Shad Khan

Jaguars’ Shad Khan, Trent Baalke Disagree On No. 1 Pick?

Four prospects are believed to be in play for the Jaguars at No. 1 overall, but it might be a matchup between two defensive ends by the time the top decision-makers huddle up for their final decision this week.

Shad Khan will observe the Trent Baalke– and Doug Pederson-led operation’s deliberations this week, Albert Breer of notes, and the longtime Jaguars owner said he has an opinion on which way the team should go at No. 1. Khan’s opinion appears to be that Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson is the way to go, per Tony Pauline of, who adds Baalke is backing Georgia defensive lineman Travon Walker.

Despite his college production dwarfing Walker’s, Hutchinson now trails the size-speed freak in pre-draft odds to be the top pick. The Walker-Jaguars connection has persisted for several weeks now. Khan has held roster control in the past, and it would not surprise if the 10th-year Jags owner pulled the trigger on his preferred player. Khan would obviously prefer the room forms a consensus and intimated to Breer that Pederson and Baalke have control over the football operation.

Yeah, I have an opinion,” Khan said, via Breer, of the No. 1 pick. “I do have an opinion. We are supposed to get together on Wednesday, and so I don’t have as firm a decision as I did maybe last year, but I do have it. I think we’ll have to really firm up the draft board, so we have clarity on all the permutations and combinations we’re gonna hit.”

During Pederson’s tenure, the Eagles devoted significant resources to bolstering their offensive line. The new Jags HC may not be opposed to such a strategy this year, despite this draft’s bevy of high-end D-line prospects. The Jags were connected to Ikem Ekwonu early in the pre-draft process, before franchise-tagging Cam Robinson for a second time, and Breer hears Baalke is a fan of the North Carolina State O-lineman. Ekwonu remains in play for the Jags at 1,’s Matt Miller tweets.

The team is rumored to be close on a Robinson extension, and Jawaan Taylor has started at right tackle in Jacksonville for the past three years. Pro Football Focus, which graded Jacksonville’s O-line 24th overall last season, viewed Taylor as the team’s weakest link up front in 2021. Of course, no Jaguar blocker graded particularly well here. Jacksonville added Brandon Scherff but could upgrade at its other guard spot. Ekwonu played tackle and guard in college; some view guard as his better NFL position.

Jaguars’ EVP Search On Hold

The Jaguars were thought to be making multiple additions to their front office personnel, including an executive vice president. However, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that that search has been put on hold. 

It came out in February that owner Shad Khan was conducting a search for a new EVP as part of a general strategy to add more “brainpower” to the organization. Many thought that former Vikings GM Rick Spielman was the favorite for the job, as he had already interviewed for an unnamed position which would outrank current Jaguars GM Trent Baalke.

Instead, Rapoport notes, internal meetings with new head coach Doug Pederson have been going well, to the point where maintaining the status quo at the top of the organization has becomes Khan’s preference. Specifically, Khan “doesn’t want to impede significant progress with a new voice”. It was noted that the team was planning on moving towards a more “collaborative approach”, and turning its attention to long-term building rather than quick-fix solutions with an experienced voice in Pederson.

In a follow-up tweet, Rapoport adds that other front office hires could still be forthcoming. Most notably, an assistant GM is still being sought out; if that ends up being the highest-ranking member of the organization brought in, Baalke would maintain his position of only reporting to Khan himself. For now, it seems as though the Jaguars will enter the offseason maintaining essentially the same structure that they finished the regular season with.

Latest On Jaguars’ Front Office

The Jaguars are in the process of rebuilding not only their coaching staff, but also their front office personnel and structure. As ESPN’s Michael DiRocco writes, the team is looking to add multiple new executives, including an executive vice president of football operations. 

As he states, owner Shad Khan is looking to hire not only an EVP, but also “someone to work under” general manager Trent Baalke. It wouldn’t be the first time the Jaguars had a structure like that, as a similar one was in place when the Jaguars were last in playoff contention.

