Jaguars coaching search: Winners, losers after wildcard weekend

FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2020, file photo, Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore watches practice during an NFL football training camp in Arlington, Texas. Moore said Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021, he is no longer pursuing the Boise State job, and the Cowboys signed their play-caller to a multiyear contract extension. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth, File) (Michael Ainsworth, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars coaching search is reaching the end of the first round of interviews. While Shad Khan is conducting interviews for the Jaguars’ next leader, the NFL playoffs have started.

The playoffs have provided an interesting look at a few of the requested candidates. Just like in the game on the field, there were some clear winners and losers last weekend among coaches.

Losers

Kellen Moore

The biggest head-scratching play call of wildcard weekend was that Cowboyss draw play at the end of the game. Mike McCarthy defended the call saying the analytics supported it. Maybe they did. And if they can stop the clock no one is looking at the play under a microscope. But they weren’t able to stop the clock.

That is where the biggest issue lies. Dak Prescott did not know he needed to run the ball back to the ref for him to spot it. That is a coaching error. Before dialing up that sort of play, Moore should have been reminding Prescott that he needed to run the ball back to the ref.

That one play may be the focal point of the Cowboys’ playoff loss, but it wasn’t the only issue. The offense never really found a rhythm. No one that watched that game walked away thinking that Moore was the best coach on the field.

Dan Quinn

The Cowboys struggled all the way around on Sunday. Quinn, who said he would not interview for the job until the Cowboys’ season was over, is now available. Quinn’s defense was gashed by Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco offense. His scheme was successful in the regular season but it was exposed in the playoffs.

Quinn runs a similar scheme to that of Gus Bradley and Todd Wash. While Quinn will likely land a head coaching gig this offseason, the performance by his defense illustrates why he should not be at the top of the Jaguars’ wish list.

Winners

Todd Bowles

Bowles has not gotten a ton of love through the Jaguars coaching search. It is understandable because his failures as a head coach with the Jets are hard to ignore. But that was not entirely his fault. Since then, Bowles has made the Bucs’ defense into one of the top units in the NFL.

That Tampa Bay unit obliterated Jalen Hurts and the Eagles. Bowles’ game plan showed why he is considered one of the top defensive coaches in the NFL. That defensive specialty may hurt his case for the Jaguars job.

Byron Leftwich

Both Buccaneers coaches called masterful games. The Buccaneers’ offense was without Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown and Leonard Fournette but it didn’t miss a beat.

It helps when you have Tom Brady at the helm, but Leftwich did a masterful job of attacking the Eagles and putting players like Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski and Ke’Shawn Vaughn in a position to be successful. Many Jacksonville fans have been on the Leftwich bandwagon for a while now, but it seems his name is starting to build some momentum around the NFL.

Per a team source, the Jaguars were impressed with Leftwich’s interview. The looming question is does Leftwitch want to return to Jacksonville? His name will be a hot one around the league. The Bears have already requested an interview with the hotshot coordinator. If Leftwich is coveted by multiple teams, will he


About the Author:

Jamal St. Cyr is an award-winning sports anchor who joined the News4Jax sports team in 2019.