Doug Marrone will be remembered in Jacksonville Jaguars history for two reasons.
First, he led the Jaguars to an AFC championship game, one in which Jacksonville blew a big fourth-quarter lead to the New England Patriots. Maybe more important, Marrone’s Jaguars were so bad in 2020 that the team clinched the first overall pick of the draft just before Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is eligible to enter.
The Jaguars will presumably get one of the best quarterback prospects of the past several years, but Marrone won’t be around to coach him. The Jaguars fired Marrone, who got the full-time head-coaching job after serving two games as the interim coach in 2016.
The Jaguars finished 1-15 this past season. His record with the Jaguars was 23-43.
Marrone had one good season with the Jaguars, and then three miserable ones.
Doug Marrone fired after 3 straight double-digit loss seasons
Marrone, who coached two seasons with the Buffalo Bills before using a loophole to get out of his contract with a hefty payout, became the Jaguars’ interim coach late in 2016. He went 1-1 and the Jaguars hired him. That decision looked OK in Marrone’s first season.
The Jaguars went 10-6, won a couple of playoff games and led the Patriots in the fourth quarter of the AFC title game in Foxborough. The Jaguars blew that game. Despite having a strong, young core on defense, the Jaguars plummeted after that. Questionable front-office decisions by vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin and general manager Dave Caldwell, particularly with quarterback Blake Bortles, didn’t help. But Marrone wasn’t great either.
Coughlin was fired in December of 2019. Caldwell was fired during the 2020 season. Marrone had no chance to survive to coach Lawrence.
The Jaguars went 5-11 the season after the AFC title game loss, then 6-10. They won their first game in 2020 and then didn’t win again. Thanks to a two-game winning streak by the New York Jets late in the season, the Jaguars clinched the top pick of the draft in Week 16.
That’s why the Jaguars opening will get plenty of interested candidates.
Jaguars opening will be attractive
Coaching candidates with options want to be connected to a good quarterback situation. Lawrence isn’t a sure thing because nobody is, but he’s a high-level prospect. That alone makes the Jaguars’ job opening attractive.
There’s not a lot else propping up that job, other than Marrone setting the bar low. Whoever takes it will be going to a franchise that has lost double-digit games nine of the past 10 seasons. The Jags had to purge a lot of talent due to salary-cap reasons, which goes back to bungling the Bortles situation. Whoever takes over from Marrone will be mostly starting from scratch.
At least that coach will presumably have Lawrence. He can thank Marrone’s awful final season for that.
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