6 Candidates Shad Khan Should Consider to Replace Mike Mularkey
With a team this bad, there are many areas at which the proverbial finger can be pointed. But as this league has proven, it's all about the head coach and quarterback.
In Jacksonville's case, head coach Mike Malarkey might be on his way out before ever gaining a foothold on the position with the Jaguars.
Having signed just this past offseason, it would have taken horrendous results for Mularkey's job to already be in jeopardy. Sitting at 1-8 after Thursday night's 27-10 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, owner Shad Khan could be forced into hiring his second head coach since buying the team this past year.
While Khan has stated he will wait until the offseason to assess the situation, let's take a look at a few candidates who could replace Mularkey on Jacksonville's sidelines.
Current Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly is on everyone's short list to try his hand in the NFL.
While there may be far more attractive jobs out there than taking over for the Jacksonville Jaguars, it might be a matter of who gets there first and who has the most money to throw Kelly's way.
If that is the case, Jaguars' owner Shad Khan might just have his man, assuming the owner cuts ties with Mike Mularkey.
After what has transpired this season, Khan will be eager to make a huge splash with the next hire at head coach. With Kelly being the hottest name on the market, that could be just the spark he is looking for.
It will all depend on how Kelly views the Jaguars organization.
Will he see it as a potential career-killer should he be ousted from the NFL as quickly as Alabama coach Nick Saban was a few years back? Or is it possible Kelly perceives it as a starting point to a long career in the pro ranks?
Jay Gruden or Mike Zimmer
As hot of a non-NFL name as Chip Kelly has, current Cincinnati Bengals offensive and defensive coordinators, Jay Gruden and Mike Zimmer, fill the role of experienced guys already coaching in the professional ranks.
It would depend on the preference of Jacksonville Jaguars' owner Shad Khan as to whether to take an offensive or defensive approach, but either Gruden or Zimmer could possibly get the job done quickly.
Gruden is be similar to Mike Sherman because of his work with second-year players, quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green. The coach could turn Blaine Gabbert and Justin Blackmon into a successful duo, similar to what he has now in Cincinnati.
Zimmer's name has been thrown around for years, but has never been able to land a head coaching job. With several coaches said to be on the hot seat this season, Zimmer's name is sure to surface once again.
Of potential head coaching candidates on the market—those that won't be too much trouble, or cost too much to bring in (e.g., Jon Gruden and Bill Cowher)—current Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman might make the most sense for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Sherman's resume is impressive, and his experience from his previous stint with the Green Bay Packers could calm a situation in Jacksonville before it gets too far out of hand.
The work that Sherman has been able to do with Dolphins rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill should not go unnoticed. With Blaine Gabbert struggling early in his career, Sherman could do similar good for the young quarterback in Jacksonville—assuming the organization doesn't target a replacement under center as well.
Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher
Though highly unlikely, the Jaguars could target the biggest names in finding a new head coach this offseason.
Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher would fill that role quite nicely.
While it seems that these two guys would be looking for a more stable situation, a large sum of money and a home in Florida could be enough to reel in one of these big fish.
Gruden has a love for teaching young quarterbacks, and Cowher would be kind of close to his home in North Carolina. Well, these may be stretches, but anything is possible in this league these days.