Jaguars coaching search benefits from divisional round playoff losses

Candidates like Hackett, Leftwich now available for second interviews

Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich congratulates tight end Cameron Brate (84) after a catchagainst the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half of an NFL wild-card football game Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio) (Mark LoMoglio, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The big winner of the divisional playoff round is the Jaguars.

Jacksonville’s coaching search had basically ground to a halt because the majority of the candidates that could be brought in for a second interview were still involved in the playoffs.

That is no longer a problem.

Nathaniel Hackett and Byron Leftwich both saw their teams eliminated during the divisional round of the playoffs.

Neither man has been confirmed to be receiving a second interview yet. The only candidate that the Jaguars have interviewed for a second time is Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus.

Both Leftwich and Hackett have spent time with the Jaguars previously. Leftwich was the Jaguars’ first-round pick in the 2003 NFL draft.

Hackett spent four seasons with the Jaguars, working his way up to offensive coordinator before being fired during the 2018 season.

Both Leftwich and Hackett are also on other teams’ interview lists. Leftwich recently interviewed with the Chicago Bears, while Hackett is considered one of the favorites to land the Broncos job.

Unless there is an unnamed candidate on the staff of one of the final four teams in the playoffs, it is safe a safe bet Jacksonville’s coaching search will be all gas no brakes moving forward. With multiple teams eyeing the same candidates, Shad Khan will need to move quickly to ensure he lands his choice.

About the Author:

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