http://espn.go.com/nfl/news/2003/0116/1493632.html Del Rio expected to be named Jaguars head coach -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- By Chris Mortensen and Len Pasquarelli ESPN.com Although there remain a few contractual issues to be resolved, none of which are considered deal breakers, ESPN.com has learned that Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio will become the new head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The former NFL middle linebacker, interviewed Tuesday by Jacksonville owner Wayne Weaver in Mobile, Ala., is tentatively scheduled to be introduced Friday as only the second head coach in franchise history. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Thursday that Weaver and Del Rio were to speak for a second time and that the job would be offered then. Sources close to Del Rio told ESPN.com that Del Rio intended to accept the job that will make him the successor to Tom Coughlin, who was fired the day after the regular season concluded. Coughlin had been Jacksonville's head coach since 18 months before its first game in 1995. Weaver interviewed at least five candidates: Del Rio, Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, former Minnesota Vikings coach Dennis Green, University of Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and LSU coach Nick Saban. Green and Ferentz both withdrew their names from consideration, while sought-after Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops declined to interview for the position. Saban, who quietly met with Weaver last Friday in Louisiana for about eight hours, never took his name out of the running because he never acknowledged the interview. But a source close to Saban told ESPN.com that Saban was never a serious candidate. Weaver began the search indicating he wanted someone with previous head coach experience. But the search turned relatively quickly to assistant coaches at the NFL level. "Shame on me if I'm not flexible enough in my thinking as I go through the process to adjust and process information and say, 'Hey, I might be leaving out some (quality) candidates because I accept these ground rules for myself,' " Weaver told the Florida Times-Union. The Jags are also expected to hire Baltimore Ravens scouting director Phil Savage, who worked with Del Rio in Baltimore, for the front office job they have been seeking to fill (it is not yet known what title that job will have). Savage gave Del Rio a strong recommendation when he interviewed with Weaver and Jags vice president Paul Vance on Saturday. Del Rio also got a strong recommendation from former Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson. Del Rio, 39, has been a coordinator for only one season and an NFL assistant for only six. He began his coaching career with New Orleans in 1997, then moved to the Baltimore in 1999 before being hired by new Carolina head coach John Fox last year. But it is hard to ignore the turnaround Del Rio enacted in Carolina, where he inherited a defense that statistically ranked 32nd (last) in the league in 2001 and rose all the way to No. 2 in 2002. Del Rio played 11 seasons with New Orleans (1985-86), Kansas City (1987-88), Dallas (1989-91) and Minnesota (1992-95), and was a Pro Bowl selection in 1994. During his career he had 1,078 tackles and, between 1989 and 1994, Del Rio started more than 100 straight games. Even though he didn't get the job.. meeting with 8 hrs with Jacksonville's owner??? if he doesn't want the NFL job, why meet up with the dude... even if its just to talk.. 8hrs??? are you kidding me??