Tag:Jacksonville Jaguars
Posted on: January 23, 2012 11:00 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 11:18 pm

Report: David Garrard will be 100% by April

There are plenty of quarterback-needy teams in the NFL and Garrard could help one of them. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

Much has changed in Jacksonville since David Garrard was released days before the start of the 2011 regular season. First-round pick Blaine Gabbert eventually assumed the starting jobs (and struggled mightily in the process), head coach Jack Del Rio was fired midway through the season, owner Wayne Weaver sold the team to Shahid Khan, and Mike Mularkey was hired as in earlier this month to replace Del Rio.

But the Jaguars are no longer Garrard's problem. There was speculation that he might join the Dolphins after Chad Henne suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in October. It didn't happen, but not because Garrard "didn't feel like playing," but due to the fact that he needed surgery for a herniated disk in his back.

According to ESPNChicago's Michael Wright, Garrard should be healed up and ready to go in a few months.

David Garrard will be 100 percent healthy by end of March I'm told. Could be pretty good backup somewhere.
1/23/12 9:04 PM

It appears we have one more name to add to the list of available free-agent quarterbacks. The front-runners (in random order): Matt Flynn, Alex Smith, Jason Campbell, Kyle Orton, Drew Brees, Vince Young, Chad Henne, Byron Leftwich and Garrard.

We first brought up these names shortly after the Broncos' season ended in New England. Given how inconsistent Tim Tebow had been in 2011, we wondered if John Elway and John Fox would honor their word on Tebow's prospects as Denver's starter in 2012 (Turns out, they will -- we're still skeptical).

So where might Garrard end up next season? This is a quarterback-driven league and because there's a shortage of really good ones, they come at a premium. Which means that Garrard probably won't have trouble finding work although it may have have to be as a backup.

The Dolphins, under new head coach Joe Philbin, might prefer Flynn (Philbin was previously the Packers' offensive coordinator). And presumably, the Redskins and the Browns want to get younger at the position. Same with the Cardinals (obvious exception). Which brings us back to our previous point: there may not be a starting job waiting for Garrard when he returns but as Caleb Hanie, Tyler Palko and T.J. Yates quickly discovered, you're never far from taking the field.

For now, though, Garrard has to get healthy. Best-case scenario: he'll work out for teams after the draft and help somebody fill out their roster heading into training camp. After that, it'll be up to him.

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Posted on: January 15, 2012 11:11 am
Edited on: January 15, 2012 3:43 pm

Falcons hire Dirk Koetter as new OC

Dirk Koetter has been hired as Atlanta's offensive coordinator (US Presswire).By Josh Katzowitz

Falcons coach Mike Smith and former Jaguars offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter will be reunited as the Falcons announced the hiring of Koetter as their offensive coordinator on Sunday.

Koetter replaces Mike Mularkey, who was hired as Jacksonville’s head coach.

"I am very pleased to add Coach Koetter as our offensive coordinator," Smith said in a statement released by the team.  "Dirk is a veteran offensive coach who will bring years of NFL experience as an offensive coordinator as well as a fresh set of ideas to our offense. He is bright, he understands the intricacies of the vertical passing game, but he also wants to be able to run the football which is very important in the NFL.

"I look forward to working with Dirk and have tremendous confidence that he will be a great addition to our team and our coaching staff."

Koetter beat out an apparent interview list that included Brian Billick, Brian Schottenheimer and Packers quarterback coach Tom Clements in order to win the job from his old Jacksonville mate.

Koetter was hired as Jacksonville's offensive coordinator in 2007. He worked with Smith for one year. Smith was the Jaguars' defensive coordinator before he became Atlanta's head coach in 2008.

While Koetter’s offense didn’t impress this season -- even with the league’s leading rusher, Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville finished last in the league in yards gained and 28th in points scored -- the Jaguars have been better under Koetter in years past. Not great, mind you. But closer to league average as opposed to league worst.

