5 most underrated moves the Jacksonville Jaguars made this offseason
No. 4 Jaguars underrated move this offseason – Hiring Asst. GM Ethan Waugh
It’s easy to forget now but the Jags’ search for a head coach to fill the vacancy left by Urban Meyer took more than a month and extended all the way to February. One thing that might have dragged the process was the presence of general manager Trent Baalke. Reportedly, several candidates for the position didn’t want to work with him, including Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, who at some point was seen as the favorite to land the job.
In the end, Jaguars owner Shad Khan stuck with Baalke but filed a petition to add a vice president of football operations. However, he ultimately put the search on hold and didn’t make any changes to how the front office was run until Ethan Waugh was hired as the assistant general manager.
Waugh is a widely respected executive around the league, having worked 17 years for the San Francisco 49ers in different capacities. Baalke brought him to Jacksonville because they’ve previously worked together but he’s far from a yes man. Waugh won’t change the way Baalke operates but he will add a valuable voice and a different perspective to the Jaguars’ front office.
You could argue that Waugh’s arrival will strengthen Baalke’s standing with the Jaguars and while that would be right, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Ideally, you want a general manager to have no restrictions when working and a right hand that can help him see things he might otherwise overlook. Baalke has his in Waugh.