Del Rio fired, Tucker takes over Jaguars

Nov. 29, 2011 at 12:51 PM
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker has been promoted to interim head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, replacing Jack Del Rio, who was fired Tuesday.

Tucker inherits a team that is 3-8 this season and trails only Indianapolis (0-11) for the worst record in the AFC.

However, the Jacksonville defense is fourth in the NFL in yards allowed and fifth in points given up. The offense, on the other hand, is last in the league in both yards and points and scored as many as 20 points in a game just once this season.

Tucker's coaching experience in the NFL is entirely as an assistant on defense. The 39-year-old former defensive back was with the Cleveland Browns for four seasons before joining the Jaguars in 2009.

Del Rio had coached Jacksonville since the 2003 season, building a 68-71 record, but only qualified for the playoffs twice, and not at all since 2007.

In announcing the coaching change, Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver said General Manager Gene Smith had been given a three-year contract extension.

Weaver, who has owned the team since the franchise was granted, also said he intended to sell the team to Shad Khan, the chief executive officer of the Flex-N-Gate Group.

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