At the very least, Koetter will get to work with a franchise quarterback for the first time as an offensive coordinator, after spending his previous years dealing with David Garrard from 2007-10 and the disappointing rookie Blaine Gabbert last year. Matt Ryan will be quite an upgrade from those two.

Koetter inherits an offense blessed with established starters such as quarterback Matt Ryan, running back Michael Turner, tight end Tony Gonzalez and receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones. With the exception of Jones, who was a breakout rookie in 2011, all those playmakers, plus fullback Ovie Mughelli, have been Pro Bowl selections.

But Atlanta fans shouldn’t expect a huge change in offensive philosophy. As NFL analyst Adam Caplan notes, Murlakey and Koetter run a similar style of offense.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: January 10, 2012 10:13 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2012 11:10 pm

Jaguars hire Mike Mularkey as head coach

By Will Brinson

On Monday we passed along the news that Falcons defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder left Atlanta for the same position at Auburn and wondered if offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey might be out the door also. Well, he is, and he's headed to Jacksonville as the next head coach of the Jaguars.

The Jaguars made the news official on Tuesday night; CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman earlier confirmed a report that Mularkey was set to be hired.

Mularkey will become the third head coach in Jaguars history, and the first under new owner Shahid Khan after interviewing with the Jags on Tuesday.

Mularkey's lone head coaching experience came with the Bills from 2005 through 2007; he resigned in the middle of the 2007 season after the organization hired former Bills coach Marv Levy to work in the front office and the two didn't see eye-to-eye.

He also left the Dolphins early; those two factors led one NFL head coach to tell our Pete Prisco that he "didn't get it" when it came to the Mularkey hire.

On Tuesday, Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden pulled his name out of the running for any head-coaching vacancies; he was considered one of the top candidates in Jacksonville for his work with rookie Andy Dalton.

Mularkey's had similar success with a young signal caller, helping to turn Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan into one of the premiere passers in the league.

The knocks on Mularkey the past few years have been a) conservative play-calling and b) a lack of success in the playoffs.

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He fits the bill in Jacksonville, though, because he's upgrading at running back (Maurice Jones-Drew is significantly better than Michael Turner and much more dynamic), and because the Jaguars would've been a borderline playoff-caliber team in a weak AFC South if they could've mustered any offense.

It's a good move on his part because, as our own Pete Prisco pointed out, there will be plenty of "Falcons fans and some players happy to see him go." Those are the breaks that come with going 0-3 in the playoffs over the course of four years though.

Mularkey's chief job will be working with former first-round pick Blaine Gabbert, who showed promise in 2011 but was submarined by being thrust into a starter's role before he was ready and without any help at wide receiver.

If the organization can make a splash in a deep free-agent market and Mularkey gets a full offseason working with Gabbert, it wouldn't be shocking to see rapid improvement from the Jaguars in 2012.

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Posted on: January 10, 2012 6:56 pm

Jay Gruden not interviewing, staying with Bengals

Dalton and Green should be pleased Gruden's staying in Cincy. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Jay Gruden, thanks to the work he did with Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton, was a hot name in coaching circles for open positions with a number of teams. But he's not going anywhere in 2012.

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Gruden's decided to stay with the Bengals and continue working with Dalton and the young Cincinnati offense in 2012.

"I’m happy here," Gruden said, per Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I like working for Marvin (Lewis) and with the team. I feel like we’re just scratching the surface on offense, but we have a lot of good, young players and have the potential to do even better next season."

Gruden was believed to be a possibility for the Jaguars opening, and the Rams called the Bengals seeking permission to speak with Gruden, but he declined any opportunities to interview for anything other than his current job.

This is curious for a couple of reasons. One, Gruden wasn't taking a job -- he was just interviewing, and there's nothing illegal, immoral or otherwise about that. Two, though the Bengals made the playoffs and Dalton had a great season, Cincy got lucky with their schedule.