When speaking about the changes, Khan said, “One of the reasons we had the [coaching] search was not only looking for the head-coaching candidate but really to learn about other organizations… So some of the practices, some of the structure that works, we got great insight into it. Strengthening the football operations, more staff, that’s part of our goal. We’ve had too flat an organization and we want to add brainpower and more people to strengthen that”.

Tom Coughlin held the EVP title beginning in 2017 during the Doug Marrone coaching era in Jacksonville. That season ended with a trip to the AFC Championship game, but the organization was streamlined after Coughlin was fired in 2019. Khan elected to try a more coach-centric structure when he hired Urban Meyer, a decision that proved to be borderline disastrous. A return to the previous system so quickly after Meyer’s firing would represent a very fast about-face from Khan and the organization.

Many believe that Rick Spielman will eventually be named as the new EVP. The former Vikings GM recently interviewed for a position that would outrank Baalke, though nothing has been made official yet. In addition, the team would have to meet with at least two external minority candidates for the position in order to satisfy the Rooney Rule.

Especially after the hire of former Super Bowl winner Doug Pederson as head coach, the Jaguars are “taking a collaborative approach”, DiRocco writes. With an emphasis on long-term building, as opposed to a less patient, win-now approach with Meyer, more voices being involved in decision making could be a productive first step towards turning around a franchise which has finished at the bottom of the NFL for two straight years.

Jags’ GM Backs Eberflus for HC

The Jaguars have had a bit of turbulence as they try to replace Urban Meyer, but a favorite has emerged as Colts’ defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus was the first candidate to be invited back for a second interview. An important aspect of Jacksonville’s search, Eberflus has received a strong backing from Jaguars’ general manager Trent Baalke, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. 

Baalke has a reputation for being a difficult general manager for head coaches to work with. Back when Baalke was the 49ers’ general manager in 2014, many reports of clashes with Jim Harbaugh littered the season, which ended with San Francisco and Harbaugh parting ways. This has made the search for a new head coach difficult as La Canfora reports that top candidates for the job are “only seriously considering it if assured Baalke would be out following the draft.” Baalke has been accused by sources of trying to prize his job security while securing a head coach.

Baalke first endorsed University of Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, but, after O’Brien interviewed for the position, Jaguars’ owner Shad Khan‘s son, Tony Khan, and a high-ranking official with the team shared their issues with O’Brien’s history of toxicity.

With O’Brien out of the running, Baalke set his sights on Eberflus. The four-year defensive coordinator in Indianapolis has overseen a top-10 scoring defense in three of his four seasons calling the defense. Eberflus’s defense was exposed by the very team he’s interviewing for when the Colts’ allowed 26 points in a must-win Week 18 loss to the Jaguars that eliminated Indianapolis from postseason contention.

Jacksonville’s willingness to seriously consider the candidate Baalke prefers points to them potentially wanting to keep Baalke as general manager. If this is the route they follow, it will likely tie Baalke’s future to Eberflus’s. There are still several candidates alive in this search, though. Keep track of the situation by following our 2022 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker.

Jaguars GM Trent Baalke To Keep Job

Despite a messy season in Jacksonville, it sounds like Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke will keep his job. Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter), Baalke will be retained and will assist owner Shad Khan in the search for a new coach.

[RELATED: HC Interview Candidates For Jaguars]

Baalke will continue to report to Khan, and he’s expected to “work in sync” with whoever is hired to be the new Jaguars HC. The head coach will also report directly to Khan, Rapoport added in a follow-up tweet.

During Baalke’s first full offseason at the helm, the organization managed to add a potential franchise quarterback in Trevor Lawrence with the first-overall pick, and they managed to hire away Urban Meyer from the NCAA to be the new head coach. Fast forward to now, and the team is 2-13, they’ve fired Meyer, and Lawrence has completed only 58.7-percent of his passes while tossing a league-leading 14 interceptions. Of course, Baalke’s plan was never expected to come to fruition during the 2021 campaign, and while things have been tumultuous (to say the least) in Jacksonville this season, it makes a bit of sense that he’d keep his job.

