Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bengals Led Way for Jags

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bengals Led Way for Jags

Article excerpt

Byline: Gene Frenette, Times-Union sports writer

The Jaguars won't admit it publicly, but the Cincinnati Bengals probably saved them from a potentially awkward position by hiring Marvin Lewis as their head coach instead of Tom Coughlin. If Lewis had still been on the market, it would have been difficult for Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver to justify picking Jack Del Rio over Lewis, a more experienced and higher-profile defensive coordinator who happens to be black.

Not that Weaver would bypass Lewis, but the pressure from the NFL to hire Lewis would have been significant with the Jaguars having the last available head coaching job. With the Bengals choosing Lewis, that enabled Weaver to go through the process and hire a coach without being squeezed to hire any particular candidate.

Del Rio got hired primarily because he did a better job selling himself in the interview. Whether that translates into success on the field remains to be seen. . . .

The macho, tough-guy persona of Del Rio is certainly in keeping with his history of occasional confrontations, but the Jaguars coach was hardly an irresponsible rebel. Growing up near San Francisco, he was called "Mr. Mom" because he did housework for his divorced father and two younger brothers. A quote from his 1984 postseason bio at Southern Cal indicates Del Rio kept a sense of humor about it, saying: "My friends see me cooking and cleaning and they tell me I'm going to make someone a good wife." . . . San Francisco 49ers executive Bill Walsh publicly criticized the Jaguars last week for not hiring Dennis Green, his former assistant coach with the 49ers. Now that the 49ers have an opening, it'll be interesting to see if Walsh has the power and guts to do what he said the Jaguars should have done. . . .

Evidently Bill Parcells isn't a big believer in wasting time. …

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