In 2011, they played the AFC South and NFC West, two of the weaker divisions in football. In 2012 they'll play the NFC East and AFC West, which is substantially tougher. (Although, hey, bonus: Carson Palmer plays the Bengals!)

That being said, Dalton and A.J. Green, along with the two first-round picks Cincy has in 2012 (thanks Carson!), it's possible that the Bengals could continue developing into a potent offense.

If that happens, Gruden's name will continue to be mentioned in the coaching rumor mill, and it's possible he'll have more opportunities for a coaching gig than he had this offseason.

As we've said on the podcast time and time again, just because there are only 32 NFL coaching jobs doesn't mean you have to take one when it's open.

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Posted on: January 7, 2012 8:49 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2012 9:20 pm

Jets eye candidates should Schottenheimer leave

Gang Green begins the offensive coordinator search in case Brian Schottenheimer doesn't return. (US PRESSWIRE/Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

When Jets head coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum held their somber end-of-season press conference last Monday, they indicated, among other things, that Mark Sanchez would remain the starting quarterback in 2012, and Brian Schottenheimer, should he not get a head-coaching gig, would return as the offensive coordinator.

Schottenheimer arrived in New York in 2006 and he's been a favorite punching bag of Jets fans since. Still, he's annually mentioned as an rising star in the coaching ranks and destined to be a head coach. He was rumored to be in the running to replace Nick Saban in Miami following the 2006 season but later removed his name for consideration.

Perhaps ready to move on, Schottenheimer interviewed for the Jaguars job Friday. Jacksonville fired Jack Del Rio in November, the franchise was sold to Shahid Khan in December, and are desperately seeking an offensive identity.

While Schottenheimer's head-coaching fate remains undecided, the Jets are making contingency plans to fill his job. The potential replacements, according to the New York Post?  Recently fired Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano and the man behind the Jags' 31st-ranked offense, Dirk Koetter.

We hear those two names, think about the barrage of criticism fans directed at Schottenheimer on a weekly basis and "Be careful what you ask for" immediately comes to mind. Schottey deserved the scrutiny, but if you were wondering how things could get worse, that answer might lie with Sparano or Koetter.

That's not completely fair; Sparano arrived in Miami in 2008 with Bill Parcells' blessing and immediately led the Dolphins to 11 wins and the postseason a year after they went 1-15. And Koetter, who came to Jacksonville in 2007 from Arizona State, was responsible for the Jags' third-ranked offense his first season. But they've slipped in the subsequent seasons (2008, 11th; 2009, 17th; 2010, 14th; 2011, 31st).

ESPN reported earlier that Sparano and former Chiefs coach Todd Haley have discussed "joining forces" as a packaged deal. Sparano would handle the running game and Haley would handle the passing game. No word on possible destintions although Fantasy Island immediately comes to mind. (Really, who has two coordinators on the same side of the ball? Then again, maybe "Joining Forces" is the name of their comedy troupe or lounge act. Or both.)

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Posted on: January 5, 2012 10:08 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 8:33 am

Report: Jack Del Rio to interview for Chiefs job

Could Jack Del Rio be the next Todd Haley? (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

We didn't see this coming: Former Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio will interview for the Chiefs' head-coaching job Friday, according to Kansas City's KCTV5.

Jacksonville fired Del Rio in late November after a 3-8 start. It was his eighth season with the Jaguars and he left with a 68-71 record, including two playoff appearances. But the Jags under Del Rio hadn't finished above .500 since 2007, a four-year span that included two 5-11 finishes (including '11, when they went 2-3 with Mel Tucker as the interim head coach). And sources told CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco that Del Rio had lost his drive, showing up to work at 9 a.m., which is swell for your garden-variety sedentary pencil pusher but equivalent to banker's hours for an NFL head coach.

Former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor, who played for Tom Coughlin and Del Rio before ending his career with Bill Belichick and the Patriots, said that Del Rio played favorites and that contributed to his downfall.

