Interim head coach Mel Tucker makes it a point to not get overly excited or down about any situation, including his immediate future when he will soon learn whether the franchise decides to promote him to permanent head coach. Tucker's ability to stay emotionally even-tempered, a lesson he says he learned as a young boy from his father/Little League coach, and remain consistent in his approach is a major reason why the Jaguars have kept him in the mix to succeed Jack Del Rio.
Mel Tucker was a pitcher for his Little League baseball team. One day the coach — his father — pulled him from the game because he couldn’t throw strikes. Tucker made it obvious he wasn’t happy about getting yanked. In the car after the game, the Jaguars’ interim head coach said his father told him, "Hey, if you can’t handle this, you’re not going to be able to play this sport. It’s not always going to be exactly how you want it to be. You have to take the ups with the downs, the highs and the lows."
As Jaguars defensive tackle Terrance Knighton sees it, these next few months are some of the most important of his life. "These three or four months will determine how I live," Knighton said. "Not only money-wise but health wise." Both will be impacted by how Knighton, whose nickname is "Pot Roast," handles his offseason.
It was a surprise on Sunday night to hear Peter King say that Cowboys special-teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis will be a candidate for the head-coaching job in Jacksonville. It was a shock on Monday to see reports that the Dolphins will interview Bears special-teams coordinator Dave Toub.
Mel Tucker doesn’t know what the future holds, immediate or long-term. What the Jaguars’ interim coach said Tuesday morning he does know is he can control what he can control, so in that vein he said he planned to conduct his day as normally as possible. He said the same was pretty much true of Wednesday and the rest of the week.
Marcedes Lewis said in the NFL, reality is always there. Lewis, the Jaguars’ 2010 Pro Bowl tight end, said that’s what makes the day that came early Tuesday for the Jaguars so difficult. By 8 a.m., players were packing their lockers at EverBank Field. By 9 a.m., many lockers were empty. Throughout the morning, players walked the hallways. By noon, many were gone, headed home for the off-season, and the NFL reality is many won’t return.