JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars on Thursday made several changes in their personnel department.
The moves involved officials familiar to the department, and Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell said the promotions and additions – including new positions for two former NFL General Managers – make an already experienced, well-functioning department even stronger.
*Chris Polian, the team's director of pro scouting since May 2013, was promoted to director of player personnel. Polian was the Indianapolis Colts' vice president and general manager from 2009-2011.
*Chris Driggers, a pro scout for the Jaguars the past nine seasons, was promoted to director of pro personnel.
*John Idzik, a consultant with the Jaguars the past three months, was named special assistant to the general manager. Idzik spent the past two seasons as the New York Jets' general manager.
*Casey Belongia, an intern in the scouting department since the end of last season, was named scouting assistant.
"We are excited about the restructuring of our personnel department," Caldwell said. "We feel it's a great asset and a valuable resource to have two former NFL general managers on our staff."
Caldwell said Polian will oversee the team's college and pro personnel departments, "while continuing to play a major role in our player evaluations."
"I have a lot of respect and admiration for the work Chris Polian has done," Caldwell said.
Driggers, one of six Jaguars employees who have been with the team since 1994, has worked with pro free agency and player acquisitions the past three seasons.
"His promotion is long overdue," Caldwell said of Driggers.
Caldwell said Idzik will continue to perform multiple roles, and added that his knowledge of the salary cap and negotiating experience were valuable to the organization.
"John Idzik will be wearing many hats for us," Caldwell said, adding, "I have been impressed with how he has assimilated himself into our culture the last three months. He has a vast knowledge of the salary cap and has a history of negotiating contracts and that is an area we feel we could use an additional resource.
"He will also be involved in the player personnel department. He will work closely with myself, Chris Polian and Tim Walsh (director of football administration) in his role."
Caldwell called Belongia "a young professional that did a great job with us as an intern leading into this year's draft. We think he has a bright future in this business."
A look at the four officials involved in the moves:
*Polian joined the Jaguars in 2013. He has 21 years of NFL scouting experience, including three seasons (2009-11) as vice president and general manager of the Indianapolis Colts. He spent the 2012 season with Atlanta Falcons as executive scout. He first joined the Colts alongside his father, Bill Polian, in 1998 where he served as director of pro scouting for three seasons (1998-2000). He held the title of assistant director of football operations from 2001-03, was promoted to assistant general manager/football operations in 2004 and spent five seasons (2005-09) as vice president of football operations. From 1999-2009, the Colts earned a 128-48 regular season record, the best mark in the NFL by a margin of eight games, and earned playoff appearances in 10 of 11 seasons including seven division titles and a Super Bowl championship in 2006. The club became the only team to win 12-plus games in seven consecutive seasons. Prior to joining the Colts, Polian worked with the Carolina Panthers for four years (1994-97). He was an assistant in the player personnel department for the Sacramento Gold Miners in 1993. The New York City native earned a bachelor's degree in management from John Carroll University in 1993. He and his wife, Debbie, have three children, Jack, Caroline and Kate.
*Driggers is in his 21st year with the Jaguars and his 18th year in scouting. He spent the last six seasons as a pro scout after nine seasons scouting the southwest region of the country. He began his career with the Jaguars in football operations before moving up to salary cap administrator, assisting in player contract proposals, salary cap administration and negotiating player contracts. He became a scouting assistant in 1998. A native of Jacksonville, he graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in finance. He and his wife, Alyson, have three sons, Thomas, Travis and Tyler.
*Idzik joined the Jaguars as a consultant prior to the 2015 NFL Draft. Prior to joining the Jets, he was with Seattle for six seasons as the vice president of football administration. He was active in both pro and player evaluations with the Seahawks while also overseeing player negotiations, the team's salary cap, all football operations budgets, staff and team contracts and team travel. The Seahawks won two NFC West division titles during his tenure. He spent three seasons (2004-06) as director of football operations with the Arizona Cardinals. He entered the NFL in 1993 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he spent 11 years. Idzik began as a pro personnel assistant and then was elevated to director of football administration in 1996 and assistant general manager in 2001. During that span, the Buccaneers won Super Bowl XXXVII, played in two conference championship games, won two division titles and qualified for the playoffs five times. His career began in coaching in 1982 with SUNY Buffalo and spent time with the Aberdeen Oilers in Scotland in 1990 before serving as a graduate assistant at Duke University from 1991-92. He graduated magna cum laude and earned Phi Beta Kappa honors from Dartmouth College in 1982, earning a bachelor's degree in mathematics, while also lettering at wide receiver. He later earned a master's degree in liberal studies from Duke in 1992. He and his wife, Carol, have two sons, Bryant and Bradley, and one daughter, Holly.
Belongia served as an intern in the Jaguars personnel department following the 2014 regular season and through the 2015 NFL Draft. He was an intern with the Jaguars equipment staff for the 2014 season. He served as an equipment staff intern in high school with the Green Bay Packers in 2007 and spent seven seasons assisting the club's equipment staff. He graduated from St. Norbert College (De Pere, Wisconsin) in 2014.