Sorry if I sounds like a bit overreacting; but I think the Jaguars fate in Jacksonville could be on the line within the next few days! I think every Jaguars fans already knows that Jack Del Rio could leave the Jaguars to fill in the empty seat of ex-USC head coach Pete Carroll's place. Carroll resigned yesterday. Many speculated that Oregon State's current head coach Mike Riley is the 1st choice to replace him. But Riley just signed a contract extension with the Beavers so now he is out. The other 2 candidates were Jeff Fisher; head coach of the Titans and Del Rio. Fisher will not leave the Titans despite his clash over Vince Young with owner Bud Adams last year. Since then the Titans are back on track; that move makes little- to no sense.
Which left Jack to be the redhot candidate for the job. He is a former Trojan; he always wanted to be the head coach in his alma mater; he has all the tools to become a successful leader (player's coach; very good with relations with young guys; worked with very great NFL players like Ray Lewis; and Julius Peppers; he is a very good defensive minded coach); and has a shaky situation currently in Jacksonville. To be exact-if he not reach the playoffs this upcoming season he is out; and I think he knows; that the talent is not there yet and the rebuilding is at best is on the middle of the long road. Combine that with the very tough schedule the Jaguars have in 2010; you can see that it is a very tall order to say the least. So a change might be a very good option for him. Plus rumours have spread that owner Wayne Weaver was quite furious last week; one of ther reason was possibly the 4 straight losses in the end of the season which kicked back the Jaguars from the driver seat in the wild card race to a losing season and the last place in the division again. And inside sources have heard rumours that some people from the organization wanna see Jack out from Jacksonville. If the dreamjob is open and I have a good shot to take it; and I must have face tough things on my workplace; I would choose to take that shot.
But what could that mean for the Jaguars. Sadly in my little opinion; everything exept good! Not to mention that if Jack goes he will most likely take offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter (smaller problem) and former USC running backs coach Kennedy Pola (MAJOR PROBLEM) with him to California! Plus this is NOT a good year to make a coaching change. Specially if you have a small market team. And really specially if that small market team has a shaky future. Let's face it: the big names will not come to Jacksonville. Cowher wants Carolina (or maybe Houston). Gruden is on ESPN in 2010; Who else left? Marty Schottenheimer-you really want ha guy who had the talent and always failed? Brian Billick? He might be the Bills candidate as the head coach. Jim Zorn or Jim Mora Jr.? No sir. So big names are all out. So you have left coordinators. Is any names that would be good? Leslie Frazier's is a strong candidate for example; but he could turn out another version of Jack Del Rio. Plus does any coordinator wanna come to a franchise which could end up in Los Angeles within 1-2 years; and then the new owners would hire a big name guy for the big market for sure. The same would be true for college head coaches as well. Being the head coach of the Jaguars I think a very risky and unstable job for a 1st time NFL head coach. And if we speak about head coaches; there is one head coach some of the local area wanna see as new head coach; I'm 100% sure: University of Florida (ex?) head coach Urban Meyer. Well could be. But you know who will be the 1st round pick of the Jags in April in the draft. Let me help you guessing: played in Florida; has a major success-to say the least; and he is not Joe Haden; Carlos Dunlap; or Brandon Spikes (real 1st round caliber draft choices); he played QB; and wearing number #15-and his is a Jacksonville native.... You want that option to becoming true?
Which leaves to the the most reasonable scenario I think . Promote a head coach from the current coaches. I see 2 names. Tight end coach (and former Minnesota Vikings head coach) Mike Tice; and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker. Tice would make sense; but maybe he is Del Rio's man; plus the "Rooney rule" is another obsticle. But sure if this version is going to happen(promoting a HC from the current coaches-he would be the best choice).
Tucker has 2 big advantage: He could pass the Roonye rule; and he is reportedly (according to "Florida Times Union" reporter Michael C Wright) has got the trust of general manager Gene Smith. With his promotion Gene Smith would control this team 100%ly from player personnel department to the coaching stuff. That sounds to me not a crazy thing and plan...
It would be an interesting power play or power struggle if this team would be called "Dallas Cowboys"; or New York Jets". I mean well established; secure futured franchises. But sadly Jacksonville is not a team like that. And it is fighting for his own survival in the River City. Los Angeles is calling. The ownership over there targeted Buffalo and Jacksonville in the 1st place. And while I heard big NO's from Buffalo even from local senators; I heard only Wayne Weaver here saying "the team is not for sale". But until when? The lack of the ticket sales; the current CBA situation; the spending race and the disappearing parity; is all serious threats tto a low budget franchise like the Jaguars. Weavery said it; he cannot afford to to see homegame tickets sales like in '09 for long. And how you can win bac fans(specially in a college football crazy enviroment with big victories; like the Jaguars must have live and race against all the time recently)? Winning. Can you win; win often; and go to the playoffs with a HC like Mel Tucker? I think with all the respect to Mel-the answer is NO. And since Los Angeles can really take away this team; the Jaguars are racing against the time. The arrow is pointing up-I agree. I think 1-2 years and the Jaguars are a serious playoff contender in every year (but I think it will depending mostly on the next QB Gene will draft-if he is a top 10 guy-watch out!) If Jack goes; all this process and the team's future in the city is in really big danger! (if he stays and produce a 9-7 years and not will go to the playoffs=he will be fired; is not a big deal because I think after the 2010 season we will see gigantic changes in every area in th NFL - including head coaches!!!) That's why I want so big that he stays as the head coach of the Jaguars at least one more year-to have a very last shot to rescue himself; or else... But USC's calling might be to tempting for him. And then the Jaguars could be in a 'Catch-22" situation. And the result could be that team could follow it's ex head coach to California.
We are facing CRTITICAL DAYS Jaguars fans! Be prepared; and hope for a good ending-if it's still possible. Otherwise, the Jaguars might can play their last season in Jacksonville in 2010! And that is a very serious threat!