Baalke sort of fell into the role when he was promoted to GM in January. He was originally hired as director of player personnel under David Caldwell, but after the former GM was fired, Baalke was promoted to take his spot. Meyer was still calling the shots from a team-building perspective, and Khan also plays a major role in personnel moves. Baalke and Meyer reportedly didn’t see eye-to-eye during their stint together, and now Baalke will have an opportunity to build a team his way heading into the 2022 season.

Previously, the executive rose through the 49ers organization and eventually became San Francisco’s GM in 2011. Between the 2011 and 2013 seasons, the 49ers won 36 games, lost a Super Bowl, and appeared in a pair of conference championship games. However, following a 2016 season that saw the 49ers win only two games, Baalke was relieved of his duties.

Meanwhile, while we previously heard that Doug Pederson and Jim Caldwell were among the names that Jacksonville was eyeing as their next HC, Rapoport has added another name to the list. Current Buccaneers offensive coordinator (and, of course, former Jaguars starting QB) Byron Leftwich would “fit on the list” of potential head coaching candidates.

Urban Meyer’s Thoughts On Firing recently conducted an exclusive interview with former Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer. Meyer was fired by Jacksonville shortly after midnight on Thursday morning.

The interview covered many of the unflattering headlines that have colored the coach’s tenure in Duval, but started with an apology. Meyer apologized to the City of Jacksonville and painted the picture of a successful football future for the City, including a full stadium and a new facility promised by Jaguars’ owner Shad Khan.

Meyer talked a bit about something that he didn’t have a ton of experience with previously: losing. Meyer commented, “Losing eats away at your soul. Once you start losing, it’s hard on everybody.” This was perhaps most clear during what would be Meyer’s last post-game handshake of the 2021 NFL season, in which it seemed he couldn’t be bothered to even look at his former assistant, Titans’ head coach Mike Vrabel, after a convincing 20-0 loss. Meyer commented on that moment, claiming that he and Vrabel are really close and saying, “that had nothing to do with [Vrabel]…I can’t take losing. I try to accept it, it just eats away at my soul.” 

On many of the recent headlines that were thought to have contributed to his early exit, Meyer argued that they just weren’t true. Meyer said that a reported incident during which team captain Marvin Jones left the facility due to Meyer’s public and private criticism was not accurately portrayed. He also completely denied that he delivered a message to his assistant coaches that he is a winner and they are losers. Meyer also disputed that a preseason altercation occurred wherein he kicked former Jaguars’ kicker Josh Lambo while Lambo was stretching. Meyer was quoted saying, “It was like, ‘Wait a minute, where is this coming from?’ I’ve certainly made a few mistakes but those weren’t right.”

Meyer was asked about another highly criticized decision he made of benching James Robinson for an extended period of time against the Rams. The second-year running back is widely thought to be the best player on the struggling Jaguars. Meyer shrugged the decision off as a miscommunication. “We discussed it as a staff,” said Meyer. “When you see someone lose the ball or even see them be loose with the ball, get them out of the game, get their mind right, and then get them back in. When he fumbled, I said, ‘Take him out.’ We took him out and then we had lack of communication about when to put him back in.”

The other young star on Meyer’s former team is number one overall pick Trevor Lawrence. Meyer was complimentary of the 22 year old quarterback, commiserating with the tough situation he was put into. Meyer noted the franchise’s 15-game losing streak and injuries to key contributors on offense as obstacles Lawrence had to face. He ended the discussion on Lawrence saying, “There is zero doubt Trevor is going to be a great NFL quarterback.”

Questions were delivered on if there is an ongoing discussion with Jacksonville about the remaining money owed on his contract and on if Khan made the right move. Meyer declined to comment on both questions.

When asked what comes next for Meyer, he replied, “To be determined.” As of now, he has not heard from anyone in the football world about potential coaching opportunities. One can’t help but to think of where Meyer was a year ago, when he claimed he was living “the perfect life:” working at FOX with no plans to coach in the future.

