Candidates to fill Jaguars' vacancy at head coach

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Josh McDaniels, New England offensive coordinator

Age: 40.

Resume: McDaniels has served as the Patriots offensive coordinator since 2012, winning a Super Bowl after the 2014 season. His offenses have finished no worse than fourth in the NFL in scoring over his first four seasons. … McDaniels has head coaching experience, going 11-17 with Denver from 2009-10. … In addition to his current post, McDaniels has four other seasons as an offensive coordinator in the NFL (New England from 2006-08 and St. Louis in 2011).

Why he’s here: McDaniels has the ability to adapt to his talent in innovative ways. The Patriots have beaten teams with two tight-end sets, throwing the ball to running backs and utilizing receivers in the short passing game. Star quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension to start this season allowed McDaniels to shine. He’s guided untested Jimmy Garoppolo and rookie Jacoby Brissett to productive games in a 3-1 start.

Area of concern: How much has McDaniels learned from his disastrous tenure as the Broncos coach? He’s far enough removed from the humbling experience that he should approach his second chance in an improved manner.

Bottom line: The Jaguars need to hire an offensive-minded coach that can take quarterback Blake Bortles, as well as receivers Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee and build something great. The Jaguars might have to wait on McDaniels if New England reaches the Super Bowl, but he’s worth it.

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Tom Coughlin, NFL senior advisor to football operations

Age: 70.

Resume: Coughlin led the New York Giants to Super Bowl victories to end the 2007 and 2011 seasons. In stints with the Jaguars and Giants, Coughlin has posted a 170-150 record (12-7 in the playoffs). Coughlin coached New York from 2004-15, going 102-90 (8-3 in playoffs). … He was the first Jaguars coach, going 68-60 (4-4 in playoffs) from 1995-2002.

Why he’s here: Coughlin still has the passion to coach and remains one of the best in the game.

Area of concern: It would be a short-term hire.

Bottom line: President-elect Donald Trump is 70. Why can’t a 70-year-old Coughlin coach an NFL team at a high level for a few seasons? Coughlin’s experience and offensive acumen would command immediate respect. His ability to instantly jumpstart the Jaguars is worth knowing that he likely wouldn’t coach beyond four years. Plus, what an incredible story it would be if Coughlin led the Jaguars to new heights to cap off his Hall-of-Fame career.

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Todd Haley, Pittsburgh offensive coordinator

Age: 49.

Resume: Haley has guided some of the best offenses in Steelers’ history since joining the team as coordinator in 2012. … He coached Kansas City from 2009-11, going 19-26 (0-1 in playoffs). … Haley also was successful as Arizona’s offensive coordinator from 2007-08, reaching a Super Bowl. … He has 20 years of NFL coaching experience.

Why he’s here: Haley has earned a second chance to lead a franchise. The Steelers have cultivated one of the most balanced offenses in the NFL over the last few seasons.

Area of concern: Haley is abrasive and his stint with the Chiefs ended badly. Like McDaniels, how much has he grown in the years since his setback?

Bottom line: Who is the quarterback Blake Bortles gets compared to the most? Ben Roethlisberger. What has the Steelers quarterback done since Haley’s arrival? He’s thrown for 130 touchdowns and 54 interceptions in four-plus seasons. In Big Ben’s previous eight seasons, he threw 165 touchdowns with 100 picks. Haley might be the perfect fit for Bortles.

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Anthony Lynn, Buffalo offensive coordinator

Age: 47.

Resume: Lynn was promoted to offensive coordinator after Greg Roman was fired after two games this season. … He served as running backs coach with the New York Jets from 2009-14, earning assistant head coach title. … Also had stints in Cleveland (2007-08) and Dallas (2005-06) as running back coach. … Lynn worked for the Jaguars in 2003-04 as running backs coach and assistant special teams coach.

Why he’s here: Lynn can get a ground game going. The Bills lead the NFL in rushing yards, continuing the success Lynn helped build with the Jets under coach Rex Ryan.

Area of concern: He would be a first-time head coach and was limited experience as a coordinator.

Bottom line: Lynn has elevated Buffalo’s offense since taking over for Roman on Sept. 16. That speaks to his coaching acumen.

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Sean McVay, Washington offensive coordinator

Age: 30.

Resume: McVay is in his third season as Washington’s offensive coordinator. … He served as the team’s tight ends coach from 2011-13.

Why he’s here: McVay guides an offense ranked first in total yards. His work with quarterback Kirk Cousins and tight end Jordan Rede has been marvelous.

