Jaguars lack of news could be good for head coaching search
A good chunk of NFL teams that had a head coaching opening have gone ahead and filled it. However, the Jaguars haven’t made many moves in that front even though it looked like they were going to give the job to Tampa Bay Buccaneers Byron Leftwich just a few days ago. In fact, there’s not much clarity regarding the situation and that may be a good thing.
Despite the fact that the Jaguars haven’t given any updates regarding their head coaching search, Leftwich is still the favorite to land in Jacksonville, especially when you take into account that two of the other candidates in their wish list have already gotten jobs elsewhere. Not long after the Jags announced they would interview Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hacket for a second time, the Denver Broncos wasted no time and made him their head coach. Matt Eberflus, who already had met twice with Jacksonville to discuss their vacancy, got hired by the Chicago Bears.
With two of their top candidates getting jobs, the Jags are running out of options. They could set another interview with former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson or former Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell but it doesn’t seem like they will. To make matters worse, the New Orleans Saints have requested an interview with Leftwich, so if the Jaguars don’t move quickly, they run the risk of losing him to the Big Easy.
Having said that, the Jags aren’t the only team that hasn’t filled their head coaching vacancy. The Miami Dolphins, the Las Vegas Raiders, the Houston Texans, and the Saints themselves haven’t hired a head coach, so the Jaguars aren’t alone in that regard.
Could the Jaguars start their head coaching search over?
Back when Leftwich and Jaguars were reportedly close to an agreement, talk about general manager Trent Baalke holding up the process surfaced. Leftwich wants the organization to hire Arizona Cardinals vice president of pro scouting as their general manager and he told the Jags that it’s either him or Baalke, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Also, Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports reported that the Jaguars may start the search over and notes that Leftwich and Baalke have “fundamental differences“.
"Byron Leftwich, considered to be the front-runner for the position, has fundamental differences with GM Trent Baalke, and I’m not sure the two of them will be able to work it out. Even if they can, the fact that it’s rocky before they are working together indicates it won’t get better if and when they do begin working together."
At this point, it’s unknown how the Jaguars’ head coaching search will play out and their silence regarding the process isn’t helping matters. Maybe they already reached a deal with Leftwich and are going through the paperwork. That’s possible when you take into account that Leftwich hasn’t met with the Saints’ brass and hasn’t been any news regarding the Jags setting interviews with other candidates. These are all conjectures and there are no reports regarding the situation but it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Jaguars wait to announce they’ve hired Leftwich.
On the other hand, there’s a chance the Jaguars have been handling things poorly and they will indeed restart the search, which wouldn’t be surprising. The truth is that you could ask two different people you will most likely get two different answers. For now, there’s not much to do but let the process unfold.