While rumors are swirling that the leader in the clubhouse for the Jacksonville Jaguars head coaching job is Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator and former Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith, other candidates are still reportedly high on the Jaguars list. One of those candidates is New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who interviewed with the team on Saturday. According to Peter King of Sports Illustrated, McDaniels was impressive in his interviews with teams.
On Saturday, New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels interviewed with the Jaguars at 7 a.m. in Foxboro, the Rams at noon in Foxboro, and the 49ers at 4 in Foxboro. For some teams in the process, it seems like McDaniels is the No. 1 guy on their list. But we’re still early in the process. Very early. There’s no coach out there whom teams are racing to hire. But McDaniels had a good Saturday. Teams came away impressed, particularly the Jaguars.
While reports have circulated that the team might have already settled on Smith, there have also been reports that both Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and McDaniels are high on the Jaguars list for head coach and the interest in the Jaguars from those coaches is mutual. Both Shanahan and McDaniels are viewed as “splash” hires in comparison to Mike Smith, but just based on pure resume alone Smith is better than both candidates combined. Smith had five straight winning seasons during his tenure as the Falcons head coach, including making the playoffs in four of those five seasons.
No team has hired a head coach yet, but as soon as the first domino falls in the coaching carousel the rest of the teams will speed up their process because they’re afraid they’ll lose their top candidate, and no one wants to be left behind and stuck with a whole new crop of candidates.