Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jags Pick One Coordinator, Could Lose Another Petrino to Direct Offense; Jets to Interview Capers

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jags Pick One Coordinator, Could Lose Another Petrino to Direct Offense; Jets to Interview Capers

Article excerpt

The Jaguars answered a major question about their coaching staff yesterday, while another remained very much uncertain.

Bob Petrino, Jaguars quarterbacks coach the past two seasons, was promoted to offensive coordinator yesterday, the same day the New York Jets contacted the Jaguars for permission to interview defensive coordinator Dom Capers.

Capers, the team's defensive coordinator the past two seasons, has been mentioned as a candidate for head coaching vacancies with the Jets and Buffalo Bills in recent days. Capers is expected to interview with the Jets as early as today.

"I support him completely, and if the right job comes along for him, God bless him," Coughlin said of Capers. Coughlin said he has a "short list" of candidates if Capers should leave, but wouldn't elaborate except to say "it gets shorter all the time" with recent NFL hirings.

Capers was unavailable for comment and did not return phone calls. Under Coughlin's rules, Jaguars assistants do not typically speak with the media.

Petrino's promotion ends Coughlin's two-year stint as offensive coordinator, a role he assumed after Chris Palmer -- the coordinator in 1997 and 1998 -- left to become the Browns' head coach.

Petrino, hired by Coughlin after he spent the 1998 season as offensive coordinator at the University of Louisville, will assume play-calling duties and also continue to coach the quarterbacks.

"When Tom brought me in two years ago, I knew I would have this opportunity as long as I did my job, and basically showed him that I can handle it," Petrino said.

Coughlin said he hired Petrino with the idea he eventually would become coordinator, and said he began leaning toward making the move this offseason midway through last season.

"It was the right spot at the right time," Coughlin said. "I thought our football team was in the right shape in 1999 where I could have the role I had. I approached this year basically the same way, but obviously, we had a slew of things take place that dragged me away from the offense.

"This thought process also lends itself to the fact that I'm in a hurry to get back to being the head coach. …

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