Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone’s job remains in question
By David Levin
Despite his decision to fire offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and bench starting quarterback Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone still sits on a very warm seat inside TIAA Bank Field.
Jacksonville Jaguars fans should be happy. Changes to the team’s coaching staff were made this week when the team announced offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was relieved of his duties and that quarterback Blake Bortles will not start in the game against Indianapolis this weekend. Cody Kessler will get the nod to see if he can jumpstart the offense.
The team’s playcalling has been assigned to quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich. For bother player an coach, it is a chance to audition for next season.
Was that enough to save head coach Doug Marrone’s job for the 2019 season? It may not matter who else gets called into his office prior to the end of the 2018 season or how many other veterans are benched between now and the game against the Houston Texans.
If the Jaguars do not win another game this season or continue to fail to meet expectations on the field, Marrone may not be back in 2019.
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In a recent story on ESPN.com ranking NFL coaching security, Marrone’s status was “warm” but there is a chance it will get hotter if the team continues on this downward spiral with five games remaining this season.
"“The Jaguars have lost seven consecutive games, just fired their offensive coordinator and benched their starting quarterback, so some of the goodwill Marrone earned by taking the Jaguars to the AFC Championship Game last season has eroded,” writes Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com.“If they fail to win another game — which isn’t out of the question because of the rash of injuries to the offensive line — Marrone’s job is definitely in jeopardy. That would be 12 losses in a row, which would surpass the longest single-season losing streak in franchise history (nine in 2016).”"
Jacksonville’s injuries have been a complete 180-degree turn from last season when they were one of the healthiest team’s in the NFL.
Jacksonville also goes into the game this week against Indianapolis with more injury news – left guard Andrew Norwell was placed on the injured reserve with an ankle injury – and without Leonard Fournette, who lost his appeal of a one-game suspension for being ejected for fighting in the 24-21 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
This is not the situation the franchise thought they would be in heading into the season and having played in the 2017 AFC Championship game.