I, like everyone else, have kept a close eye on who the next head coach of the Jaguars will be. Whoever is hired will likely have a strong impact on the Jaguars in 2012 and surely beyond that. There have been reports of five different NFL offensive coordinators that will be interviewed for the job and with interim head coach, Mel Tucker, there appears to be six candidates in all.
While Rob Chudzinski is the apparent favorite of fans who hope he can find the same level of success with Blaine Gabbert as he did in Carolina with Cam Newton. Conversely, the majority of fans seem to be against the idea of hiring candidates like Mike Mularkey or Brian Schottenheimer. I, frankly, don't have a preference and there isn't a single candidate that will disappoint me.
The San Francisco 49ers went 4-12 in 2005 with the 32nd ranked passing offense that was so bad that it was the 32nd ranked total offense. Their offensive coordinator at the time was Mike McCarthy. When he was hired by the Packers following that terrible season in San Francisco, it frustrated fans and even some Packers players, namely Brett Favre who was angry with the organization for not interviewing Steve Marriuci.
Now five years later, who's complaining about McCarthy? Nobody. Why was he so unsuccessful with the 49ers and so successful with the Packers? Perhaps it's because there's a pretty big difference between a rookie Alex Smith throwing to an uninspiring group of receivers and Aaron Rodgers throwing to a crop of extremely high quality receivers.
'Players not plays' is, in my opinion, an oversimplified approach at football, but it does hold truth on a general basis. The amount of wins and losses a team finishes with is indicative of the talent on the team, not the level at which they were coached.
When I try to diagnose what is wrong with the Jaguars, it boils down to struggles at the quarterback and the wide receiver positions. None of the coaching candidates will solve that problem upon arrival and I'm confident that none of them would have been able to do much offensively with the cast of characters in 2011.
Coaching isn't pointless and I do believe there are such things as good coaches and bad coaches, but it's nearly impossible to truly be able to tell who is and who isn't. Ultimately it's very difficult to quantify the impact coaching has on a team.
It's impossible to remove the coaching from a team and see if they're truly good because of their talent or good because of the teachings they've had and the playcalling they receive. So with that, I will not be disappointed by any hire nor will I be jumping for joy either.