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#pounditWednesday, February 8, 2023

Articles tagged: Jacksonville Jaguars

Steelers thank Jaguars over Twitter with fitting meme

A colts meme

The Jacksonville Jaguars did the Pittsburgh Steelers a big favor on Sunday, and Pittsburgh said thank you in the most 2020s way possible: with a meme.

The Jags beat the Indianapolis Colts 26-11 in a Week 18 stunner, preventing the 9-8 Colts from making the playoffs. Pittsburgh beat Baltimore 16-13 in overtime on the road to improve to 9-7-1, which is good enough to be alive to reach the postseason.

The Steelers’ Twitter account thanked the Jags afterwards. They used the Jags’ “#DUUUVAL” hashtag. Then they used a meme from “Thor: Ragnarok” where Hela was replaced by the Colts logo.

If the Steelers indeed qualify for the postseason (so long as the Raiders-Chargers game doesn’t end in a tie), they wouldn’t have been able to do it without the help of Jacksonville. The best part is the win didn’t even prevent the Jags from locking up the No. 1 draft pick. It was a win-win for everyone. Well, everyone except the Colts.

Video: Jaguars fans in clown costumes taunt GM Trent Baalke

Jaguars fans wear clown costumes

Jacksonville Jaguars fans promised to take a stand against the team’s poor management during their season finale on Sunday, and many of them delivered.

Thousands of Jaguars fans showed up to TIAA Bank Field for Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts wearing clown accessories. Some just had red noses, while others were completely decked out in clown gear.

The clown protest was organized in an effort to pressure the Jaguars to fire general manager Trent Baalke. Those who took part made that message clear very early in the game.

Jacksonville entered Week 18 with just two wins. The Jags will once again search for a new head coach this offseason, and Baalke’s presence has already reportedly hindered their search. Owner Shad Khan may have no choice but to fire the GM if he wants to attract decent head coach candidates. The fans are doing their part to make it happen.

Report: Jaguars GM has preferred coach and DC in mind

Trent Baalke at a press conference

The Jacksonville Jaguars could reportedly bring a lot of experience to their next coaching staff if general manager Trent Baalke gets his way.

Baalke is a strong supporter of Alabama offensive coordinator and former Texans coach Bill O’Brien to take over the head coaching job in Jacksonville, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. If O’Brien is hired, the team would reportedly target Denver Broncos coach Vic Fangio as defensive coordinator, assuming the Broncos fire Fangio.

Previous reports have indicated that Baalke is a hindrance in the team’s search for a new head coach. That is not said to be the case with O’Brien, who is “aligned” with Baalke and would be willing to work under the GM.

The question at this point is whether Baalke gets to make the hire. Jaguars fans are putting pressure on the team to fire the GM, but owner Shad Khan has not relented at this point. Hiring O’Brien as coach would look pretty uninspiring, and will likely only increase the sense of urgency among fans to call for Baalke’s job.

Photo: Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke during Friday afternoon’s press conference at TIAA Bank Field. After his arrival in Jacksonville, Florida Friday morning, April 30, 2021, Jacksonville Jaguars first-round draft pick Trevor Lawrence along with team owner Shad Khan, head coach Urban Meyer and the Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke held a press conference in the afternoon inside TIAA Bank Field. They were also joined by the Jaguars 25th pick in the first round of the draft and former Clemson teammate of Lawrence, running back Travis Etienne. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]

Jaguars facing embarrassing lawsuit from major sponsor

Shad Khan smiling

The Jacksonville Jaguars have suffered through an embarrassing season from start to finish in 2021. The campaign appears to be ending in appropriate fashion, with the franchise facing a very embarrassing lawsuit from a primary sponsor., a Georgia-based roofing company, is suing the Jaguars in a bid to disassociate the brand with the team’s final regular season game. The company fears “irreparable harm” for being associated with the game, in which a group of fans plans to dress up as clowns to protest owner Shad Khan’s decision to retain GM Trent Baalke.

In a complaint filed Thursday in Jacksonville, stated that it wanted to avoid “its brand being emphasized as the primary sponsor of the clown game,” via Mark Long of the Associated Press. The claim, originally obtained by the Florida Times-Union, argues that the Jaguars “utterly failed to provide the sponsorship benefits outlined in the agreement” by creating a “toxic marketing environment.”

The Jaguars said the lawsuit was “baseless and without merit.”

