Three-plus years after multiple coaches declined interviews with the Jaguars before Gus Bradley was hired, the north-Florida head-coaching job is generating more buzz. An “overwhelming” degree of interest has emerged for the Jags’ HC vacancy, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports.
Florio does not expect coaches to turn down Jags interviews this time and lists Tom Coughlin, Josh McDaniels, Todd Haley, and Anthony Lynn as those to be among the most coveted candidates for head-coaching positions. Doug Marrone could also be a candidate, per Florio, but that’s obviously dependent on what happens for the 2-12 team in the season’s final two weeks. The team’s talent base has increased since the 2013 vacancy, likely leading to the enhanced interest.
Coughlin has been connected to Jacksonville as a front-office cog as well. In a coach, the Jaguars are likely going to want to hear Blake Bortles-related pitches — even if the next coach won’t be forced to play him — due to the franchise spending the No. 3 overall pick on the signal-caller and having closed the book on their previous first-round QB, Blaine Gabbert, so quickly. Having that happen twice in the same half-decade would be deflating for the franchise.
Here’s more from the Jags and the rest of the league.
- Paul Posluszny is leading the Jaguars in tackles, but the veteran linebacker knows that he might not be back in Jacksonville next year, as ESPN.com’s Michael DiRocco writes. “I want to play these last two games as hard as I can knowing that I may not have a future here,” Posluszny said. “You take it one game at a time and say, ‘I’m going to devote everything that I can to these last two games because this might be the last opportunity I get.’” Posluszny is the franchise’s second-leading tackler (904) after six seasons with the club, but those aren’t the numbers that necessarily matter. The 32-year-old is due a $3.95MM base salary plus a $500K roster bonus on the fifth day of the league year (in March). He’s also set to receive a $31K bonus for each game he’s on the active roster, up to $500K. Instead of bringing him back, the Jaguars could give additional playing time to second-round pick Myles Jack.
- The Raiders are planning to turn to Menelik Watson at right tackle instead of Austin Howard, Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com reports. The former second-round pick has been unable to stay healthy, being lost for the season due to injury in 2015 and joining Howard as ailing right-flank protectors this season. Oakland saw three of its starting line make the Pro Bowl, and right guard Gabe Jackson has been solid as well. The right tackle spot has been the only deficiency thus far.
- The Cowboys will rest Demarcus Lawrence in the next two games, as Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News tweets. “It wouldn’t surprise me if [Randy Gregory] gets a lot of snaps,” owner Jerry Jones said.
- Brandon Williams, Mario Addison and Ronald Leary are among the looming UFAs who can expected to be paid handsomely, at least when compared to their public perception, Field Yates of ESPN.com writes. Kelechi Osemele helping catalyze the Raiders’ offensive line points to the Cowboys’ left guard being a sought-after player. Leary reclaimed this job after La’el Collins‘ foot injury and has been a top-20 guard in the opinion of Pro Football Focus, and the fourth-year player has seen far more work than well-paid Jaguar right tackle Jermey Parnell was during his time in Dallas. Williams became a space-eating 3-4 nose man despite a Division II background, and Addison now has three straight seasons of at least six sacks. The Panthers’ 40 sacks match the Broncos for the league lead, and Addison’s 7.5 bests their group.
Zach Links contributed to this report.