Jaguars Purging Staff

The purge has started. With the Jaguars at 5-10 after a 31-24 loss to the Indianapolis Colts Thursday night, coach Jack Del Rio isn't even waiting until the end of the season to start firing coaches. Find out who is gone, and who else is likely to be gone.

Mark Asanovich, the team's strength and condition coach and his assistant, Les Ebert, have been told they won't be back.

Asanovich was the only coach remaining from Del Rio's original staff in 2003. Del Rio rarely has much continuity on the coaching staff and he blamed Asanovich for the rash of injuries the team has had this year.

The departures Asanovich and Ebert are just the beginning of what is likely to be a major shuffle.

Several other assistant coaches and vice president of player personnel Shack Harris are also expected to depart.

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams came to Jacksonville with just one year left on his contract in Washington and he'll be moving on.

Joe DeCamillis, the special teams coach, turned down a contraction extension because he didn't like the terms and he may be moving on along with some other assistants.

Del Rio will survive because he signed a four-year, $21 million contract extension in the spring that ties him to the team through 2012.

But Del Rio can only keep shifting the blame for so long. He's 24-23 in the regular season the past three years and has won only one playoff game in his six years with the team while going 2-4 in the division for three consecutive years.

But Del Rio benefited from good timing. He originally signed a five-year contract, but got a one-year extension after going 12-4 in 2005. That meant he had one year left on his deal last year when they won a playoff game in Pittsburgh.

Del Rio sold the idea to owner Wayne Weaver that he had the team moving in the right direction. Weaver didn't notice the team was growing old and that Del Rio had won with a core of players left behind by Tom Coughlin, who was fired after the 2002 season.

Unless the Jaguars turn it around next year, Weaver may be forced ship out Del Rio because he has a fragile fan base that isn't very loyal.

Ticket sales are likely to plunge next year and the team is likely to return to the days of TV blackouts.

If Del Rio is fired after next year, Weaver will owe him more than $15 million, but Weaver may have no choice.

The team has drafted only one Pro Bowler (Rashean Mathis) in the last six years and Harris will take the fall for that, although Del Rio had a major hand in personnel.

Weaver is likely to promote Gene Smith, the head of college and pro scouting, to replace Harris instead of bringing in a big name who would cost a lot of money.

Then if Del Rio goes next year, Weaver can start over.


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