Mel Tucker A Buffalo Bills Defensive Coordinator Candidate

Scott Cunningham

Mel Tucker, who has spent the past four seasons as the defensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars, is now a defensive coordinator candidate for Doug Marrone and the Buffalo Bills.

Doug Marrone isn't screwing around, folks: the new Buffalo Bills head coach has already requested permission to interview New York Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine for the same post in Buffalo, and now Jacksonville Jaguars assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Mel Tucker is on his radar, as well. That per a report from CBS' Jason La Canfora.

Tucker, 41, has been the Jaguars' defensive coordinator for four years. He worked the first three of those under Jack Del Rio; when Del Rio was fired in 2011, Tucker was made the interim head coach, guiding the Jaguars to a 2-3 finish that season. A candidate to replace Del Rio permanently, Tucker lost out on that bid to Mike Mularkey, who retained Tucker as his coordinator and gave him the additional title of assistant head coach.

Prior to working in Jacksonville, Tucker spent four seasons working for Romeo Crennel as a member of the Cleveland Browns - the last of which he spent as the team's defensive coordinator. He has eight years of NFL experience in total since making the jump from the college ranks, where he coached at national powers Ohio State and LSU.

Tucker is still under contract in Jacksonville - hence the request for permission - but because the Jaguars are searching for a new GM and Mularkey's fate is therefore in doubt, all Jaguars assistants have been allowed to explore other opportunities. Tucker ran a 3-4 for one season in Cleveland, but has since run a 4-3 in Jacksonville. His first Jags defense finished No. 23 overall; they followed that up with No. 28, No. 6 and No. 30 rankings in the past three seasons.

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