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Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach Update: Jay Gruden, Rob Chudzinski and More

January 7th, 2012 at 1:45 PM
By Brendan Sonnone

The Jacksonville Jaguars' search for its third head coach in franchise history is getting clearer.

More candidates are emerging and stepping to the front of the wish list while others are dropping out of the race.

The Jaguars reportedly interviewed New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and Carolina Panthers OC Rob Chudzinski Friday and Thursday, respectively, according to the Florida Times-Union

New Jacksonville owner Shahid Kahn was in New York this week, so it's assumed that he interviewed Schottenheimer, while general manager Gene Smith interviewed Chudzinski in North Carolina.

The Jaguars also interviewed interim head coach Mel Tucker this week, away from the team's stadium, according to the Times-Union. 

One potential candidate withdrew his name from consideration. Former New England Patriots OC Bill  O'Brien was going to interview with the Jaguars, but backed out and decided to take the head coaching job at Penn State…which as we know, is a very desirable job at this point.

One new candidate that was thought to be a good fit when the team first fired Jack Del Rio mid-season, is Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.

The NFL Network reported Wednesday that Gruden was thought to be the favorite to get the Jaguars' coaching gig. His name hasn't popped up as a potential interviewee because the Bengals are participating in the playoffs. 

Whenever the season ends for the Bengals, expect Gruden to emerge as the top candidate for the Jaguars.

Tags: Football, Gene Smith, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jay Gruden, NFL, Rob Chudzinski

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