While the Jaguars did not necessarily make a splash with their head coach hire, the offensive coordinator opening could be drawing some serious attention.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday former Eagles and 49ers head coach Chip Kelly is among the candidates being considered. The news was first reported by 1010XL in Jacksonville. Rapoport noted that Nathaniel Hackett, who ended the 2016 season as the team's offensive coordinator, is also in the running.
From the outside looking in, the news feels like another move made by executive vice president Tom Coughlin, though the ties between Coughlin, Doug Marrone and Kelly are much deeper.
"I was very tempted to go because I have the utmost respect for coach Coughlin," Kelly told USA Today back in 2013. "Philosophically, we were very similar in terms of being disciplined, not making mistakes, taking advantage of what the offense gives you."
Added Coughlin back in 2013: "He should have been coaching for me. He wanted to coach the quarterbacks or something like that and we had a quality control position open. We thought highly of him when we brought him in."
Rapoport said Tuesday on Good Morning Football that Kelly went into the interview believing he would leave with a firm offer. That was not the case.
Still, Kelly would be a fascinating addition to Marrone's system. Marrone came up through the coaching ranks as a tight ends and offensive line coach who got a big break as Sean Payton's offensive coordinator down in New Orleans from 2006 to 2008. Since then, he's developed his own hyper-drive version of Payton's system that combines many of the elements which made Kelly's offenses successful at Oregon and in Philadelphia. By the time Marrone was done in the college coaching ranks, both schemes looked very similar.
Given Coughlin's admiration and Marrone's desire to fit his athletic quarterback and receivers with a quick, aggressive system, this could end up as one of the more interesting pairings in football next year. All three have philosophical ties to the great Bill Parcells, which is the kind of atmosphere they're hoping to build down in Jacksonville.