Some Jaguars fans plan to participate in a “Klown Out” for Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts to register their displeasure with the decision to keep Baalke as GM. While it is unclear how many fans will participate, there is clearly some fear that the number will be fairly high if a company is willing to go to court over this.

Beyond the fact that Baalke has few successful personnel moves to point to in Jacksonville, there are rumors he may be hindering the team’s head coaching search. Now, fairly or not, his presence has led to the phrase “clown game” being attached to the team’s season finale in a legal filing. That has to be pretty embarrassing for Khan and the organization as a whole.

Photo: Oct 17, 2021; London, England, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan (Shahid Khan) watches from the sidelines during an NFL International Series game against the Miami Dolphins at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Ex-division rival head coach to interview with Jaguars

Shad Khan smiling

The Jacksonville Jaguars appear to be casting a wide net in their search for a new head coach, and one name on their list should be plenty familiar to AFC South fans.

Bill O’Brien will interview with the Jaguars next week for their head coaching vacancy, John Reid of the Florida Times Union reports. O’Brien is currently the offensive coordinator at Alabama and is helping the Crimson Tide prepare for their National Championship Game against Georgia on Monday night.

This is the second report we have heard this week about the Jaguars being interested in O’Brien. Though, he doesn’t exactly have as good of a reputation as Doug Pederson, Jim Caldwell and some of the other candidates he is up against.

Like many others before him, O’Brien has managed to repair his image a bit while working under Nick Saban. He was the head coach of the Houston Texans from 2014-2020. There were indications that he had lost the locker room prior to being fired and was butting heads with several star players. He did, however, lead the Texans to the playoffs four times in his six full seasons.

The Jaguars almost certainly prefer other candidates to O’Brien. The 52-year-old is known for being hard-nosed. Many Jacksonville players and coaches reportedly felt that Meyer ruled with too much of an iron fist. Those same issues could resurface if the team hires O’Brien.

The Jags may have to make one major change to their front office if they want to attract more candidates.

Photo: Oct 17, 2021; London, England, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan (Shahid Khan) watches from the sidelines during an NFL International Series game against the Miami Dolphins at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Jaguars have interest in ex-coach of division rival

Bill O'Brien in Alabama hat

Another name has surfaced in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ head coach search, and it will be a familiar one to fans of the AFC South.

Former Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien is of interest to the Jaguars as they search for a replacement for Urban Meyer, according to Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union. It is not clear how firm that interest is, however.

O’Brien is currently offensive coordinator at Alabama, where he has somewhat rehabilitated his image. The ending of his tenure with the Texans was disastrous, in part because of some very controversial personnel moves and the loss of locker room authority. He did make the playoffs with Houston four times in six full seasons, which would be a step forward for the Jaguars.

Still, O’Brien’s reputation is such that he would not excite many as a candidate. It would be worrisome if he is the best Jacksonville can attract, but there might be a reason for that if it’s the case.

Photo: Alabama Offensive Coordinator Bill O’Brien during warm ups before the 2021 College Football Playoff Semifinal game at the 86th Cotton Bowl in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas Friday, Dec. 31, 2021. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]
College Football Playoffs Alabama Vs Cincinnati

Wild playoff scenario could unfold in Week 18 if Jaguars beat Colts

Derek Carr with a helmet on

The Jacksonville Jaguars are about to wrap up yet another disappointing year, but that does not mean they are playing an insignificant game in Week 18. In fact, they have a chance to potentially create chaos ahead of the postseason.

The Jaguars are hosting the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. For the Colts, the road to the playoffs is simple — win and get in. If Jacksonville wins, however, things could get very interesting. Why? Because that would set up a scenario where the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers, who will play each other on Sunday, would both get into the playoffs with a tie.

As luck would have it, the Jaguars and Colts play in the early window and the Raiders host the Chargers in the late window. That means the latter two teams will know before they play if a tie would get both into the playoffs. The big question, then, would be how they handle the situation.

You might think the Jaguars have almost no chance of beating the Colts, but history favors them. The Colts are 0-6 when playing at Jacksonville since 2015. Granted, some of those Jags teams were better and Indy teams were worse, but anything could happen.

As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes, the NFL prohibits efforts by teams that undermine the integrity of the game. There may be no explicit rule that teams can’t agree to play to a tie, but commissioner Roger Goodell could punish the Raiders and Chargers if it were determined that they colluded.

