This week the Jacksonville Jaguars began their search for a new head football coach in wake of the 13-game failed experiment with Urban Meyer.
The team reportedly has requested to speak with and interview current Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator and former New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles and former Colts and Lions head coach Jim Caldwell. Two veteran head coaches who have probably been playing second fiddle for far too long.
Former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum said that Jags owner Shad Khan, “took a massive risk with Urban Meyer. He’s going to go a more experienced route. Somebody like Todd Bowles or Jim Caldwell or former Eagles HC Doug Pederson.”
The veteran melanated coaches are both clamoring for another opportunity in the lead spot.
Jacksonville #Jaguars keep adding names to their coaching search:
— 366 Sports (@366Sports) December 28, 2021
Bowles is fresh off winning a Super Bowl as the defensive coordinator of the Buccaneers.
He devised a game plan in that Super Bowl that held the offensive juggernaut known as the Kansas City Chiefs to nine points. It was very similar to what Dolphins head coach Brian Flores (also melanous) did as the defensive coordinator of the Patriots in Super Bowl 53 as they held the high-powered Rams to three points.
— The Fantasy Source 🔮🏈 (@FantasySource_) December 28, 2021
Bowles Led Jets From 2014-18: Roster Was Devoid Of Talent
Bowles is no stranger to being a head coach. He became the first Black head coach in New York Jets hoistory and led the New team to a 26-41 record. In his first season, the team unexpectedly won 10 games and barely missed the postseason. But there wasn’t much success that followed. An average of (5.33) wins the final three seasons isn’t going cut it in the “Not For Long” league, especially if you’re Black.
It wasn’t all Bowles’ fault. The Jets front office has continously failed to compile a roster that is up to par. Bowles was brought in as a sacrificial lamb of sorts, to clean up the Rex Ryan debacle. He represented himself with class and integrity, but the cards were stacked against him and New York media turned on him. The Jets are still a joke and he’s been gone almost four years, acheiving Super Bowl glory as Tampa Bay Bucs defensive coordinator.
— NFL (@NFL) December 31, 2018
Does Jacksonville Need a Defensive-Minded Coach?
The Jaguars job is appealing mainly because it has a QB in Trevor Lawrence who is considered to be a generational talent. With Urban Meyer at the helm, we didn’t see much of that potential shine through. Outside of that, the job doesn’t have a lot of other great perquisites at the moment. But having a QB is always better than not having one. With Bowles being a defensive-minded coach, one has to wonder if he’d be a good fit for a team with a QB needing development and coaching to reach his potential.
Bowles Needs An Elite Offensive Coordinator
Bowles would need to hire a competent and innovative offensive coordinator to ensure that Lawrence is being properly developed and given every opportunity to be successful. The Jags defense has some talent led by linebacker Josh Allen, but the failing offense leads to the defense spending too much time on the field.
— 41 (@JoshAllen41_) September 21, 2020
Love Bowles, but the Jaguars job would be better suited for someone with an offensive background and pedigree. Of course he wants to be a head coach again, but this spot isn’t the right fit for him at the moment.
Jim Caldwell Is The Right Choice In Jacksonville: Offense And Culture Change
When making the hire for the next head coach in Duval County, Florida, the Jags would be wise to not only interview Jim Caldwell but maybe make him an offer during the session. This franchise needs an offensive-minded leader, and Caldwell is just that. He’ll also bring a proven track record of success as a head coach with his two prior stops in Indy and Detroit culminating in multiple playoff berths, double-digit win seasons and a trip to the Super Bowl.
His ability to connect with the players on a level of respect they didn’t receive during the Urban Meyer debacle will be key as well. Caldwell is a “Leader of Men” and always has been. He also knows the trials and tribulations that Black head coaches go through all too well at the NFL and college coaching level.
“It took Jim Caldwell sixteen years in coaching before he earned his first head coaching job.When Caldwell, a Joe Paterno disciple, took the head job at Wake Forest in 1993, only two other black men coached Division 1 football, Temple’s Ron Dickerson and Eastern Michigans Ron Cooper. The latter two were clean-up men. Temple was 3-19 the two years prior to Dickersons arrival and EMU was 6-26-1 over the prior three years. Thats the scraps black coaches get. While Caldwell walked into a better situation, Wake Forest was 8-4 in 1992, the team returned only 10 starters. After being fired, Dickerson and Cooper never received another full-time head coaching job in Division 1 football. They were one and done.”
Happy birthday (yesterday) to THIS man, Jim Caldwell. Great coach, great man. pic.twitter.com/PNDCxnwrZ7
— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) January 17, 2021
His work with QBs like Peyton Manning, Joe Flacco and Matt Stafford speaks volumes as to how easy it’d be for him to connect with Trevor Lawrence. Caldwell isn’t a young hot shot with something to prove. His ego won’t conflict with Lawrence’s development.
Bowles and Caldwell are high character leaders who exemplify discipline, accountability and integrity. Jags couldn’t go wrong either way, but when you have a young, talented franchise QB the sensible approach is to get him an offensive-minded leader who’s capable of reaching into that untapped potential.
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