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Should the Jaguars have retained DC Joe Cullen?

Much of Urban Meyer’s coaching staff remains under contract (for now), but the team has already made one major change to the makeup of the staff. According to a report from ESPN NFL insider Field Yates, the Jaguars have parted ways with first-year defensive coordinator Joe Cullen.

Meyer’s decision to hire Cullen was a bit confusing at the time. Previously the defensive line coach for the Baltimore Ravens, Cullen had no defensive play-calling experience when he took the job, and for a first-time NFL head coach in Meyer, it was hard to see the logic of that decision.

But with that being said, Cullen seemed to be doing a pretty good job. He inherited one of the worst defenses in the NFL, and though it was rough to start the 2021 season, it improved markedly throughout the year. Even forced to start second-round rookie Tyson Campbell at corner after trading C.J. Henderson, the unit continued to improve.

It finished 20th in the league and was much better against the run than it was in 2020. There was a clear vision of what Cullen was building, and that’s why some thought he could survive the coaching change and remain on the staff of the new head coach.

Though that doesn’t seem to be the case, Cullen’s tenure with the Jags attracted some attention around the league. He interviewed for the defensive coordinator position with his former team in Baltimore, but that job ultimately went to Michigan defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald. He has also interviewed for the open Colts defensive coordinator job after Matt Eberflus left for Chicago, and he appears to still be a candidate there.

Cullen likely hasn’t seen his last stint as an NFL defensive coordinator and based on the way the Jags’ unit, which is still lacking talent, played in 2021, it seemed like he could have been building something good.

We’ll never know how keeping Cullen would have panned out, but we want to know what the fans think. Should the Jags have kept Cullen, or should the team clean house as far as staff goes? Or should the organization have waited until there was a head coach in place to make that call? Let us know in the poll below.

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