The Jacksonville Jaguars stayed busy on Wednesday, just 24 hours after firing their head coach and announcing the sale of the team. On Wednesday afternoon, the Jaguars fired wide receivers coach Johnny Cox, according to Adam Schefter. They replaced Cox with quarterbacks coach Mike Sheppard and put offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter over the quarterbacks as well.
Cox was fired just as the Jaguars dumped disappointing wide receiver Jason Hill, who was signed to a two-year, $3.5 million contract prior to the season. Hill was a starter in the Jaguars woeful group of receivers. Rookie Cecil Shorts will likely get more playing time with Hill gone.
This was the first year for Cox as the Jaguars receivers coach. He worked as an offensive quality control coach wit the team two years prior to that. In 2006, he was a high school coach.
Koetter has been the Jaguars offensive coordinator since 2007. Sheppard was hired as the team’s quarterbacks coach this season, having worked as the receivers coach with the Cincinnati Bengals for four seasons prior to that.
The Jacksonville Jaguars just had quite the press conference. Wayne Weaver announced three major changes: 1.) Jack Del Rio is fired as head coach 2.) GM Gene Smith received a contract extension and 3.) he is selling the team to businessman Shahid Khan.
Weaver didn't want to leave Jack "twisting in the wind" and that the team "deserves better" right now. Weaver said, "I think Jack will go on and have success in his next venture, whatever he determines that to be so we all wish him well."
On naming defensive coordinator Mel Tucker the interim coach: "Mel has been one of the bright spots on our football team this year Taking charge of the defense, calling defensive plays. We're ranked No. 4 so I thought Mel earned the opportunity to be the interim coach to see this through. But I was very specific that it was an interim possession. It's early in the season so we'll start early on a very extensive coaching search so we can help someone build this franchise back into a winning franchise."
Tucker will also have an opportunity to interview the full-time position.
On the future of the Jaguars: "We're a franchise that's not far away from being a competitive football team and compete at a high level."
The knives are out for former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio, who was fired this morning. According to a report from Pete Prisco at CBS, Del Rio's coaching staff was not particularly fond of the man either, a sentiment shared by fans and others around the team. The coaches felt like Del Rio had lost his passion for the work of being an NFL head coach.
According to sources cited in Prisco's report, Del Rio would punch in around 9 a.m. and cut out early on most days. In a business where many coaches sneak a few hours of sleep on an office sofa, Del Rio's habits did not register well with his coaching staff.
Prisco, who works out of Jacksonville, knows the team well. As for Del Rio's firing, Prisco notes that his reported habits may have had something to do with the in-season firing.
I never expected Del Rio to be fired during the season because that's not the way owner Wayne Weaver works. But his actions the past couple of months made it happen -- not the record.
Fittingly, one of Del Rio's assistant coaches, defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, will take the reins for the season's final eight games.
Del Rio's career in Jacksonville can be defined by one word -- mediocrity. He finishes his career in Jacksonville with a 68-70 record and just two seasons with 10 or more wins.The Jaguars made the playoffs twice in the Del Rio era -- 2005 and 2007 -- and he was 1-2 in those three playoff games.
Jacksonville never developed a true franchise quarterback under his reign. Byron Leftwich started as a rookie in 2003, the same year Del Rio started, and he lasted three seasons before the Jags turned to David Garrard for the next five seasons. Blaine Gabbert was drafted this year and he's off to a poor start, even for a rookie.
Del Rio played in the NFL for 11 years, retiring in 1996 and entering the coaching ranks the following year. He started his career with the New Orleans Saints where he spent two years on the strength and conditioning staff. From there, he spent three years coaching linebackers for the Baltimore Ravens and one year as the Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator before taking the Jaguars head coaching job.
Del Rio becomes the first head coach fired in the 2011 NFL season.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have fired head coach Jack Del Rio, according to multiple reports. The Florida Times-Union reports the interim coach will be defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, who was hired in 2009.
Any firing that comes in Week 12 of the season is somewhat of a surprise but Del Rio appeared to be a dead man walking for some time. The Jaguars are 3-8 and rookie QB Blaine Gabbert doesn't appear to be getting better with each start.
Tucker becomes the interim coach but the Jags will likely look to fill the role permanently after the season. The idea of bringing in a new coach is somewhat foreign to the Jags considering they've had just two coaches (Tom Coughlin and Del Rio) in the history of the franchise.