What to look for in the Jacksonville Jaguars coach search


The Urban Meyer era lasted just 13 games before being fired by owner Shad Khan on Thursday.

Under Meyer’s leadership, the franchise was too dysfunctional and the majority of the problems were created by Meyer.

But now the franchise is ready to turn the page, looking for a new leader who can restore the franchise to respectability, something Meyer was unable to do during his short stay in Jacksonville that lasted 11 months.

Florida Times-Union editors John Reid and Garry Smits and sports columnist Gene Frenette led a panel discussion to determine the Jaguars’ next step in what they should look for in the next head coach, as well as what needs to be done. produce during the last four games. under the direction of interim head coach Darrell Bevell.

The keys to victory:Jaguars vs. Texans

A new day begins:Jaguars head coach Darrell Bevell succeeds fired Urban Meyer

In case you missed it:Former Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo says Urban Meyer hit him during warm-up

Shad Khan speaks:Losses, Urban Meyer drama hurts Jaguar season, owner says

What would you look for in the next head coach to replace Urban Meyer?

John Reid: The Jaguars need an experienced head coach with an attacking spirit who strives to embrace the team concept and who respects everyone.

To be fair, owner Shad Khan has struggled to select head coaches with a roster that includes Gus Bradley, Doug Marrone and Meyer. The Jaguars need a head coach who can win games and be a calming presence for a franchise in desperate need of a culture change. The goal of the franchise should be to do whatever it takes to win a Super Bowl. Former Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell would be a good candidate, as would Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator and former Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich, Chiefs offensive coordinator of Kansas City Eric Bieniemy and New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

Gene Frenette: Given the Urban Meyer debacle, I would be more inclined to lean towards someone who has experience as an NFL head coach. This type would probably offer more stability and give the Jaguars a better chance of maintaining success. Among the handful of available head coaches, former Philadelphia Eagles boss Doug Pederson obviously stands out because he won a Super Bowl in 2017. Another scheming candidate is said to be New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh Six-time Super Bowl champion McDaniels, although a little. a wild card since his two-year stay in Denver did not go well. Also, he may be waiting for Bill Belichick to retire. There are a slew of highly skilled offensive coordinators who have never occupied the big chair, like Byron Leftwich of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brian Daboll of the Buffalo Bills and Kellen Moore of the Dallas Cowboys. All could be fine, but for the sake of continuity for Trevor Lawrence, someone with NFL head coaching experience is probably the way to go.

Garry Smits: After the turmoil of last year – in fact, parts of the past four seasons, dating back to the 2018 squad collapse – a firm, calm hand is needed. Additionally, owner Shad Khan is to hire an experienced NFL player, with offensive experience and experience coaching young quarterbacks. The names that come to mind are Jim Caldwell, Doug Pedersen, Josh McDaniels, and Joe Brady. But I also think Byron Leftwich should have a long look at his ties as a former Jaguars player. But the days of experimenting with a college coach (Meyer) or a sexy young coordinator (Gus Bradley) should be over. Make the safe and obvious choice and get this franchise out of its rocky path.

The Jaguars have struggled to score throughout this season. What needs to be sorted out quickly with four games to go?

Reid: The Jaguars need to establish the race, using James Robinson as a star weapon instead of a player competing for shots with substitute Carlos Hyde as was the case with Meyer. If Robinson is healthy, he should get at least 15-16 carries per game, as an effective rushing attack would open the passing game for quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Now it looks like interim head coach Darrell Bevell understands that Robinson is vital. On Thursday, Bevell said Robinson was their starting running back and would be played as such. In addition, more creativity is still needed in offensive calling play with group sets for receivers, movement plays and even spreading Robinson wide as a wide receiver. More importantly, the Jaguars’ offensive line needs to play better, avoiding self-inflicted mistakes like penalties.

Frenette: Frankly, there is no immediate fix for an offense contested by talent around quarterback Trevor Lawrence. It won’t happen until free agency and the project. The Jaguars and Lawrence have a chance to look better against Houston because the Texans have the worst running defense in the league (147.9 rushing yards per game). They are also ranked 31st in points allowed at 26.6 points per game. Maybe if the Jaguars keep giving the ball to James Robinson instead of just talking about it, they can start scoring double-digit points again this week.

Smit: To run. The. Ball. The lousy treatment James Robinson receives was different last week. He was not put on the bench. He has just been ignored, with six runs for 4 yards. It seems that if Robinson is arrested for no gain or trial and error, it buys him a quarter not to touch. And since there is no repair from the large receiver room at this point, the best thing to relieve the pressure from quarterback Trevor Lawrence is to be able to run the ball, even a little. Then you have action game possibilities. Teams must refrain from blitzing. Lawrence has more time to pitch. This is NFL football and this is how it is done. Jaguar fans will hate me to quote the former coach they love to hate, but when Jeff Fisher, former titans coach focused on racing, was asked what to do if his team couldn’t pitch the balloon one day, he replied, “then throw it louder.”

Which position is most in need of an upgrade before this offseason?

Reid: The Jaguars need to improve their offensive line, which has been a weak point for two seasons. The unit has had too many pass protection failures and has regressed since last season with their run blockage. Center Brandon Linder continues to struggle to avoid injury and starting right tackle Jawaan Taylor is too prone to errors, especially when it comes to holding calls and jumping offside. The Jaguars also need more efficient playmakers on wide receivers. They need more speed in the position.

Frenette: It’s a tough decision as the need for a true No.1 receiver, assist and assist down the offensive line is roughly equal. If they can find a dance partner, it would be a perfect year to trade in the first two rounds and gain more draft picks. I would focus on picking the best player available at one of those locations in the first two days of the draft, although the Jaguars had better not wait beyond the first round to land someone who affects the quarterback.

Smit: I’m not in the draft camp of one of the top two passers, Kayvon Thibodeaux of Oregon or Aidan Hutchinson of Michigan. The current crop of smugglers from the Jags has done a pretty good job. What this team needs more than anything is attack, attack, attack. Surround Lawrence with wide receivers that make play, a tight end, a few offensive linemen (which I hope would include my favorite college OL this year, Tyler Linderbaum of Iowa), and hope the carrier receiver Travis Etienne and wide receiver DJ Chark will recover from their injuries. Give me the draft card and I write in one of the two wide receivers, Pitt’s Jordan Addison or Alabama’s Jameson Williams with the first pick, then do whatever it takes to progress at the end of the first round to take on either Alabama tackle Evan Neal, Linderbaum or Colorado State tight end Trey McBride.


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