Will the Jaguars keep head coach Doug Marrone if they don’t make the playoffs this year?
The Jacksonville Jaguars currently sit one game below .500 at 4-5. Their playoff chances took a big hit when they lost to Houston for the second time this season and now sit three games behind the Texans.
If the Jaguars are to win the AFC South, they would need to win three more games than their division rival this season. With a game left against Tennessee this year and two against Indianapolis including this weekend, the Jaguars have a chance to at least tie the Titans and Colts, but have to almost run the table and hope the Texans falter badly to catch Houston. It’s an uphill battle, to say the least.
But how will this affect Doug Marrone? To have your franchise quarterback go down in the first quarter of the first game of the season, and to have to rely on a rookie sixth-round draft pick to lead your team for the next eight games is a lot to ask of any head coach. It’s, even more, to ask of a head coach with the offense that the Jaguars have.
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When given a job to run an NFL team like Marrone was given on a full-time basis in 2017, you’re expected to produce results. Last season, after starting 3-1 and before a rash of injuries decimated the offensive line, everyone but Blake Bortles was given a pass for the poor performance of the team. Despite the disappointing season, Marrone, along with general manager David Caldwell and Tom Coughlin, the franchise’s vice-president of football operations were given the benefit of the doubt.
Will they get another chance if they don’t make the playoffs this year?
Marrone can’t be held responsible because Nick Foles got injured in the first game. Neither can he be given credit for Gardner Minshew playing so well in half the games he started. The improved play of the offensive line has been the main reason the Jaguars are still within striking distance of the division. Another reason has been the emergence of DJ Chark, who so far this season is performing better than many expected.
Also, factor into account that Leonard Fournette is having the best season of his career and the Jaguars could still find a way into the playoffs by winning and some much-needed luck.
I believe Marrone is on the hot seat. How hot that seat will be and whether he’ll be the head coach next year rests on how well the team performs for the remainder of the season. If they have a winning record with Foles back at quarterback but finish 8-8 or 9-7, that may not be enough. If they go on a run and are in the playoff hunt until the end, then it’s possible he’ll keep his job.
If Jacksonville gets a wild card spot he probably keeps his job and if they win the division I’d say it’s almost a certainty that he’ll be here next year. If they finish below .500 I don’t see how he other members of the front office remain with the organization.
Jaguars owner Shad Khan made it clear that he expected this team to be better than the 5-11 output from last season. While losing Foles in the first game was bad luck, it may also be bad luck for Marrone if he cannot challenge for a playoff berth with his prized free agent back in the huddle.
When you are the head coach of an NFL team there are no excuses. You either produce, or you’re looking for a new job next year. Hopefully, this won’t be the case for Marrone or key members of the Jaguars’ front office.