The Jacksonville Jaguars are getting a head start in their hunt for a new head coach and plan to start conducting interviews before the end of the 2021 season. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the team’s initial list of candidates includes Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, former Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell, and former Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson.
Jacksonville hired Urban Meyer as head coach in January but fired him earlier in December after a disastrous tenure that included multiple scandals and a 2-11 record.
Leftwich, 41, was a first-round pick for the Jaguars in 2003 but spent only four seasons with the team before he was released ahead of the 2007 season. After finishing his playing career with stints with the Atlanta Falcons, Buccaneers and Pittsburgh Steelers, Leftwich has emerged as a head coaching candidate after serving as the offensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals and Bucs.
Pederson didn’t coach during the 2021 season after he was fired by the Eagles in January. He led the team to a 42-37-1 record during his tenure, which included a win in Super Bowl LII.
Caldwell had a 26-22 record in three seasons with the Colts and a 36-28 record in four seasons with the Lions. Indianapolis lost in Super Bowl XLIV during his first season with the team, and Detroit made the postseason twice under Caldwell.