A couple big changes in Jacksonville

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A couple big changes in Jacksonville

From Comcast SportsNet

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - The Jacksonville Jaguars fired coach Jack Del Rio on Tuesday after a 3-8 start, parting ways with the franchises second coach during his ninth season.

Del Rios job security had been tenuous since owner Wayne Weaver said the coach needed to make the playoffs to secure a 10th season in Jacksonville. The Jaguars were essentially eliminated with Sundays 20-13 loss to AFC South-leading Houston.

The timing of the move made sense since the Jaguars are struggling to sell tickets and host a Monday night game against San Diego. Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker was named the interim coach. The team scheduled a noon news conference to discuss the move.

Del Rio leaves with a 69-73 record, including 1-2 in two playoffs appearances. The Jaguars didnt win the AFC South in any of his nine seasons.

Weaver considered firing Del Rio after last season, but kept him partly because of the uncertainty surrounding the NFL lockout. Weaver refused to give contract extensions to any of Del Rios assistants, putting everyone on alert that this was a win-or-else season.

Del Rio refused to let offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter and linebackers coach Mark Duffner interview for lateral positions. He couldnt stop quarterbacks coach Mike Shula, whose contract ended, and receivers coach Todd Monken, who returned to a college job at Oklahoma State, from bolting.

Given the situation, the pool of coaches wanting to come to Jacksonville was small, so Del Rio had few options while rebuilding his staff. Del Rio hinted this season that his hands were tied in terms of what he could to assemble the best staff.

Fans have been clamoring for his departure for years, with many calling for him to be fired following a 5-11 finish in 2008. Instead, Weaver parted ways with personnel chief James Shack Harris and selected Gene Smith the general manager.

Smith has rebuilt the roster over the last three years.

But the Jaguars have shown no progress under Del Rios leadership.

Del Rios tenure will be remembered for putting an ax and a wooden stump in the locker room in 2003, setting up a situation in which punter Chris Hanson hacked into his leg, and for repeatedly failing to properly handle quarterback situations.

He announced he was benching Mark Brunell and giving rookie Byron Leftwich the job in 2003 before talking to the players. He insisted Leftwich was his starter in 2007, and then cut him days before the season opener. He did the same thing to David Garrard this season, cutting him five days before the opener and naming Luke McCown the starter.

McCown was benched after two games.

The Jaguars have been inept most of the season with Blaine Gabbert under center. The 10th overall pick in Aprils NFL draft has been rattled under pressure, has been inaccurate on short throws and doesnt appear to be making much progress.

Del Rio said Monday he was sticking with the rookie.

It turned out to be the coachs final decision in Jacksonville.

Another new boss

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP)The Jacksonville Jaguars have reached an agreement to sell the small-market franchise to Illinois businessman Shahid Khan.

Majority owner Wayne Weaver made the announcement Tuesday, hours after he fired coach Jack Del Rio and gave general manager Gene Smith a three-year contract extension. He said Khan will have 100 percent control of the team.

Weaver called Khan a great American success story and said the Pakistan-born entrepreneur will keep the team in Jacksonville.

Khan is the owner and CEO of the Flex-N-Gate Group based in Urbana, Ill. Khan had been a candidate to buy controlling interest in the St. Louis Rams last year.

The sale of the franchise and the firing of Del Rio are the citys most significant news since the teams inception in 1993.

Source: Packers execs make list of 49ers GM finalists

Source: Packers execs make list of 49ers GM finalists

Green Bay executives Brian Gutekunst and Eliot Wolf will be among the finalists to receive second interviews for the 49ers general manager position, a source told CSNBayArea.com on Wednesday morning.

Minnesota assistant general manager George Paton will also be among the finalists, reports the NFL Network, but a second interview with him has yet to be confirmed, a source said.

The 49ers are also expected to bring in another candidate or two for a second interview, a source said.

The second interviews are expected to take place after Sunday, when the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers play in the NFC Championship Game. The 49ers will have a second interview with Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan for the head-coaching position.

The 49ers are expected to make a formal offer to Shanahan to become the team’s next head coach, and the NFL Network reported Tuesday night it is “almost certain” he will accept. The 49ers will be allowed to speak with Shanahan next week, regardless of Sunday's outcome, but are not allowed to hire Shanahan until the Falcons' season is over. 

The 49ers interviewed nine candidates for the general manager position. Seattle co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner removed his name from consideration on Tuesday.

Sources say that Kirchner and coach candidate Tom Cable, Seattle’s offensive line coach, were in serious talks with the 49ers on Tuesday about filling the organization’s top two positions. But Kirchner and Cable felt like they were being used as leverage to land Shanahan as the head coach.

The other general manager candidates who interviewed with 49ers executives Jed York and Paraag Marathe were Arizona vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough, Seattle co-director of player personnel Scott Fitterer, ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, Carolina assistant general manager Brandon Beane, Indianapolis vice president of football operations Jimmy Raye III.

Gutekunst, 43, is in his 18th season with the Green Bay and his first as director of player personnel. He and Wolf originally interviewed with the 49ers on Jan. 5.

Gutekunst received a new title prior to last season after Packers general manager Ted Thompson denied permission for him to interview for the director of player personnel job with the Tennessee Titans. He was also denied from joining the Philadelphia Eagles’ personnel department in 2015 during Chip Kelly’s tenure with the team.

Wolf, 32, is in his first season as Green Bay’s director of football operations after receiving a promotion after being denied an opportunity to interview with the Detroit Lions last year.

Wolf is the son Hall of Fame executive Ron Wolf. He has also worked closely through the years with current NFL general managers Reggie McKenzie, John Schneider and John Dorsey.

Report: Shanahan 'almost certain' to accept 49ers' offer

Report: Shanahan 'almost certain' to accept 49ers' offer

Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is reportedly “almost certain” to accept the 49ers’ offer to become head coach.

Shanahan is the lone remaining candidate among the six individuals who interviewed with 49ers executives Jed York and Paraag Marathe. The 49ers plan for a second interview with Shanahan and a job offer, a source told CSNBayArea.com. Shanahan is expected to accept the 49ers’ offer, reports Michael Silver of the NFL Network, citing sources familiar with both parties.

The 49ers continued to work Tuesday evening on the process of narrowing down the general manager choices, a source said. Shanahan is expected to play a role in the select the team’s next GM, sources said.

On Tuesday, Seattle offensive line coach Tom Cable and Seahawks co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner removed their names from consideration for the vacant coach and general manager positions. The 49ers fired Chip Kelly and Trent Baalke after the 49ers' 2-14 season.

One source said Cable and Kirchner believed the 49ers were using them as leverage to hire Shanahan. Cable interviewed with 49ers co-chair Denise DeBartolo York over the phone on Tuesday, NFL Network reported.

The 49ers are allowed to interview Shanahan for a second time after the Falcons’ NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. The 49ers are prohibited from hiring or making a formal contract offer to Shanahan until the Falcons' season has concluded.

The top remaining candidates for the general manager job are believed to be Green Bay executives Brian Gutekunst and Eliot Wolf, Arizona's Terry McDonough and Minnesota's George Paton.