Jaguars hire Mike Shula as QBs coach


Published: Friday, January 26, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 26, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

JACKSONVILLE — Former Alabama coach Mike Shula was hired as the quarterbacks coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday.

Coach Jack Del Rio and Shula reached a deal at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., and the team expected a contract to be signed early next week.

Shula went 26-23 in four years at Alabama, but was 0-8 against Southeastern Conference West rivals LSU and Auburn. The Tide finished 10-2 under Shula in 2005, but the son of Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Don Shula was fired last November after the team went 6-6 during the regular season.

Shula had been a candidate for the head coaching job with the Miami Dolphins, but his father's former team chose San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.

The 41-year-old Shula replaces Ken Anderson in Jacksonville. Anderson was one of five assistant coaches fired after last season. The Jags already hired former Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter as offensive coordinator and Joe DeCamillis as special teams coordinator.

Shula, meanwhile, inherits an unsettled quarterback situation.

Byron Leftwich started the first six games, then was benched in favor of backup David Garrard. Leftwich eventually had ankle surgery and was placed on injured reserve.

But neither quarterback did enough to secure the starting job in 2007.

Leftwich completed 59 percent of his passes for 1,159 yards, with seven touchdowns and five interceptions. He also was sacked nine times.

He said he hurt his ankle during a game in early October and that the injury flared up nearly two weeks later, causing him to struggle in a loss at Houston after he convinced coaches he was ready to play. He was benched the following week.

Garrard completed 60 percent of his passes for 1,735 yards, with 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He was sacked 20 times and replaced by Quinn Gray in the season finale.

COWBOYS

Dallas added Dolphins quarterbacks coach Jason Garrett to their coaching staff, and said he would remain a candidate to replace retired head coach Bill Parcells.

Garrett, the backup to Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman for two Super Bowl titles in Dallas from 1993-99, was quarterbacks coach in Miami the last two seasons — his only coaching experience. Garrett also had been in line to become the Dolphins' offensive coordinator for new head coach Cam Cameron.

The Cowboys said Garrett's responsibilities and title won't be determined until the head coaching search is complete. The most likely scenario is that Garrett will become the offensive coordinator if he's not the head coach.

BENGALS

Wide receiver Chris Henry was sent to jail for two days after pleading guilty to allowing minors to drink alcohol in his hotel room last spring. He is one of nine players on the team arrested in the past 13 months. Henry has been arrested four times as a Bengals player.

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