The NFL is probably hoping the Colts just beat the Jaguars, that way there are no questions. But if the Jags are looking for one last piece of motivation as they close out a disastrous season, they definitely have something to play for.

Photo: Sep 13, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) before playing against the Baltimore Ravens at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguars fans trying hard to get Trent Baalke fired

Trent Baalke at a press conference

Jacksonville Jaguars fans are as disgusted as ever with their team heading into the final week of the regular season, and many of them are planning to show it before and during Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Many Jaguars fans are planning to wear clown costumes to TIAA Bank Field on Sunday. Their main focus is to pressure the team into firing general manager Trent Baalke, according to Mark Long of The Associated Press.

Thousands of Jaguars fans have changed their social media avatars to the same image that depicts a clown wearing team owner Shad Khan’s signature mustache. They have been using the image to troll the Jags on social media, and that theme will apparently continue during the season finale.

The Jaguars have somehow looked worse since firing Urban Meyer a few weeks ago. The low point in their season may have been last weekend’s 50-10 blowout loss to the New England Patriots. They are already searching for a new head coach, and there has been talk of Baalke’s presence negatively impacting that search.

According to one report, several candidates refuse to interview with the Jaguars as long as Baalke remains GM. Before he joined Jacksonville’s front office in 2020, Baalke’s previous job was as GM of the San Francisco 49ers from 2011-2016. The Niners enjoyed great success early in Baalke’s tenure with the team, but he has been criticized for forcing Jim Harbaugh out. That and the Meyer disaster have led to a great deal of backlash.

The Jaguars are 14-50 since they made it to the AFC Championship Gamed four years ago. All eyes will be on their coaching search this offseason. Khan can’t afford to mess up another one, and he may have no choice but to fire Baalke.

Photo: Bob Self/Florida Times-Union/USA TODAY NETWORK

Jaguars botching head coach search for one major reason?

Shad Khan smiling

The Jacksonville Jaguars have already begun their search for a new head coach, and it sounds like things are off to a rough start. In order to change that, they may have to make a significant front office move.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that the Jaguars have already turned off several top candidates by retaining general manager Trent Baalke for their coaching search. Baalke has a poor reputation among coaching circles and a history of becoming wrapped up in power struggles. One agent told La Canfora he wouldn’t even let his client take an interview with the Jags unless Baalke is out.

“My client would have to fire me to take an interview there under this setup,” the agent told La Canfora. “No way. It’s totally backwards.”

Several candidates are open to interviewing with the Jaguars next week, but they reportedly want to gather information about why team owner Shad Khan has chosen to retain Baalke to lead the search. Many executives from other teams believe Khan will eventually have to fire Baalke due to feedback he has received from both fans and potential coaching candidates.

Many of Jacksonville’s candidates seem to prefer a totally clean slate in the wake of Urban Meyer’s brief tenure with the team. Some of the coaches the Jaguars reached out to are skeptical that they can produce positive results with the team as long as Baalke remains GM.

Before he joined the Jaguars’ front office in 2020, Baalke’s previous job was as GM of the San Francisco 49ers from 2011-2016. The Niners enjoyed great success early in Baalke’s tenure with the team, but he has been criticized for forcing Jim Harbaugh out. Between that and the Meyer disaster, it would not be a surprise if coaches don’t want to work under him.

Photo: Oct 17, 2021; London, England, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan (Shahid Khan) watches from the sidelines during an NFL International Series game against the Miami Dolphins at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Byron Leftwich criticizes reporter for question about Jaguars job

Byron Leftwich

Byron Leftwich has frequently been linked to the Jacksonville Jaguars head coaching job, and he’s been questioned about it accordingly. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator simply is not interested in hearing it anymore.

Leftwich on Thursday was asked about the Jaguars opening during his weekly press conference, and he offered a fairly sharp rebuke to the reporter asking. Leftwich called it “disrespectful” to the Buccaneers’ upcoming opponent, the New York Jets, to focus on the Jaguars at this time.

“I really think it’s disrespectful to the Jets and whoever you’re playing that week when you’re talking about things that really has nothing to do with Sunday’s game,” Leftwich said, via Jenna Lemoncelli of the New York Post.

The questions will inevitably keep coming Leftwich’s way. He is a former Jaguars quarterback and is increasingly seen as ready for a head coaching job. He was a bit more relaxed when asked about it previously, but he’s not really in the mood anymore.