GM Trent Baalke hindering Jaguars search for head coach

Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke. (Imagn Images photo pool)
Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke. (Imagn Images photo pool) /

Just a couple of days ago, it looked like the Jacksonville Jaguars had or were close to wrap up their search for a head coach and would hire Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich for the position. However, the process has been dragged down by general manager Trent Baalke’s presence.

Jaguars fan Eric Dillard first reported the organization was going make Leftwich the head coach. Multiple outlets confirmed the scoop. At the time, it seemed like a done deal but Jacksonville then announced that they would meet with Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett for a second time. In the end, that interview never materialized because he filled the Denver Broncos vacancy. You could argue that the Jags were just doing due diligence but Chris Porter of First Coast News reported that Leftwich was their pick but control over the roster is holding the process up.

Porter adds that Leftwich wants Baalke out and wants to bring in Arizona Cardinals vice president of pro scouting Adrian Wilson. To complicate matters, Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that former Broncos head coach Vic Fangio is a candidate for the Jaguars opening and has interviewed for the job.

The Jaguars are making their head coaching search extremely complicated.

What was supposed to be a straightforward process is quickly becoming a mess. Leftwich seemed like the favorite to become the Jags head coach and still is. But the organization isn’t doing itself any favors by not committing to him. Instead of being all-in on him, they’re showing the kind of dysfunction that has surrounded the team for years.

Keep in mind that Eberflus was a solid pick for the job. The problem was that hiring him would have meant that Baalke gets to stay. Imagine if he’s causing this kind of rift right now, what’s going to happen six months down the road?  On the bright side, the Jaguars may end up doing the right thing. Mike Jurecki of the Cardinals official website is reporting Jacksonville is close to hiring Wilson as their general manager and Leftwich as the coach.

The Jaguars are facing a tough choice. They need to decide if they want to keep Baalke and remain their dysfunctional self or have a fresh start with Leftwich. The clock is ticking.

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