Jacksonville Jaguars search for new head coach off to a rocky start

Jacksonville Jaguars fans at TIAA Bank Field (Imagn Images photo pool)
Jacksonville Jaguars fans at TIAA Bank Field (Imagn Images photo pool) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars have started requesting interviews with potential candidates for their head coaching vacancy. While it will be a while before the Jags zero in on someone, the process isn’t off to a great start, as two candidates have already declined the opportunity to interview.

The Jaguars’ initial list of candidates included Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen More and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hacket, former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, former Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, and Indianapolis defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus. Quinn and Leftwich have already turned down the Jags’ inquiry.

Quinn isn’t interested in interviewing right now but not because he didn’t want to or because it’s a bad fit. Rather, he said he’s focused on the task at hand, getting ready for the playoffs. Leftwich said something similar and said that he’s “focused on this football game on Sunday“. On the other hand, Pederson was expected to meet with the Jaguars’ brass last Thursday and it looks like the encounter went as planned.

The Jaguars need to take their time to land the right head coach.

Just because Quinn and Leftwich declined the chance to interview right now doesn’t mean they won’t interview once they have a bit more time. Also, it’s too early in the process to fret. There are still several candidates on the Jaguars’ list and all of them have something to bring to the table. It will be interesting to know how the meeting with Pederson went, and it will also be worth monitoring if Baalke’s presence becomes a turnoff in the team’s search for a head coach.

If there’s a candidate the Jags really like but he won’t come to Jacksonville unless there’s another general manager they like, will the team move on from Baalke? That’s something to keep an eye on. The one thing the Jaguars can do is narrow their list of candidates, and they must be willing to compromise if they can land the right candidate.

The Jaguars have tried many times but they haven’t been able to find the right head coach. They need to get it right. If they do, it won’t matter that Leftwich and Quinn didn’t accept the chance to meet with them.

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