonville next season.
His experience with the NFL is just one season, 2012, but has spent time with both Baylor and Temple. If there is a possibility of him moving back to the NFL, team owner Shad Khan will need to determine whether he wants to hire another former offensive line coach to move into the head-coaching position.
The other name that should surface for many organizations is Brian Schottenheimer.
The current offensive coordinator in Seattle is one of the reasons Russell Wilson is having an MVP-type season. He had success with the Rams and it could be on the shortlists for several teams looking to run a similar scheme as the Seahawks do in the northwest.
Schottenheimer’s connection to Jacksonville is his college days at the University of Florida where he was a quarterback in Steve Spurrier’s offense.