Jaguars hire defensive assistant Henderson to help replace Mike Smith

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars added former New York Jets and Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson to their staff Friday.

Coach Jack Del Rio confirmed the hiring, but said Henderson's role on the defensive staff will be decided later.

The Jaguars lost defensive coordinator Mike Smith this week when he took the head coaching job with the Atlanta Falcons.

Henderson, who worked with Del Rio in Baltimore, was out of coaching last year. He spent the 2006 season as defensive coordinator in Detroit and served in the same capacity with the Jets from 2004-05.

Henderson was the Ravens' defensive backs coach from 2000-03. Baltimore finished in the top 10 in pass defense in three of his four seasons.

He could end up tutoring Jacksonville's secondary, which struggled most of last season.

Del Rio hopes to name a new defensive coordinator soon.

Current linebackers coach Mark Duffner could fill the vacancy. Del Rio also plans to consider Washington defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, former Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan and former Denver assistant head coach Jim Bates.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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