The connection between Jaguars head coach and starting quarterback Nick Foles will be one of the top storylines to follow during this season.
I really enjoyed reading what Fansided’s Justin Dueppengiesser wrote about ranking NFL divisions based on head coaches and their starting quarterbacks. For the Jacksonville Jaguars, it is a new era with the addition of Nick Foles to this roster. For head coach Doug Marrone, this is could be a make or break season as the team was decimated by injuries and the offense was literally lifeless at times last season.
I have stated before that Marrone walks into this season with his seat already warm, potentially hot if the team cannot jump out to a fast start in 2019. Some fans have questioned why such a statement, given that the coach is not the one of the field.
In the end, as Marrone has said many times, almost at least once a week last season, everything stops with him. He is the one who must do a better job of coaching and preparing the Jaguars for victory.
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Dueppengiesser ranks the AFC South fourth out of the eight divisions, which could be debated whether this division is better than the AFC West, with questions at quarterback in rookie Kyler Murray in Arizona and Jimmy Garoppolo, who is returning from a knee injury in San Francisco.
Foles is thrown into a mix where he instantly becomes either the second or third best quarterback in a class of four, depending on whether or not you think he is better than Deshaun Watson. No one is going to debate Andrew Luck being the head of this quarterback class and I doubt anyone thinks Marcus Mariota is better than the three others on this list.
What I do think this kind of story tells is I that coaching is just as important as the quarterback running his team’s system. Frank Reich turned the Colts around in Indianapolis, Bill O’Brien continues to push the buttons in Houston. Mike Vrabel should have better luck in Tennessee this season and then there is Marrone, who has taken this team to one game short of the Super Bowl.
"“Reich and Luck is a top-four combination in the entire NFL. Watson is one of the best 10-12 quarterbacks in the NFL,” Dueppengiesser writes. “After that, the rest of the division is solid. Vrabel has been able to create a good defense in Tennessee, finishing third in scoring defense last year. Foles has shown he can win in the NFL on the biggest stage. Mariota is solid. Nothing great, but solid.”"
This is also a list that could look a lot different if the Jaguars turn their fortunes around and reach the playoffs after a one-year hiatus. If the front office – meaning general manager David Caldwell and executive vice-president of football operations, Tom Coughlin – made the puzzle pieces fit, this could be another playoff season in Jacksonville.
It’s too early to tell if the combination of Marrone and Foles will work wonders in Jacksonville. But after years of mediocrity and less with the organization, the Jaguars have to feel this is a new start and the team is headed back in the right direction once again.