Mel Tucker stays, a Twitter account for Shahid Khan, and other Jaguars notes
January 14, 2012
The under-rated and under-appreciated news in the wake of Mike Mularkey being hired as head coach of the Jaguars is that defensive coordinator Mel Tucker is staying in Jacksonville. Tucker was being considered for the position in Minnesota and it seems that had he chosen to depart Jacksonville, he would have had at least one position coach (defensive line coach Joe Cullen) follow him .
Then-head coach Jack Del Rio gave Tucker greater responsibilities for running the defense and the coordinator proved the decision to be worth-while. While the 2010 Jaguars had one of the worst defenses in the league (dead last in Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) , the 2011 edition featured one of the best (fifth in DVOA).
The improved defense came in spite of the unit being ravaged by injuries. As Peter King notedin his Week 17 Stat of the Week, the Jaguars had more players on Injured Reserve than any other team in the past years at least, with 22 of the 31 being from the defense. King remarked upon 12 defensive backs being on the list: “That’s almost worth an exclamation point. I’ve never heard of any position group getting ravaged like that before.”
The ability of the defensive unit to persevere and even thrive under those conditions was one of the very few things from the 2011 Jaguars that needed to be maintained (vice needing to be improved). The renewed presence of Tucker and several of his assistants does much to ensure that the defense does not deteriorate as the offense receives focus.
Tania Ganguli posted on owner Shahid Khan pondering getting a Twitter account. While his son Tony Khan (@tonykhan) is active on the network, the owner has yet to register. Shahid, though said “If there is a clamoring for (me to be on Twitter) , that look, we need that, then hey, we’ll have to do that.”
Well, I’m clamoring!
Clearly, Shahid Kahn needs to get on Twitter and do so before his moustache (@khanstache ?) does.
In the course of discussing quarterback Blaine Gabbert, head coach Mike Mularkey disclosed that he had his (Atlanta Falcons) quarterbacks coach Brad Bratkowski watch film of Gabbert. Wednesday afternoon, Frank Frangie and Rick Ballou of 1010 XL’s afternoon sports talk program immediately jumped on the disclosure as an indication that Bratkwoski was going to become the Jaguars offensive coordinator. Amusingly, the next afternoon, amidst a report that Brian Schottenheimer was in consideration for the position, Frangie and Ballou backed off, saying that they were “just speculating”. They ought have stuck to their original assessment as Bratkwoski spent yesterday driving to Jacksonville so that he could sign his contract.
With the coordinators in place, the next important event will be the hiring of a quarterbacks coach; there are hints that it will be someone Bratkowski has worked with before.
After that, the cherished off-season personnel acquisition speculation will begin.
On Tuesday, Shahid Khan and Mike Mularkey will face the fans at the “Ready to Rise Rally“. Your correspondent will be in attendance.