The Jacksonville Jaguars have begun their head coaching search, requesting permission to interview five offensive coordinators earlier this week. One candidate however who's already on the team is interim head coach Mel Tucker. Tucker has been the Jaguars defensive coordinator, at least in name. For Tucker's first two seasons, Jack Del Rio handled the defensive play calling.
In 2011, with a freshly stocked defense, Tucker gained defensive play calling after Del Rio was stripped of the duty by Wayne Weaver. The defense ended the season ranked 6th in the NFL, despite suffering injuries to key players that were lost for the season such as cornerbacks Rashean Mathis and Derek Cox. Tucker has an advantage over the other coaches, in that he knows the roster and is familiar with Gene Smith, in fact Tucker was hired by Gene Smith.
"I try to keep a perspective on everything as much as I can. That takes experience. That takes time. I can't say I was always at the point I am now. I think you learn, you grow as you move on and you pay attention," Tucker said in his closing press conference. Tucker is in the running for the head coaching position, but he could also remain with the team as the defensive coordinator, depending on who is hired as the head coach. It's also possible Tucker could get an interview for one of the many other head coaching vacancies or go be the defensive coordinator for another team.