Jaguars Coaching Search: Mel Tucker needs to coach a close game

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 15: Interim Head Coach Mel Tucker of the Jacksonville Jaguars cheers after a play against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on December 15, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

When Shahid Khan hires the next head coach of the Jaguars it will no doubt come at the end of an interview process that will include multiple candidates. It also seems that Mel Tucker will undoubtedly be one of the coaches that gets interviewed for the job.

It's difficult to quantify the impact that coaching actually has on a game because imagining how a team would have done in the same situation with a different coach is purely speculative. That said, through three games as interim head coach Mel Tucker's Jaguars have been underwhelming. While the team recovered from a 14-0 deficit to blowout the Buccaneers two weeks ago, their nationally televised blowout losses to the Falcons and Chargers have reflected poorly on Tucker.

Compounding the issue is that the Jaguars have struggled to get out to early starts under Tucker, combining to be outscored 24-0 in the first quarter in the three games. However, if Tucker wants to make a good argument for the job it says a lot about a coach, in my opinion, when a team can win in a close game situation.

Tucker has yet to coach a game that was close to the finish and required him to properly use timeouts, challenges and delegate responsibilities between himself and Dirk Koetter. With two weeks to go, Tucker still has a lot to prove in the final games of the season to prove himself as a legitimate candidate for the job.

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