Gene Smith Fired: Why This Is the First in the Falling Dominoes of the Jaguars

David Levin@@davidlevin71Senior Writer IIJanuary 2, 2013

Mike Mularkey is still the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

For now.

While Mularkey has been spared the sword so far, Gene Smith was not that lucky, having been given his pink slip Monday morning by team owner Shad Khan. Whether you call it a year late or something that should have been done during the season, it was still the right call by Khan and the first step toward the reorganization of a franchise still in disarray.

"I am still the head coach until I am told otherwise," Mularkey told the media in his press conference on Monday morning.

A day after the Jaguars imploded in a 38-20 loss to Tennessee where the team saw two interceptions and two punt returns brought back for scores, there are more questions surrounding the future of the first-year head coach.

Nothing may be decided until a new general manager is in place with the franchise. Tom Gamble of the San Francisco 49ers and Jason Licht of the Arizona Cardinals appear to be the two leading candidates to fill the slot, as reported by Ryan O'Halloran of The Florida Times-Union. Each have ties to possible new head coaches and key players who could help turn this team around.

As Mularkey has pledged time and time again, "This team is close," referring to being a winning franchise in the NFL.

A 2-14 record this season on the heels of a 5-11 campaign speak a different tune with fans and media looking to claw at this team, which may be the worst in the NFL.

Mularkey said he and the staff as well as the new general manager and Khan would be assessing the team, making decisions on player personnel and making moves to further strengthen the team for 2013. This may or may not include the addition of Tim Tebow, who has been linked to joining this organization should he be released from the New York Jets.

Also clouding the situation could be the recent firings of Andy Reid in Philadelphia and Lovie Smith in Chicago. Could those two names surface as potential players in landing here in North Florida?

Right now, it appears Andy Reid is enamored with Arizona, where Licht could still be in play with management.

What happens now becomes a waiting game of sorts. If other dominoes fall, in regard to more coaches losing their jobs and management changes with other teams, does that effect the Jaguars search for a general manager or new head coach?

But for right now, half of the potential problem has been solved.