Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Interviews Begin in Coach Search; Jay Gruden, Tucker, Schottenheimer among Jaguars' Initial Candidates

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Interviews Begin in Coach Search; Jay Gruden, Tucker, Schottenheimer among Jaguars' Initial Candidates

Article excerpt

Byline: Ryan O'Halloran

A year after declining to interview for several NFL head coaching openings, including the Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden will meet with new general manager Dave Caldwell Tuesday in Jacksonville, a league source confirmed.

The younger brother of former Oakland and Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden, Jay recently completed his second year running the Bengals' offense. Cincinnati has qualified for the AFC playoffs as a wild card both years.

A source said Jaguars defensive coordinator Mel Tucker was also in line for an interview and ESPN reported that occurred Monday. They also reported St. Louis offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer will meet with the Jaguars on Tuesday.

Tucker is believed to be the first candidate to interview with Caldwell.

Caldwell was back at EverBank Field Monday afternoon after spending the weekend in Atlanta and it's anticipated he will conduct the early interviews at the team's offices. His base could shift next week to the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

Caldwell has set up other meetings while waiting for assistant coaches whose teams are still playing, chiefly San Francisco offensive coordinator Greg Roman.

Per NFL rules, the Jaguars' first official contact with Roman can't come until after the 49ers' season is over because they did not conduct an initial interview during San Francisco's playoff bye week.

While the Jaguars have remained mum about their search at the behest of owner Shad Khan, other teams have been open, including San Diego. The Chargers interviewed Gruden on Sunday.

"The Chargers are an excellent franchise," Gruden told the team's website. "They've always been competitive. For a number of years, they were near the top of the division and won it a few times. It would be excellent to be a part of it."

Last off-season, Gruden turned down a chance to interview with St. Louis and a source said the Jaguars also showed interest. Instead, Gruden signed a three-year, $3. …

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