As the NFL season rapidly approaches, Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone finds himself sitting on a warm seat inside TIAA Bank Field.
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone has been optimistic about how his players have adapted to the changes this season with the team’s revised training camp schedule. While he likes what he has seen so far from his veterans and rookies as they practice in the heat adjacent to TIAA Bank Field, it’s still a work in progress.
Marrone, who is now entering his fourth full season as the team’s frontman, is feeling a bit of heat himself – as has been the norm the past two seasons – to win once again as an organization. And, like so many publications, FanSided.com once again has added him to the list of coaches who walk into this year already on the hot seat.
It’s expected, but it’s still a topic up for discussion.
“In 2020, Marrone’s fate will rest on the sophomore-season performance of signal-caller Gardner Minshew II,” writes Dustin Baker. “The 24-year-old propelled the Jags to a 6-6 record in his 12 starts, which is commendable for a mostly unknown rookie passer. Minshew’s 91.2 passer rating was terrific for a first-year player and was [amazingly] better than Tom Brady (88.0).”
It’s a lot to ask of a second-year player who is now the unquestioned starter under center, but the reality is how Minshew performs, along with new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, will determine who may stay and who may go after this season.
That includes members of the front office and general manager, David Caldwell. A solid job of finding the right balance of veteran free agents and bringing in 12 rookies in the current draft class will also play a role in how the season breaks down.
While Marrone is fourth on Baker’s list, the drop in success from the 2017 squad to the 2019 roster has been like a sinkhole that continues to widen. A change in culture and direction was needed after last year. It appears that’s the focus of the 2020 season.
As national media give this team no chance of a revitalization this year, there should still be optimism for better results in the coming months.
“The Jaguars will go to war with Titans, Texans, and Colts, per usual, in 2020. All three of these teams have lofty expectations,” Baker adds. “The consensus is that Jacksonville may become the punching bag for these AFC South teams. If so, Marrone is on borrowed time.”
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Marrone and Caldwell worked together this offseason to put together a roster of younger players of high character. The organization is taking a new path toward success. Asking this football franchise to change everything in one season might be asking too much. But for Marrone and his staff, there must be progress for him to remain here in Jacksonville.
“On the whole, the Jaguars probably need an exciting 8-8 season (is that a thing?) for Marrone to be the skipper in 2021,” Baker wrote.
I am of the opinion that seven or eight wins help the cause. Last season, Minshew willed this team to six victories under different circumstances. The weapons on offense should be better this season. The Jacksonville Jaguars defense may be the key to the success of the franchise and might be the side of the football that decides their head coach’s fate in 2021.