Jaguars have shocking 11th-hour meeting with Vic Fangio

Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio reacts before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio reacts before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The Jacksonville Jaguars head coach search has been ongoing for some time, and they’re apparently considering Vic Fangio at the 11th hour.

No NFL team has had longer to search for its next head coach than the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars fired Urban Meyer in-season and unlike the Las Vegas Raiders, the Jaguars began their search for a new head coach well before anyone else, and it looks like they are the team having to make last-minute changes to their plans.

Former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was meant to come back to Jacksonville for a second interview but that’s not happening because the Denver Broncos have hired Hackett as their next head coach. Now, it appears as though the Jaguars are expanding their head coach search although many thought Byron Leftwich to be a foregone conclusion…

Are the Jaguars serious about Vic Fangio as a HC candidate?

The Denver Broncos got things going with the decision to hire Hackett, making their vacancy the first one to be filled in the NFL. That started a domino effect of news, as the Chicago Bears swiftly made the decision to hire Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus later on Thursday morning.

Shortly after the Bears made the decision to hire Eberflus, it was reported that Dan Quinn would be returning to the Dallas Cowboys as defensive coordinator.

That seemingly left the Jaguars with a no-brainer option — hire Buccaneers OC Byron Leftwich. Apparently, it was too soon to consider that any sort of foregone conclusion, as current Jaguars GM Trent Baalke made the 11th-hour decision to bring in Vic Fangio in for an interview…

…as the team’s head coach.

Not as Byron Leftwich’s defensive coordinator — as head coach.

Fangio did a fine job with the Denver Broncos as a defensive coach. As a matter of fact, he and his staff did a pretty darn good job with player development on that side of the ball and all told, had Fangio and the Broncos had competent quarterback play over the last three years, who knows how different things could have been?

Fangio is not a bad coach. He may not be the best head coach, but he’s not a bad coach.

With that being said, the hire of Byron Leftwich to grow with and groom Trevor Lawrence seems like an absolute no-brainer, especially given the fact that Leftwich has literally been in Lawrence’s shoes before as a former Jaguars first-round pick at the QB position.

But Baalke and Fangio have ties that run pretty deep. Fangio was on the 49ers’ staff under Jim Harbaugh when Baalke was in place as the 49ers’ general manager.

The familiarity between those two undoubtedly led to some conversations, and the fact that the Jaguars flew Fangio out to Duval County is substantial.

Would this move be the best one for Trevor Lawrence? That’s a tough sell. Would it help the Jaguars quickly build a formidable defense? Absolutely and almost without question.

Still, as crucial as Lawrence’s development is right now, it’s surprising the Jaguars are even considering a move like this, but they might have struck out on the candidates (Hackett, Eberflus) that were truly their top options.