Jaguars line up 8 interviews for head coaching vacancy

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP)The Jacksonville Jaguars lined up eight interviews for their head coaching vacancy Tuesday, including five coordinators who are headed to the playoffs.

The Jaguars requested permission to interview: both Dallas coordinators, Kellen Moore and Dan Quinn; both Tampa Bay coordinators, Byron Leftwich and Todd Bowles; and Green Bay offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. They also requested a sit-down with Indianapolis defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus on the first day teams with vacancies can start the hiring process.

Jacksonville also plans to interview two former NFL head coaches, Jim Caldwell (Detroit, Indianapolis) and Doug Pederson (Philadelphia).

Four of the eight have NFL head coaching experience: Caldwell, Pederson, Bowles (New York Jets) and Quinn (Atlanta).

Leftwich and Hackett have ties to Jacksonville. The 41-year-old Leftwich was the team’s quarterback between 2003 and 2006. The 42-year-old Hackett served as the team’s quarterbacks coach (2015-16) and offensive coordinator (2016-18) before getting fired in the middle of the 2018 season.

Hiring someone with NFL experience makes sense for the Jaguars following Urban Meyer’s tumultuous tenure that included missteps at every turn. Owner Shad Khan fired Meyer on Dec. 16, three days after he said he wasn’t going to make a decision based on ”helter-skelter” emotion.

Khan and general manager Trent Baalke are scheduled to handle the pending interviews together. Many thought Khan would move on from Baalke, who reportedly clashed with every coach he worked with in San Francisco (2011-16) and has done little to make the Jaguars better in his two years with the organization.

The Jaguars (2-13) have lost 28 of 31 games since Baalke joined the franchise’s front office, first as director of player personnel in 2020 and then getting promoted to general manager to work alongside Meyer this year.

Baalke’s only draft picks who have done much this season are quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the easiest pick in franchise history, and second-round cornerback Tyson Campbell. Baalke’s free-agent class was filled mostly with ”value signings” who have been marginally better, if at all, than their predecessors.

Jacksonville plays at New England (9-6) on Sunday. The Jaguars are 0-8 there.

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