Jaguars Fire Urban Meyer

Despite signing a five-year contract to coach the Jaguars out of mediocrity, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that, after only eleven months, Urban Meyer is no longer the head coach in Jacksonville. Urban had a bit of a rocky debut season in the NFL, going a paltry 2-11 in a year full of controversy. The firing comes a little over a month after Jaguars’ owner Shad Khan was reportedly “all in” on the first-year head coach. 

Meyer was a headline hire for Jacksonville, replacing Doug Marrone as head coach shortly after the Jaguars had secured the worst record in the 2020 NFL season. Meyer had shown his abilities as an accomplished coach in the college ranks, winning three national titles between his years in Gainesville and Columbus. The value of his five-year deal was never officially confirmed, but reports claimed that Meyer was asking for $12MM annually, which would have made him the second-highest paid coach in the NFL under Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichek.

The Meyer-era didn’t take long before showing it’s sour potential. In July, the Jaguars were one of three teams penalized for violating the CBA rules for offseason workouts. The Jaguars were fined a nominal $200K and Meyer was handed a $100K fine, as well. Not two weeks later, Meyer was subpoenaed by the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Iowa in relation to Chris Doyle, the former University of Iowa strength coach who left the school to join Meyer’s staff in Jacksonville. Doyle was the subject of a $20MM racial discrimination civil lawsuit filed by eight former Iowa players. The hiring of Doyle, itself, had created a slew of backlash. Meyer drew yet another offseason headline with comments that COVID-19 vaccination statuses were being considered when trimming the team’s roster down to 53 players, leading to an investigation by the NFLPA.

In October, Meyer once again found himself under fire after a viral video surfaced showing him with a young woman at his restaurant in Columbus. The Jaguars had just played a Thursday night game in Cincinnati. After the loss to the Bengals, Meyer didn’t fly back to Florida with the team, electing to stay in Ohio to visit family. Meyer claimed he had gone with family members to the restaurant where the viral video had been recorded. He spent the following Monday apologizing to the team, his family, and Khan.

Since then, there have been several reports of discontent within the Jaguars’ organization, with the most recent coming from kicker Josh Lambo who spoke about a preseason incident in which the Jaguars’ coach kicked Lambo while he was stretching. From continuous rumors that Meyer could have interest in open college coaching jobs to expectations that Meyer would fire the entire staff at the end of the season, it’s safe to say that the Meyer-Jacksonville partnership has not gone according to plan.

Ian Rapoport, of NFL Network, was quick to follow Schefter in tweeting that, with Meyer out, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will serve as head coach in an interim capacity. Bevell is in his 21st year of coaching in the NFL, with previous stints as the quarterbacks coach in Green Bay and the offensive coordinator in Minnesota, Seattle, and Detroit. Bevell actually has experience as an interim head coach, having led the Detroit Lions to a 1-4 finish following the firing of then-head coach Matt Patricia just last year. The Jaguars’ offense has struggled under Bevell with a rookie quarterback and an identical offensive line to the line from 2020 that helped Jacksonville earn the number one overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. They currently rank 30th in total offense and 31st in scoring offense.

Bevell should have a soft opening term as interim coach in Jacksonville, with matchups against the Texans and Jets, before finishing the season with the Patriots and Colts. Meanwhile, we’ll have to wait and see just how genuine the college interest in Meyer was as the mired coach navigates the aftermath of a tumultuous 2021 campaign.

Jaguars Owner Shad Khan On Urban Meyer

Jaguars owner Shad Khan isn’t happy with the current state of the team. Still, he says that he won’t rush to make any decisions on the future of head coach Urban Meyer

[RELATED: Khan Meets With Jags Coaches]

I want to do the right thing for the team. I want to do the right thing for the city,” Khan said (via “That, to me, is way more important than just acting helter-skelter on emotion. I think we have a history of really looking at the facts and then really doing the right thing.

Gus Bradley was here four years. Doug Marrone was here four years. It was wins and losses and this is a little bit different but, you know, I’m going to reflect on all of that and do what’s the right thing for the team and the right thing for the city.”

