Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone must make the right decision in choosing a new offensive coordinator.
Now that the Jacksonville Jaguars are John DeFilippo are no longer married, you cannot help but think what happens to quarterback Nick Foles. The prized free agent who was signed last offseason after the Jaguars front office brought DeFilippo in to help reshape a stagnant office, was hurt the majority of the 2019 campaign and will come to camp this coming season in a battle to win the starting job.
A lot of what the Jaguars wanted to do on offense last season was predicated on the Foles-DeFilippo relationship. That and the use of tight ends in multiple formations. Neither of those options panned out in 2019, leading many of us to believe it would be defensive coordinator Todd Wash who got the first pink slip of the offseason.
That has not happened yet.
Foles is now in a holding pattern of sorts. Regardless of the offseason, whomever the Jaguars brig in to run their system will play a role in how the quarterbacks on the roster, including Gardner Minshew, are used this season.
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Whoever takes over the position has to know this could be a one-and-done situation. This hire, more than any of the others that head coach Doug Marrone has made since 2017 is the most important of his tenure here in Jacksonville. It could also be the one that saves him from his own pink slip after Week 17.
There are several names being thrown out there as possible candidates to replace DeFilippo. There is no word on if there are meetings scheduled for anyone yet. On Tuesday, Marrone and general manager David Caldwell and scouts were in attendance in St. Petersburg, Florida to watch potential draft picks, according to Demetrius Harvey of Big Cat Country.
If all things are equal (but I don’t assume that), Foles and Minshew will both be given the chance to start for the Jaguars in 2020. We aren’t sure which way Marrone or general manager David Caldwell would lean if put on the spot and asked their preference. Of course, both men would play their cards close to the vest.
"“I give Gardner [Minshew II] a ton of credit for what he did, where he came from, how he handled his business. He got thrust in there Week 1,” Caldwell said Dec. 31 when he met with the media.“It’s hard enough for a starting quarterback or a first-round quarterback to take all the reps [and play]. This is a young man that didn’t get very many reps in the preseason and he ends up having to go in the Kansas City game and the rest of it. He won more games than any other rookie quarterback and statistically, in less games.”"
I haven’t made a prediction as to who I think the Jaguars will bring in because frankly, I have no idea of the thought process inside TIAA Bank Field. Will the team remain a power running team? How will the passing game change once someone is brought in? With a new offensive coordinator, will other coaches be fired as he brings in his own staff? And the Jaguars already have other spots to fill at quarterbacks coach and assistant running backs coach.
The one thing the Jaguars cannot do is sit back and let this come to them. They must be aggressive and dictate how they want to make this team better in 2020. Maybe the front office is waiting for the AFC and NFC Title games to be played to interview coaches. We just don’t know.
Until things become a bit more clear, there will be plenty of wonderment and questions to see if Marrone gets this one right. Not just for the sake of the fans and the need for the Jaguars to win, but for his sake and his future in Jacksonville.