Area of concern: McVay would be an incredibly inexperienced head coach.

Bottom line: The Jaguars could make a bold move and choose brilliance over an extensive resume.

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Mike Shula, Carolina offensive coordinator

Age: 51.

Resume: Shula has served as Carolina’s offensive coordinator since 2013 after joining the team in 2011 as quarterbacks coach. … Shula also served as Tampa Bay’s offensive coordinator from 1996-99. …Shula worked for the Jaguars as quarterbacks coach from 2007-10 and has 25 years of NFL coaching experience.

Why he’s here: Shula has helped groom Panthers quarterback Cam Newton into the MVP. Newton threw 35 touchdowns last year with 10 interceptions, despite not having receiver Kelvin Benjamin all last season.

Area of concern: Shula has only been a head coach at the collegiate level, leading Alabama from 2003-06 and going a forgettable 26-23.

Bottom line: Bortles’ development should be a high priority in this search. Shula has proven he can develop an unorthodox quarterback and tailor his offense to those strengths.

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Jim Schwartz, Philadelphia defensive coordinator

Age: 50.

Resume: Schwartz coached Detroit for five seasons, going 29-51 (0-1 in playoffs) from 2009-13. … He’s in his first season as defensive coordinator with the Eagles, but has served as one with Tennessee (2001-08) and Buffalo (2014).

Why he’s here: Schwartz has been one of the success stories of this season. Philadelphia was dreadful on defense last season, ranking 30th in total yards allowed. The Eagles rank in the top 10 in both yards and points allowed this season.

Area of concern: Schwartz took over a Lions team that had gone 0-16 in 2008. Still, he did little in five seasons as Detroit’s coach and isn’t as far removed from that experience as some other candidates like McDaniels and Haley.

Bottom line: Schwartz could instantly improve the Jaguars defense. Like Smith and Edwards, Schwartz prefers a 4-3 look.

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Kacy Rodgers, New York Jets defensive coordinator

Age: 47.

Resume: Rodgers is in his second season coordinating the Jets defense. … He spent the previous seven seasons as Miami’s defensive line coach. … Bill Parcells brought him into the NFL, hiring him to the Dallas’ defensive tackles coach in 2003. After two seasons in that post, Rodgers served as the Cowboys defensive line coach from 2005-07.

Why he’s here: Rodgers has gotten the most of his players consistently in his 14 years in the NFL. Dallas, Miami and the Jets all fielded stout defensive fronts under his guidance. Last season, Rodgers coordinated a defense that finished second against the run, was fourth in yards allowed and ninth in scoring. Despite the team’s offensive struggles, the Jets remain strong on defense. They currently rank fourth against the run.

Area of concern: Rodgers would be a first-time head coach. Jets coach Todd Bowles does have a large hand in the defense.

Bottom line: Rodgers is a rising prospect and a disciplinarian who would bring a needed attitude adjustment.

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Mike Smith, Tampa Bay defensive coordinator

Age: 57.

Resume: Smith coached Atlanta from 2008-14, compiling a 66-46 record (1-4 in playoffs) before being fired. … He served as the Jaguars defensive coordinator from 2003-07 and is in his first year in that role with the Buccaneers.

Why he’s here: Yes, Smith is a retread coach. However, retreads aren’t usually 20 games over .500 in their career.

Area of concern: Smith’s program with the Falcons went stale. He was 10-22 in his last two seasons. Can he regain his touch?

Bottom line: Smith employs a 4-3 scheme like Bradley ran with the Jaguars. That will make the transition smoother instead of switching to a 3-4 with the new staff. Smith also fielded explosive offenses in Atlanta, despite his defensive mindset.



With Gus Bradley fired with a 14-48 record, Jaguars owner Shad Khan now must hope the third time is the charm when it comes to hiring coaches.

Khan will be selecting his third coach as the team’s owner. The Jaguars are 16-59 since Khan bought the team, so he needs to get this one right to start building credibility on the field.

Don’t expect college coaches to be involved. The Jaguars can’t risk the uncertainty that comes with that jump.

Bradley was a first-timer geared towards defense. Therefore, hiring a candidate with an offensive background and head-coaching experience would be a plus.

Here is a look at the reasonable candidates – that means no Nick Saban, Urban Meyer or Jim Harbaugh – that the Jaguars should target.

Photos by Associated Press

Summaries by Times-Union reporter Hays Carlyon

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