In Part Seven of our series, we talk about the Jacksonville Defensive Coordinator, and wonder, where's his interview?
A part of the talk has been about the Wisconsin man. We need to hire a loyalist to the program. Someone who could consider this a job for life. Well, there's a defensive coordinator. He had a rather impressive 2011 and got a lot out of a team no one would mistake for talented. But the thing of it is? Mel Tucker hasn't been contacted for the job...yet.
Jaguars DC Mel Tucker tells me that he hasn't heard from Wisconsin--yet. I hope it happens. Mel is a sharp guy and is ready. #Badgers— Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) December 6, 2012
Overview: Tucker took a classic grinders path into coaching. He was a graduate assistant under Nick Saban and coached defensive backs for him in 2000 at LSU. He was hired to coach defensive backs for Jim Tressel and became a co-defensive coordinator in 2004 before making a transition into the pros for the Browns in 2005. He became their defensive coordinator in 2008, but was not retained by them after Romeo Crennel was fired. He was hired by the Jacksonville Jaguars and actually coached their last 5 games in 2011.
Why This Works: He has a strong college coaching tree pedigree. And in 2011? He put it all together and managed to get a top-five defense from the Jaguars. Granted, he hasn't exactly been working with tremendous defensive talent in the past couple of seasons. But the sheer fact that he even got there once? (And managed a top-15 in scoring defense since 2008). It's a big deal.
You know my theory. He had professional success. If he drops down to college? I don't find him to be the sort of boob or anachronism to sink in the smaller pond.
He knows the Midwest, and it's not inconceivable he could recruit in Florida as well. I know what you might be saying, 31st best defense in 2012. He's not going to have that collegiate equivalent of talent in the Badgers.
And he has spent this year as an associate head coach and did manage a .400 winning percentage with your 2011 Jacksonville. So he does have more coaching experience than a Bevell or a Diaco.
Why It Doesn't: Well, for one, he hasn't been contacted. That's not to say that he won't be. It's a long process. And the Chris Petersen thing just won't go away. Which I understand.
But he also doesn't have the familiarity of a *shudder* Brad Childress.
Suffice it to say, if there's some real length to the Badgers coaching search, he's going to find his way back up the ladder. I mean, he does have an absolute lot going for him. It's kind of a shame his current status is that of a total afterthought.
My Opinion: He deserves to be in the process. He may be the most tremendous upside of the coaches. But it may be a scenario where they're thinking that because it's the Jacksonville Jaguars, they can wait.
Percentage Chance: Currently at 5%. Should be higher.