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The Jaguars are still without a head coach as we enter the middle of Friday. Despite having fired Urban Meyer before any other team started interviewing candidates, the Jaguars are sitting here on Jan. 28 still without an official announcement of Meyer's replacement. 

Adding intrique to this situation is the fact that two of the three coaches the Jaguars had second interviews with or planned to give a second interview have been hired in the last 48 hours. 

What does that mean for the Jaguars' search, and why does it seem to have stalled in the public view? We weigh in below.

Byron Leftwich is the obvious candidate left standing, so why the holdup? 

Perhaps the Jacksonville Jaguars don't ultimately hire Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich to be their next head coach for whatever reasons -- it appears we will have to wait to see which coach is announced to truly know -- but that doesn't change the fact that as of today, Leftwich is the only candidate left standing who makes sense in terms of rationale and optics. 

The Jaguars have had a month since their first interview to figure out the head coach search and which coaches would be on their shortlist. That shortlist, if we are going by second interviews, was Leftwich, Nathaniel Hackett and Matt Eberflus. With two of those three coaches now hired, the Jaguars would take a hit image wise with any other hire because it would be clear the Jaguars would be on their fourth choice. The Jaguars could dress it up however they want, but it is clear that they haven't gone through a process that would hint at any other candidate at this point. 

Optics matter in the NFL, and the Jaguars would -- again -- be left with an egg on their face if they have to pivot to a non-Leftwich candidate. And if it isn't Leftwich, why haven't the Jaguars done anything to do a second interview with any of their other candidates? Jim Caldwell, Doug Pederson, Kellen Moore, and Todd Bowles can all be spoken to, but why haven't they yet? The logic simply doesn't add up.

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We have also yet to see anything from the Leftwich side that would indicate he will be elsewhere but with the Jaguars. He hasn't already announced a return to Tampa Bay like Dan Quinn in Dallas, even though the Bears and Jaguars are the only jobs Leftwich has appeared to be a finalist for. There also has been little on the Saints/Leftwich dynamic outside of initial reports on Thursday that the Saints requested to interview Leftwich -- no confirmation of interview, no reporting of scheduled dates, nothing.

So, why the hold up if the right pick is obviously Leftwich? It is hard to tell whether it is the prescence of Trent Baalke holding up the search, but one can pressume that his role in the organization continues to be a factor. If the Jaguars didn't have Baalke as their general manager, I do not think we would still be wondering who the next hire is, in large part because it is clear that Baalke's place in the search has played a role. Who knows if Leftwich will be the next head coach, but the entire process makes it obvious that he is the logical answer. 

The Jaguars process will soon enter Month Two, and it has yet to become transparent

The Jaguars are just days away from this search reaching Month Two. The Jaguars' first interview of this entire process was with Doug Pederson on Dec. 30. Here we are 29 days later, with the Jaguars having several of their top choices hired, their perceived other finalist is still without a role with the team, and the national media has again been able to take chip shots at the franchise due to what has, again, looked like a messy process as it has played out in the media.

The entire reason the process looks that way, though? It is a self-inflicted wound by the Jaguars. While most teams at least announce their head coach interviews and offer a glimpse of the state of the search, the Jaguars have tended to operate in the dark with coaching searches over the last two years. Instead, it has been radio silence. 

When that happens, you allow others to control the narrative, a narrative that is now painting the Jaguars in a negative light as they go another day without a head coach hire. That isn't to say that the Jaguars tweeting out coach interviews would make it look better to not have Leftwich hired at this point, but anything other than bleak silence from the Jaguars would help in a time like this.  

Broncos and Bears were more decisive than Jaguars and now have their head coaches, but this has been a slow process otherwise 

It would be naive to think the Broncos and Bears didn't know what they were doing with the timing of the Hackett and Eberflus hires. It is far too much of a coincidence that two of the three coaches the Jaguars gave or were set to give second interviews to were hired on the same day. The Broncos and Bears were decisive when it came to who they identified as their head coach, and they made it happen. The Jaguars can't yet say the same.

The Jaguars deserve criticism for the lack of decisiveness and how this process has unfolded -- both on the general manager and transparency fronts. But do they deserve critcism for the process dragging as long as it has? Yes and no. To this point, it is hard to think of a NFL coaching cycle in recent years that has dragged on this long. 2020 cycle ended on Jan. 12. Last year, the Texans agreed to terms with David Culley on Jan. 27. This was a longer season, but it has clearly been a long process for every team as seven jobs remain. With that said, the Jaguars' search also began sooner than any other team and it currently looks to have stalled if going simply by the lack of action. The entire NFL has taken a long time hiring, but the Jaguars have stood out on their own for the timeline of their process.