AFC South: Andy Dengler
Jacksonville GM Dave Caldwell worked for Bill Polian and with Chris Polian in Indianapolis. Chris Polian became Indy's GM in 2009. Both Polians were fired following the 2011 season.
Caldwell then helped get Chris Polian hired in Atlanta. (Bill Polian became an ESPN analyst.)
Chris Polian may or may not be a good personnel evaluator. He was reportedly a driving force behind some Colts draft picks that did not pan out, most notably left tackle Tony Ugoh.
He had a reputation for having an oversized ego, and while I heard more tales of it, I saw it a bit myself.
I had limited dealings with him in Indianapolis. We stood and watched one training camp practice together, chatting off the record. He was affable and candid enough, but I felt rebuffed in efforts to develop a relationship beyond that.
Undeniably, his critics think he rose up the ranks in Indianapolis more because of whom his boss/father was than because of his résumé. Same now as he’s resurfaced in a prominent position with one of his father's disciples, if you will.
In working some with Caldwell so far and watching what he’s done, I feel very confident the Jaguars are in good hands. Polian’s new post isn’t one where he will be visible or out front, which is a good thing.
If he does good work, he can further refurbish his image. Maybe we'll see him as a GM again someday.
I hope to see him in press boxes in the late summer and fall.
Also in the Jaguars' front office, Caldwell promoted Andy Dengler to assistant director of player personnel. He spent the last two seasons as director of college personnel.
In addition to Polian, Caldwell hired made the following hires in the front office:
- Kyle O’Brien, director of college scouting -- O’Brien spent the 2012 season with the Kansas City Chiefs as regional scout and is in his 12th season in the NFL. Prior to joining the Chiefs, O’Brien spent 10 seasons (2002-11) in the New England Patriots’ personnel department.
- Paul Roell, assistant director of college scouting -- A veteran NFL scout of 21 years, Roell served as regional scout for the Minnesota Vikings for the past seven seasons (2006-12)
- Mark Ellenz, eastern regional scout -- Ellenz spent the past 13 seasons with the Colts, including the last six as an area scout.
Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver Monday announced specifics of the team's front office shuffle, saying new GM Gene Smith has the final say in personnel while coach Jack Del Rio has the final say in on-the-field matters.
Smith's title is General Manager/Senior Vice President, Player Personnel, a stronger title than James "Shack" Harris had. Harris was Vice President, Player Personnel.
Here are the most important pieces of the press release:
"The changes we are making will bring greater clarity in responsibilities," Weaver said, "with Gene Smith having final say in personnel decisions and Jack Del Rio having final say in all coaching decisions. Gene has been given greater and greater responsibility with this organization, and I am confident that in this new role he will be successful in directing our football operation.
"...Gene and Jack have worked closely in the past and will continue to do so to make this a strong, competitive team year in and year out. Our goal is to win a championship and the moves we make are with that clear objective in mind. I'm excited for our fans because I believe we are ascending as 2009 unfolds..."
Said Smith: "I appreciate and am grateful for Wayne's leadership and his confidence in me. Our challenge is to build a playoff-caliber team that can compete to win a world championship. We have a staff of quality people who drive the process, and the player personnel department will continue to work with the coaching staff to collectively accumulate not only the best players, but the best people who possess our defined character traits. I'm looking forward to developing a roster with Jack that will give our coaching staff a competitive advantage."
In the three other promotions, Terry McDonough was named director, player personnel; Tim Mingey was named assistant director, college personnel; and Andy Dengler was named national scout.
A quick look at each:
- McDonough has been with the Jaguars for six years, most recently serving as national scout. A veteran of 20 years in scouting, McDonough has worked in scouting and supervisory roles for the Barcelona Dragons of the World League in addition to the NFL's San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens.
- Mingey joined the Jaguars in 1994 and, like Smith, is one of 15 current Jaguars employees who have been with the organization for 14 years. Mingey has been an executive scout for the last six seasons after serving as a college scout for nine years. Previously he spent 21 years as a college assistant coach and a recruiting coordinator.
- Dengler was promoted to executive scout in 2008 after serving 10 years as a college scout for the Jaguars. Joining the team in 1998, he had four years of experience as a National Combine Scout and eight years experience coaching in college as an assistant head coach, coordinator and position coach.