Jack Del Rio Fired: Mel Tucker and 8 Other Candidates to Replace Jaguars Coach

David LevinSenior Writer IINovember 29, 2011

Jack Del Rio Fired: Mel Tucker and 8 Other Candidates to Replace Jaguars Coach

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    In the wake of Jack Del Rio being told he would no longer be the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, defensive coordinator Mel Tucker will assume the role Del Rio could not make work in one of the NFL's smallest markets.

    Tucker, who has the Jaguars defense among the best in the league, has been with the team since 2009. He served as defensive backs coach and a defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns before moving south to join the Jaguars.

    This is the first time the 39-year-old will serve as a head coach at any level during his coaching career.

    For the moment, Tucker is only the "interim" coach, allowing speculation that the Jaguars will interview other candidates for the top job.

    Here is a look at some candidates the Jaguars could make a top priority.

Herm Edwards, ESPN

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    He has a nice cushy job on ESPN, but Edwards is cut in the same mold as Tony Dungy and while Dungy will not come out of retirement, having a Dungy student is a good thing to have.

    Edwards had success with the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs as a head coach.

Tom Clements, Green Bay Packers

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    Clements is in his ninth season with the Packers and serves as quarterbacks coach.

    We have seen what he has done making Aaron Rodgers into an All-World passer. He might be able to do the same thing with Blaine Gabbert.

Jon Gruden, ESPN

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    You know his name is going to come up.

    Gruden has a great job on Monday Night Football, but would he have an itch to coach again?

    The Jaguars defense makes the team half-correct and Gruden loves quarterbacks and projects.

    He would be loved in North Florida.

Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles

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    I am throwing this one out there.

    If Reid gets fired by the Eagles, would he walk away from the game or would he consider another coaching gig somewhere else?

    Reid is an even-tempered coach and his pedigree and record speak for themselves.

    He would be a great find for the Jaguars.

Rob Ryan, Dallas Cowboys

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    I am not sure how this would go over with management if they kept Mel Tucker on in the capacity of defensive coordinator.

    Ryan is the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator now and has been looked over for other head coaching jobs.

    But with the work he has been doing in Dallas, he won't be looked over too much longer.

Mike Mularkey, Atlanta Falcons

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    Mularkey could come back to the state of Florida.

    Mularkey played college ball at the University of Florida and is currently serving as offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons.

    Could the Jaguars raid former defensive coordinator Mike Smith's staff for their next head coach?

Brian Billick, NFL Network

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    Billick knows how to win.

    Could he make it work in Jacksonville?

    The current NFL commentator won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens.

Jeff Fisher

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    He used to refer to Jacksonville as his team's other home.

    He was a gutsy coach who took the Titans to their only Super Bowl appearance and was a former defensive star in his playing days.

    Could the Jacksonville fanbase accept him as their head coach?

Mel Tucker,

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    Let's see what he can do.

    Tucker took a bunch of free agents, added them to a sluggish group of remaining veterans and turned the Jaguars into a top-five defense in the NFL.

    Surely that holds some merit when deciding if he should stay or should he go.

    Even if he is not offered the head job for next season, I hope he would be allowed to remain with the team in the same capacity.

    Offenses score points (well, not in the Jaguars' case) and defense wins championships.