Is Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone on the hot seat?
By David Levin
Even with all of the changes made by the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason, head coach Doug Marrone knows he must win now.
Not lost on me and other sportswriters who cover the Jacksonville Jaguars is the fact this is still a 5-11 football team. Until this franchise can win more games than the 2018 version, their record indicates the situation these players and the coaching staff are presented.
When the Jaguars ended 2018 and team owner Shad Khan issued a statement stating he would retain executive vice-president Tom Coughlin, general manager David Caldwell, and head coach Doug Marrone, the writing was effectively on the wall that this trio needed to produce a better product this coming season. Regardless of the changes made the coaching staff and the roster with additions and subtractions, success on the field will help shape the future of this organization and the futures of all three men.
So, when Barry Werner of the USA Today sports group writes that Marrone’s seat in his office is still warm, if not hot, he isn’t lying.
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"“The Jacksonville Jaguars’ Doug Marrone could be on the hottest of hot seats. Last year was a complete bust. He went from 10-6 and a game away from the Super Bowl to 5-11,” Werner writes. “There is no Blake Bortles to blame and Nick Foles brings a winning attitude. Marrone needs a fast start. If he doesn’t get one, it would not be shocking to see Tom Coughlin make a move.”"
It may not be Coughlin who makes a move. If the Jaguars cannot get out of their own way on offense and the changes with defensive personnel – Malik Jackson, Barry Church and Tashaun Gipson being released and Telvin Smith taking a year off – then all three could receive a pink slip from Khan himself.
The Jaguars made the boldest move of the offseason by releasing Blake Bortles while eating $16.5 million in dead cap space. Inking Nick Foles to a four-year $88-million deal and adding more help on the offensive line, at running back and the tight end position helps the cause. Signing free agent wide receivers Chris Conley and Terrelle Pryor wasn’t aggressive, but the moves made sense.
There is a feeling as you walk inside the building at TIAA Bank Field the cloud has been lifted and there is relief that this team can start fresh again.
It’s not an indictment of what the situation was on the playing field on offense, rather the front office and coaching staff believes it has the right personnel to get back to that 10-6 record or even better.
I doubt there would be an in-season move should the team fall on hard times early. Khan and Coughlin may be patient enough to allow Marrone the chance to fix the changes that need to be made. Again, that is a guess. Khan did not pull the plug on Marrone during a seven-game losing streak last season. However, another 5-11 season will make it hard to retain Marrone and his coaching staff.
It would be hard to keep Caldwell as well, who was linked to Bortles and his arrival and departure. This is one team that must show improvement on both sides of the football, but more so on offense, if it has any intention of challenging for another playoff berth.