What Dan Quinn passing on interview means for the Jacksonville Jaguars

Vincent Frank

The Jacksonville Jaguars are already embarking on what promises to be a widespread search to replace recently-fired head coach Urban Meyer.

Earlier in the week, Jacksonville requested permission to interview Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and defensive coordinator Raheem Morris. That list of requests also included Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, among others.

In what has to be considered surprising news, Quinn actually turned down Jacksonville’s offer to interview for the head coach job in Duval.

“I wasn’t coming here to look what my next job would be. I wanted to come in here, have a blast and hopefully kick ass,” Quinn told reporters earlier in the week. “If [head coaching opportunities] come, I’ll be ready for them. But I’m having a blast being right here with this crew and going for it.”

According to various reports, Quinn wants to focus on the Cowboys’ remaining regular-season games and the playoffs. The former Atlanta Falcons head coach has helped turn around Dallas’ defense in his first season as its coordinator. In fact, Sportsnaut ranks this defense No. 1 in the NFL.

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What does Dan Quinn turning down Jacksonville Jaguars mean?

dan quinn turns down jacksonville jaguars interview offer
Nov 7, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn waves to the crowd prior to the game against the Denver Broncos at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a decent chance Quinn will opt to interview with general manager Trent Baalke and owner Shahid Khan once the Cowboys’ season comes to a conclusion.

Even then, this has to be considered bad news for the long-downtrodden Jaguars. Here’s a team that has lost 28 of its past 30 games and just recently fired the aforementioned Meyer after all of 13 games.

The major backdrop here is Baalke himself. Surprisingly, the Jacksonville Jaguars opted to retain the general manager. He’ll now work with Khan to find a new head coach.

“Jaguars GM Trent Baalke will be retained and will be involved with owner Shad Khan in the search for a new HC. Baalke will continue to report to Khan and work in sync with the new head coach, who will also have a direct reporting line to Khan,” NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported earlier in the week.

This can’t be ignored when it comes to the Jaguars’ search for a new head coach. Dating back to his time with the San Francisco 49ers, Baalke has been seen as a standoffish figure. He clashed with then-49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh as well as CEO Jed York.

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In turn, the Jags’ decision to retain Baalke will impact their search for a new head coach. In short, they are not going to hire a big personality or someone with control over the 53-man roster.

Quinn, 51, served as the Falcons’ head coach from 2015-20 — boasting a 43-42 record and leading the team to a Super Bowl appearance. He’s one of the most-accomplished candidates in this season’s head coach cycle. In order to head to Duval, it stands to reason that Quinn would want roster control.

The same thing can be said for former NFL head coach Raheem Morris of the Buccaneers and former Philadelphia Eagles head man Doug Pederson — both of whom are on the Jaguars’ radar.

Simply put, Jacksonville is now looking at likely narrowing its search to unproven candidates without head coach experience. Hence, the interest in both Moore and Leftwich.

That’s somewhat of a gamble given the disaster Meyer left behind and the currrent trajectory of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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