Like any NFL owner who enters this exclusive club for the first time, Shahid Khan can't just jump in and easily navigate the most fiercely competitive sports industry in the world. He needs someone who understands the organization's inner structure, someone he trusts to advise him on how to build relationships in league circles that ultimately translate into winning. A lot of Jaguars fans are growing increasingly skeptical of general manager Gene Smith's job performance.
Jay Gruden's name is not a new one when it comes to the Jaguars coaching search, and Thursday NFL Network's Albert Breer reported the Jaguars have contacted Gruden about the vacancy. Yesterday Breer tweeted he'd heard Gruden was the favorite for the job, and in the above linked story he cited sources saying Gruden was told he was a strong candidate. Gruden apparently does not want to interview until after the Bengals season is over. They are playing the Houston Texans in a Wild Card game on Saturday.
There is a pattern when you look at the Jaguars head coaching candidates. They are young offensive minds. One of the job requirements for the Jacksonville job seems to be working with quarterback Blaine Gabbert. "I think a key question you have to ask any potential coach, what are you going to do to develop him?" Jaguars owner Shahid Khan said Wednesday via Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union.
Shahid Khan said he very definitely has a vision for the Jaguars, and that vision is unique. Khan, who on Wednesday took over as the sole owner of the Jaguars, said while he has had many conversations with many people from many organizations about that vision, his ideal isn’t to have the Jaguars necessarily emulate any particular team. Ideally, he said the Jaguars will be the franchise others emulate.
The picture for the Jaguars coaching search became no clearer on Thursday, but the process, which Jaguars owner Shahid Khan said would be quicker than anyone expected, continued. "We don’t want to be used," Khan said Thursday. "Everyone we’re talking to has a genuine interest [in the Jaguars job.]"