Jack Del Rio is on the metaphorical hot seat in Jacksonville, and how well the Jacksonville Jaguars team does in 2010 will determine his future. It may be a foregone conclusion, unless the Jaguars make a significant playoff run. If Del RIo is released of his duties, who would be some of the Jaguars’ coaching candidates for the 2011 season?
Here is my Top 5:
1. Wade Phillips: Phillips is a well-respected head coach who has led multiple teams to the NFL playoffs. It is not likely that Phillips will be the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys in 2011. After starting the 2010 season with a record of 1 and 4, I just don’t see Cowboys owner Jerry Jones extending Phillips’ contract another year despite the 63-year old coach has won approximately 60 percent of his games. Phillips replaced NFL coaching legend Bill Parcels after the Cowboys’ 2006 season. Even though Phillips has a reputation of being a players’ coach and may receive some criticism for being too lenient, he has had consistent success–unlike Jack Del Rio in Jacksonville.
Just like Del Rio who had been in Jacksonville for several years, Phillips has had four seasons to take the Cowboys to a championship level. Jacksonville needs consistency right now, and Phillips can do it and put the team in a position to win a championship. The Jaguars quarterback position is up in the air with the 32-year old David Garrard , and one strong consideration would be pending free agent Michael Vick.
2. Marty Schottenheimer: He is approaching 70 years old, but he is a proven head coach in the NFL. Additionally, he may ask for greater control in regard to personnel decisions-possibly take on a role as a general manager. With Schottenheimer being of advanced age, he may ask for his son, Brian Schottenheimer to be a pending coach after he eventually retires. This is a lot to ask, but the younger Schottenheimer is currently the offensive coordinator of the successful New York Jets.
The elder Schottenheimer was forced out of San Diego in 2007 after a 14-2 regular season. Schottenheimer, just like Phillips have been able to field competitive, playoff teams, but often underachieve in the early rounds of the playoffs. Schottenheimer’s coaching career started in Cleveland and received notoriety as taking a Cleveland Browns’ team within one game of the Super Bowl on two different occasions. An Earnest Byner fumble and a guy named John Elway were obstacles in Schottenheimer’s way of bringing a championship to Cleveland in 1986 and 1987.
3. Urban Meyer: This is a dark-horse pick, but Meyer has been a highly successful college coach at the University of Florida. After Tim Tebow left for the NFL, could Urban Meyer follow him? I am not saying he will wind up in Denver with Tebow, but up the road from Gainesville to Jacksonville? Meyer had fought NFL rumors, but since Tebow’s departure, the Gators have struggled in 2010 and after seeing his former recruit Cameron Newton tearing up the SEC, Meyer may be reconsidering his coaching options after the 2010 season.
4. Dennis Green: Green has a NFL coaching record of 117-102 and is known for leading the Randall Cunningham-Cris Carter-Randy Moss version of the Minnesota Vikings within one game of the Super Bowl in 1998. Unfortunately for the Vikings, the upstart Atlanta Falcons upset their championship dreams. Green would later move to the Arizona Cardinals, but made a mis-calculation with Matt Leinart who has turned out to be a bust by many observers. Toward the end of his coaching stint with the Cardinals, he is well-known for an October 2006 post-game rant. Despite the hit and misses, Green is a winner and can turn a franchise around with the right quarterback. Green is currently the head coach of the United Football League’s Sacramento Mountain Lions.
5. Nick Saban: Would Nick Saban consider a return to the NFL? Saban is a winner-period. However, his brief NFL head coaching experience with the Miami Dolphins started well in 2005 with a 9-7 record, but no playoffs and in 2006, the team finished 6-10. Saban fought rumors of being a candidate for the Alabama job, but after the 2006 NFL season ended, he bolted for college-again. Saban’s Alabama teams have been dominant the past few years andwon the 2009 national championship. Alabama’s 2010 season may end without winning a national championship, and will this make him consider another NFL run just like former Southern Cal coach Pete Carroll?