According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Jacksonville Jaguars plan to promote Doug Marrone from interim head coach to full-time head coach.
Doug Marrone served as the Jaguars coach following the firing of Gus Bradley in early December. He went 1-1 in his final two games this season as head coach of Jacksonville.
Doug Marrone served as head coach of the Buffalo Bills during the 2013 and 2014 seasons finishing with a 15-17 record. He abruptly left the team following Buffalo’s 9-7 2014 season, its best since 2004.
Marrone had an opt-out clause in the contract he signed in 2013 stating he could leave within three days if there were a sale of the team.
The Jaguars have also hired Tom Coughlin as the teams executive vice president according to Schefter.
Coughlin won two Super Bowls in his time as head coach of the New York Giants. He spent this past season as a senior advisor to the NFL. Coughlin also served as the Jaguars first ever head coach, leading the team to the AFC championship game in 1999.
Jacksonville has the pieces to move forward and make a statement in the AFC South under Marrone. Franchise quarterback Blake Bortles looked much better in his final two games of the season, throwing for over 600 yards and two touchdowns with no picks.
The Jacksonville defense features a number of talented top draft picks, including Jalen Ramsey, Donte Fowler, and Malik Jackson. A young core for Doug Marrone to build around with another big draft could be exactly what the Jaguars need moving forward.
The defense is loaded with talent, but the offense was the real problem for Jacksonville in 2016. The offense ranked 25th in the NFL, averaging 19.9 points per game.
The Jaguars have the complimentary pieces on offense at both wide receiver and running back. After an incredible 2015 season, Allen Robinson saw his numbers drop significantly from 14 touchdowns and 1,400 receiving yards to less than 900 receiving yards and only six touchdowns.
Allen Hurn’s numbers also dropped a great deal from just over 1,000 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns in 2015 to less than 500 yards receiving and three touchdowns in 2016.
Doug Marrone will look to utilize his group of running backs more, which includes T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory. The pair of backs didn’t make much of an impact as Jacksonville only averaged around 100 yards on the ground this past year.
Many believed the Jaguars would make the turn this year and have a shot at the AFC South divisional title, but under Bradley the team couldn’t figure it out, ending with a 2-12 record when Bradley was let go.
The good news for Doug Marrone and Tom Coughlin is now the team will have a high set of draft picks this coming May. However, with plenty of high draft picks, Jacksonville doesn’t have a ton of glaring needs.
The Jaguars instead need sound coaching to help develop the wealth of young talent on their roster. If Marrone can build Bortles into a successful quarterback then the results should follow.
Bortles spoke to ESPN and said he needs the constant feedback to help him grow.
“The only thing I missed was instead of going and throwing with somebody that’s watching me throw and critiquing and helping every single throw, I threw here by myself the whole time and had nobody watching or telling me what I was doing wrong. And I can’t do that. I need people to help me. I need constant feedback on stuff like that.”
For a young quarterback, this makes sense and now that a coaching change has been made, a different philosophy will get established, and the good results could follow.
[Feature Image by Rob Foldy/Getty Images]