The Jacksonville Jaguars are in a unique situation as a franchise. Going into the offseason, they have a general manager in Dave Caldwell who has one year left on his contract, they have a quarterback who has one more year to prove he’s worth an extension, and they need a new head coach. Whomever they bring in has to balance the short-term and long-term goals of the franchise — answering the question of whether or not Bortles is the answer while still building contingency plans through the draft and free agency.
Shad Khan and the rest of the Jaguars brass have hired an executive search firm in Korn Ferry to help them find their next head coach.
Add in the fact that interim head coach Doug Marrone just led this team to its most dominating and complete game of the Dave Caldwell era and, well, there are a lot of layers.
Doug Marrone isn’t the long-term solution. Not yet anyway. Not as everything currently stands. But Shad Khan will wrestle with this question over the next few weeks. “To Doug Marrone or not to Doug Marrone?”
The case for Doug Marrone
This franchise needs to know if Blake Bortles is the answer at quarterback and that means one more year under center. Shad Khan needs to know if Dave Caldwell is the answer at general manager and that means one more offseason.
If you’re going to tie your new head coach with Bortles (c’mon, we all know this is going to happen) wouldn’t it make sense to sign Marrone to a one-year prove-it deal? And then if it doesn’t work out, scrap everything in 2018 and start over with a new regime and quarterback.
As an aside, you bring your young team through as little transition as possible with Marrone providing a degree of consistency and stability.
The case against Doug Marrone
Doug Marrone has experience, sure, but with whom? And there are candidates out there like Josh McDaniels or Kyle Shanahan who have a lot more experience running an offense or with quarterback development or Todd Haley with more experience in the NFL in general. And both of those candidates have coached with and worked with far better and more successful coaching staffs.
Even if you overlook all of that, Marrone is a one-year holding pattern for this franchise — and another year of holding after nearly four years of Gus Bradley is not going to go over well with fans and could very well stunt the development of these players who have only known this regime. Bradley was the coach, sure, but Marrone was a part of this staff and the results just aren’t there for anyone currently in Jacksonville.
And wouldn’t Blake Bortles benefit far more from a coaching staff that is going to come at him with something fresh and not just tweaks and adjustments of what we’ve seen since his rookie season?
What do you think? Should Marrone be given consideration among the other top candidates or is it (finally) time to scrap everything you can and reevaluate Caldwell and Bortles in 2018?