"Why do you think I'm not there?" Taylor asked the ThePostGame.com's Eric Adelson shortly after Del Rio was canned. "… At the end of the day, [Del Rio]'s not a head coach. He's a great defensive coach. But he's not a head coach."

Also not helping Del Rio: the Jaguars' dreadful offense, exacerbated by a rookie quarterback and zero playmakers outside of Maurice Jones-Drew. But it's not like the Chiefs are an offensive juggernaut. They "featured" Matt Cassel, Tyler Palko and Kyle Orton under center at various points this season. Yes, Del Rio, a defensive coach, could higher a brilliant offensive mind to turn things around but if that's the thinking, why hire Del Rio at all? Just hire the brilliant offensive mind.

Or, if general manager Scott Pioli is interested in a defensive-minded head coach in the Belichick mold, here's a thought: give the job to Romeo Crennel, the Chiefs' defensive coordinator who took over after Todd Haley was fired late in the season. Crennel has the support of his players and he did something no other team had been able to do in 12 months: beat the Packers.

Kansas City has also interviewed Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin are are reportedly interested in speaking with Falcons' OC Mike Mularkey.

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Posted on: January 5, 2012 4:25 pm

Khan believes Gabbert is Jax's QB of future

KhanBy Josh Katzowitz

While there have been plenty of questions whether Blaine Gabbert is the Jaguars quarterback of the future, new Jacksonville owner Shahid Khan isn’t the one doing the questioning. In his mind, Gabbert is the guy -- for him and for whomever the next coach will be.

"I think a key question you have to ask any potential coach, what are you going to do to develop him?” Khan said on WKOV radio, via the Florida Times Union. “How do you make him the best he can be? Really, I've been asking them point blank, 'Can you work with him?' And so far everybody says he's great.”

As you can see from our handy Coaching Rumors post, most, if not all, of the Jaguars interview plans revolved around offensive coordinators, including New York’s Brian Schottenheimer, Cincinnati’s Jay Gruden, Carolina’s Rob Chudzinski and Atlanta’s Mike Mularkey.

With the quarterback turmoil experienced last season (cutting David Garrard, playing Gabbert, experimenting with Luke McCown, etc.), the franchise needs to find a way to help Gabbert become a legit starter. Because, in Khan’s mind, that’s exactly what he is.
"I think he [Gabbert] is going to be a great quarterback,” Khan said. “I think he is our franchise quarterback. I think he needs development. We want to develop him. We want to give him tools. A dedicated coach. And I think he's going to be great."

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Posted on: January 2, 2012 2:12 pm

Report: Brian Schottenheimer to interview in Jax

SchottenheimerBy Josh Katzowitz

So far, it seems clear that the Jaguars are focusing on offensive assistant coaches to interview for their vacant coaching job.

According to the New York Daily News, Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer will interview to be Jack Del Rio’s successor in Jacksonville. That interview could occur as early as next week.

Schottenheimer joins the mix along with Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski and Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey for a Jaguars team that finished last in the league in offense and that features a rookie quarterback who had a disturbingly-bad season with one of the worst receiving corps in the league.

Of course, the value of Schottenheimer isn’t exactly high right now after the Jets' failure to make the playoffs could be laid mostly at the feet of the offense, which finished 25th in yards gained. He’s also not the first Jets assistant to draw interest from a Florida team (Miami is high on defensive coordinator Mike Pettine).

The Jets have scheduled a press conference for 3 p.m. ET, and since general manager Mike Tannenbaum also is set to attend, there have been whispers that coaching changes could be made. Not that Schottenheimer is worried about it.

"I've been fired before," he said last week. "If you get in this profession, you're going to get fired. And the guys that sit there and worry about it are the guys that generally end up getting fired, because they are sitting there worried about it."

Besides, if he’s hired, he could be interviewing for a promotion anyway.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com