The Jaguars are 2-11 after getting shut out by the Titans for their fifth straight loss. Earlier this week, Khan met with coaches to reaffirm his confidence in them while imploring them to get the locker room in order. This comes after a string of reports citing discord between Meyer, his assistants, and several veterans on the roster.

I’m not impulsive,” Khan told reporters. “I learned that a long time ago with anything that’s this important. You don’t want to be impulsive. You want to look at exactly what I know firsthand or people are telling me and then collect that and do the right thing.

The Jaguars will look to get back in the win column on Sunday against the Texans. They last met in the season opener, a 37-21 win for Houston.

Latest On Urban Meyer, Jaguars Coaching Staff

Following a damning report from this past weekend that detailed tensions between Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer and both his players and staff, Shad Khan has apparently stepped in. According to Josina Anderson (on Twitter), the Jaguars owner “addressed the coaching staff in person” following Saturday’s report.

[REPORT: Jaguars Players, Coaches Frustrated With HC Urban Meyer]

During the meeting, Khan still expressed confidence in his coaching staff, but he encouraged his staff to improve the players’ cohesiveness. The owner also specifically addressed the weekend report, noting his dismay that news like that would leak out of the organization. Finally, Khan didn’t provide any “definitive assurances nor any discouragement” about the coaching staff’s status for the rest of the season or next year.

Meanwhile, Anderson also hears that staff confirmed that Meyer reportedly belittled coaches in a meeting, declaring that he himself was a “winner” and insinuating that his fellow coaches were “losers.” These coaches also lamented the feeling of “not being on the same page” as their HC, with some coaches feeling “unappreciated [and] undermined.”

According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, tensions surrounding Meyer have “boiled over with multiple run-ins with players and other coaches in recent weeks.” Pelissero’s report included a number of anecdotes, including telling notes about veteran wideout Marvin Jones‘ apparent dissatisfaction with his HC, Meyer’s (mis)handling of his coaching staff, and Meyer’s handling of running back James Robinson.

Jaguars Players, Coaches Frustrated With HC Urban Meyer

Ever since Urban Meyer skipped a team flight following a Week 4 loss to the Bengals, there have been questions surrounding the head coach’s commitment to and control within the Jaguars organization. In fact, we heard just last night that Meyer and GM Trent Baalke may not be seeing eye to eye. Well, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network has added some fuel to that fire this morning.

According to the reporter, tensions surrounding Meyer have “boiled over with multiple run-ins with players and other coaches in recent weeks.” This has led to rumblings that Meyer could be done in Jacksonville after only one season. The organization is naturally frustrated as they currently have a 2-10 record and have averaged only 10.6 points per game over the six contests since their bye. The HC has continually shifted blame on the players and coaches, per Pelissero, comments that have only helped to “exacerbated frustration in the building.”

The reporter provided more damning anecdotes that seem to show that things are spiraling out of control in Jacksonville. For starters, respected veteran wideout Marvin Jones recently left team facilities before returning and having a heated exchange with Meyer. Next, Meyer reportedly belittled coaches in a meeting by declaring that he was a “winner” and insinuating that his fellow coaches were “losers.” Finally, James Robinson‘s recent benching was indeed Meyer’s decision, and the HC tasked RB coach Bernie Parmalee with preventing the starter from reentering the game. Robinson only got more playing time once top-overall pick Trevor Lawrence questioned why his teammate wasn’t playing.

As Pelissero details, there’s a number of additional reasons why someone would question Meyer’s authority in Jacksonville. Multiple members of his staff have either stepped away or will be taking jobs elsewhere, and the organization was also slapped with fines about the HC’s violation of OTA rules (Meyer was also investigated after acknowledging that he factored vaccination status into his roster decisions). Then there was that whole flight fiasco earlier this season, which was followed by a notorious viral video that showed Meyer at a bar dancing with a woman.

Despite it all, Pelissero writes that owner Shad Khan has shown “no signs” of wanting to make a change. Khan has generally been loyal to his staff, and the owner had pursued Meyer for years. Unless things are truly too far gone, it sounds like Khan will be in favor of giving Meyer a second season with the organization.