Jacksonville Jaguars sorting out candidates for 2nd round of interviews

Shad Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, FL, Sunday, November 7, 2021. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]
Shad Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, FL, Sunday, November 7, 2021. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union] /

Now that several NFL teams have been knocked out of the playoffs, the Jacksonville Jaguars can continue their head coaching search and arrange interviews with several candidates that hadn’t been available due to postseason commitments.

Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network says Jaguars owner Shad Khan, vice-president of football administration Tony Khan and general manager Trent Baalke are putting together a list of candidates they will interview for a second time. Wilson goes on to say that Jacksonville will tentatively meet with their interim head coach in 2021, Darrell Bevell, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus and former Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell.

Update, Jan. 24. Wilson reports the second interview with Leftwich will be held Tuesday in Tampa, Florida.

Wilson adds that Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Matt Eberflus is a finalist for the Denver Broncos head coaching opening but notes that he made a good impression on the Jags’ search committee. That’s not the end of the report though, as Wilson characterizes Trent Baalke’s standing with the organization as “extremely shaky”.

"Baalke’s job security and power heading into the offseason are being widely characterized as “extremely shaky” in league circles. Several sources predict the new head coach will lead the way on key offseason decisions, with the former San Francisco 49ers general manager exiting the building after the draft."

The Jaguars will ramp up their head coaching search in the upcoming days.

The Jaguars have already met with Eberflus for the second time, so it will be worth monitoring when they will schedule an interview with the remaining candidates, which based on what Wilson is reporting, are the finalists for Jacksonville’s job. That leaves former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, former Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien and Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore out of the process.

All things considered, it’s kind of refreshing that the Jags are taking their time to look for their next head coach. Their season ended on January 9th (with a win over the Colts) and they still haven’t filled their vacancy. That goes on to show the Khans are committed to getting this one right after the Urban Meyer fiasco.

It would be great if the Jaguars already had a head coach in place, so they can turn their attention to improving the roster in the offseason. Nevertheless, it will be still a few days, maybe one week before they wrap up the process and announce a decision.

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