Not a single team with an NFL head coaching vacancy has hired a new coach yet, mostly because a lot of the top candidates are still coaching for their respective teams in the NFL playoffs. Two of the candidates that most have considered the top for the Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, don’t even coach their first playoff game until the Divisional Round next week. Not only that, but they both coach for teams who many think can and will make the Super Bowl. This means that if the Jaguars want either of them, and there is mutual interest, they’re going to have to be patient with the hire.
But, that’s the ultimate question. Will the Jaguars be patient?
There will likely be a hire or two this week from teams, which can sometimes force the issue and the dominoes will begin to fall. If the Denver Broncos do end up hiring now eliminated Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph like many believe, will the Jaguars wait? What if Buffalo hires someone this week? Will the team get antsy with other teams making hires and go ahead with someone like interim head coach Doug Marrone so they’re not left out to dry?
Yes, teams can “hire” their new head coach while they’re still in the playoffs and begin to assemble their staff, but it’s still a risky proposition. Once a team makes the first hire for the head coaching position, they’ll get “first dibbs” on building a coaching staff. The pool begins to thin out rather quickly, and depending on the hire that can end up being a big deal.
Despite the apparent gag order in comparison to the other five NFL teams with openings on interviews and news that the Jaguars have, if they want to get who is perceived as their top guy, they might have to wait a few weeks. It can be a risky proposition and this is a hire that the franchise absolutely has to nail.