Who Are The Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach Candidates?

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Who Are The Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach Candidates?

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars finally decided to part ways with head coach Mike Mularkey on Thursday after the team suffered through its worst season in the short history of the franchise.

Mularkey avoided the ax on Black Monday, but his fate was all but sealed when Jaguars owner Shahid Khan decided to part ways with former general manager Gene Smith. Smith hired Mularkey last offseason and those two had their fate tied together and now both are out of a job following a 2-14 season.

New Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell now has a chance to start fresh and conduct a search for the fourth head coach in the history of the Jaguars. The question is who he will consider as he begins to conduct his search.

The Jaguars are over a week late to the coaching search party, so some of the top candidates have already taken other jobs or have completely removed their names from the conversation by publicly announcing that they are staying at their current jobs. Even though some of the glamorous names are not available, there are still several extremely qualified candidates that have been interviewing for jobs over the past week and will likely draw significant consideration for the Jaguars job.

Caldwell is coming from an Atlanta Falcons organization where general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Mike Smith work together closely to make roster decisions and it is said that Caldwell is searching for a coach in which he can have a similar dynamic.

Here is a look at some of the names that have already been linked to the Jaguars head coaching vacancy.

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Greg Roman – San Francisco 49ers Offensive Coordinator

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Greg Roman is the name that has been most frequently linked to the Jaguars head coaching opening with his college buddy Dave Caldwell landing the GM job.

Roman has been the offensive coordinator with the 49ers for the past two seasons under Jim Harbaugh and has helped turned that offense into one of the best in the league. He also has had success with former top pick Alex Smith which could bode well for Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who has been a bust up to this point much like Smith was in San Francisco before Roman’s arrival.

Perhaps Roman’s best trait is that he has been a position coach on both sides of the ball, which shows that he has strong overall knowledge of football and can contribute to both the offense and defense if hired.

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Jay Gruden – Cincinnati Bengals Offensive Coordinator

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The Jaguars tried to interview Jay Gruden for their head coaching job last offseason, but he turned them down because he did not feel he was ready for an NFL head coaching job.

Now, Gruden has successfully overseen a Bengals offense that has gone to the playoffs both years he has been there and has already interviewed for other head coaching jobs this week. It wouldn’t shock me if the Jaguars reached out to Gruden to once again test his interest in their coaching job.

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Brian Schottenheimer – St. Louis Rams Offensive Coordinator

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The Jaguars interviewed Brian Schottenheimer last offseason after he was fired as offensive coordinator of the New York Jets.

Schottenheimer spent the past season as the St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator, but I believe that his name has been linked to the Jaguars job based purely on the fact that former general manager Gene Smith considered him a top candidate last offseason.

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Mike McCoy – Denver Broncos Offensive Coordinator

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Linking McCoy to the Jaguars job might also imply that they are going to bring quarterback Tim Tebow to Jacksonville this offseason.

McCoy was a hot candidate last offseason for the work he did with Tebow in taking the Broncos to the playoffs last season, but he has looked even better this season with Peyton Manning under center. He is once again a hot candidate this offseason and the Jaguars will all but certainly take a look.

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Lovie Smith – Former Chicago Bears Head Coach

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I do not think that the Jaguars will hire Lovie Smith, but he has been the popular Rooney Rule candidate on everybody’s list this offseason after being unceremoniously dumped by the Chicago Bears.

Smith has had a tremendous amount of success with the Bears, but I don’t think Caldwell is looking for a re-tread head coach to start fresh with.

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