Here’s a list of 15 possible replacements, beginning with one of the Jaguars’ own.
Doug Marrone, Jaguars assistant head coach/offensive line coach — He stunned the NFL establishment with his 2014 resignation as the Buffalo Bills head coach after leading the team to a 9-7 mark, the team’s first winning record in a decade. The Jaguars hired him after Marrone didn’t land the New York Jets coaching job. His Buffalo departure is sure to make some teams wary, but the Jaguars have worked with him for two years and should know by now if he has the right stuff.
Josh McDaniels, New England Patriots offensive coordinator — He’s won four Super Bowl rings as one of Bill Belichick’s assistants and is six years removed from his debacle in Denver, when the Broncos floundered to an 11-17 mark with him as coach, prompting his firing after the team was 3-9 in 2010. He was fined $50,000 for not reporting when an assistant videotaped an opponent’s walk-through practice. He’s reportedly anxious for another head coaching opportunity, but it’s uncertain if NFL teams will look past what happened with the Broncos or if they will attribute his Patriots success more to Belichick’s system and having one of the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks in Tom Brady.
Kyle Shanahan, Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator — The son of two-time Super Bowl winner Mike Shanahan has added to his NFL pedigree with stints in Tampa Bay, Houston, Washington and Cleveland before spending the past two seasons with the Falcons. Atlanta is No, 1 in points scored and No. 3 in total yards, which should translate to serious interest. The Jaguars are sure to covet an offensive mind to revamp an offense that ranks 27th in points and 22nd in total yards.
Sean McDermott, Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator — He was supposedly on many short lists an offseason ago after Carolina reached the Super Bowl, but reportedly received only serious interest for the Cleveland Browns job. While the Panthers have faltered this season, the 42-year-old McDermott is still considered one of the league’s best defensive minds. He’s been with the Panthers since 2011 after serving in various capacities with Philadelphia from 1999 to 2010.
Scott Linehan, Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator — The Cowboys’ NFL-best 11-1 record has prompted postseason expectations to soar in Dallas because of an offense led by rookie quarterback Dak Prescott and rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott. It is fourth in total yards and fifth in points scored. Linehan has been a head coach before, but he inherited a St. Louis Rams team in transition and went 11-25 from 2006 to 2008. His success this season is sure to have the phone ringing in a league where teams look to replicate the success of others.
Matt Patricia, Patriots defensive coordinator — He’s run Belichick’s defense since 2012 and been on New England’s staff since 2004. Patricia paid his dues and worked his way up in a proven system. The Patriots are once again one of the AFC’s top contenders with a 10-2 record, and while Brady and the offense are largely credited for the team’s success, Patricia’s defense is tied for second in fewest points allowed and ninth in total yards allowed. The Jaguars are fourth in fewest yards allowed, but 26th in points allowed.
Jim Bob Cooter, Detroit Lions offensive coordinator — He’s been calling plays for quarterback Matt Stafford for parts of two seasons, and 2016 has shown dramatic improvement as the Lions have gone 8-4. Stafford has shined despite the offseason retirement of perennial Pro Bowl wide receiver Calvin Johnson Jr. Although the Lions are just 19th in points scored and 21st in total yards, Cooter has been credited with the success of Stafford, whose career-high 100.5 passer rating ranks sixth among starters. Stafford has 21 TD passes and just 5 interceptions.
Darrell Bevell, Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator — He’s been Seattle’s play caller since 2011, but perhaps his biggest contribution was convincing the team to draft quarterback Russell Wilson in the third round in 2012. The Seahawks have been to two Super Bowls since, winning the first and coming within a goal-line interception of claiming the other. Despite the lack of a consistent running game and Wilson fighting through health issues, the Seahawks are 8-3-1 and poised for another postseason run.
Todd Haley, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator — After going 19-27 as Kansas City’s coach from 2009 to 2011, the Pennsylvania native returned home to Pittsburgh. The Steelers offense, with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Antonio Brown, has continually been one of the league’s strongest. Haley will eventually get a second chance.
Mike Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator — He had a 67-50 record as the Falcons’ coach through 2014, which proves he can win. After taking a year off from coaching, he joined the Buccaneers, who have been one of the league’s surprise teams at 7-5. The Bucs defense still needs some work, though, ranked 19th in total yards and 22nd in points allowed.
Harold Goodwin, Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator — Arizona’s inconsistent season could work against Goodwin, who has been running Bruce Arians’ offense since 2013. The Cardinals are ninth in total yards but just 17th in points scored this season.
Paul Guenther, Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator — Cincinnati has struggled to a 4-7-1 mark and the defense has dropped this season, but Guenther is still worthy of consideration based on the unit’s past success and his ties to former Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, who is now the Vikings head coach.
Mike Shula, Panthers offensive coordinator — The son of Hall of Fame coach Don Shula helped Carolina reach the Super Bowl a year ago and has had assistant stints with four other NFL teams. But because the Panthers have struggled this season — and the offense is 14th in points scored and 19th in total yards — Shula might have to put in another stellar season to garner serious interest.
Teryl Austin, Lions defensive coordinator — Detroit’s improvement hasn’t all been on offense. Austin’s defense, which isn’t exactly loaded with playmakers, is tied for 11th in fewest points allowed and 15th in total yards allowed. This is his third season in the Motor City after three seasons as the Baltimore Ravens’ secondary coach, and his stock is on the rise.
Jim Schwartz, Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator — His stint as Detroit’s coach didn’t pan out as he posted a 29-52 record from 2009 to 2013. But a year later he was a solid defensive coordinator in Buffalo, where the Bills were fourth in fewest points allowed as well as total yards allowed. The Eagles are 10th in fewest points allowed and 11th in total yards allowed this season.