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Youth will be served


If, indeed, Wayne Weaver's choices to lead his team are Jack Del Rio and Phil Savage, then Weaver will have made the boldest of choices.

Let's go back to the press conference that announced the firing of Tom Coughlin. Weaver was emphatic that he would seek a man with head-coaching experience to replace Coughlin.

Immediately, the candidates were Denny Green, Bob Stoops and Kirk Ferentz, all of whom were successful head coaches. In an interview with on Monday of this week, Weaver referred to a mystery candidate who also came from the head-coaching ranks. But the decision came down to two men, Del Rio and Mike Mularkey, whose level of highest coaching experience amounted to three years combined as coordinators.

If, indeed, Del Rio is the choice to replace Coughlin, then Weaver will have selected the youngest and least experienced of all his candidates to replace Coughlin.


Now, let's examine Savage, who is expected to be announced as the team's top personnel executive. Savage offers a sterling record from his days with the Baltimore Ravens as their lead college scout and, most recently, their director of college scouting.

Weaver also interviewed Tom Modrak, James Harris and Rick Reiprish for the personnel position. All three of those candidates are NFL veterans who are in their 50's. Savage, 37, represents the youngest and least experienced of the group.


So, what does it all mean? What are we to make of the decision to hire a head coach and personnel boss -- neither of whom has achieved his 40th birthday -- to direct a team that was bent on finding experienced leadership?

The answer is real simple: Weaver got bowled over by Del Rio's and Savage's interviews. Youth prevailed because Weaver was infected by Del Rio's and Savage's unbridled enthusiasm, and that's what Weaver hopes will happen to Jaguars fans.

Weaver's grand plan in hiring Del Rio and Savage is that the combined forces of their youthful exuberance will create the same kind of force within the Jacksonville football community, and that Del Rio and Savage will seal the deal by producing winning teams. Yes, Weaver also believes Del Rio and Savage are capable of turning the Jaguars into a winner.

Always, it starts with that. You have to believe you can win. Experience, youth, everything takes a back seat to the notion of winning. Maybe all of Weaver's candidates made him believe they could win.

The decision came down to the feeling Del Rio and Savage produced in that interview room. They made Weaver feel young. He liked it.

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