The Jacksonville Jaguars will be hiring interim head coach Doug Marrone on a full time basis, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Jacksonville planning to hire Doug Marrone as HC, league sources tell ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 9, 2017
Marrone originally joined the Jaguars after opting out of his head coaching position with the Buffalo Bills in the 2015 offseason and later joined the Jaguars as offensive line coach/assistant head coach. During Marrone’s time with the offensive line there was significant improvement in pass protection, but the team continued to struggle the football until the final two weeks of the season when Marrone was promoted to interim head coach following the dismissal of Gus Bradley.
The hiring of Marrone isn’t a huge surprise, though it does beg some questions about a job that general manager David Caldwell claimed his phone was ringing off the hook for, interest wise. Unfortunately for Marrone his legitimacy as a head coaching candidate is going to be undermined in a lot of fans eyes that he was just an option for a job other’s in the league may not have wanted, but that’s not totally fair to Marrone the coach.
Marrone was a successful offensive coordinator for two seasons with the New Orleans Saints before being hired as the head coach for Syracuse. Marrone finished with two winning seasons during his time with Syracuse, including the most wins the team had seen since 2001 in his second season and capping off his tenure with a blowout win against West Virginia and a share of the Big East title. Marrone was then hired as the head coach of the Buffalo Bills in 2013.
During the second season of Marrone in charge of the Bills the team finished 9-7, the team’s best finish since 2004. Marrone ended up opting out of his contract with the Bills thanks to a clause in his contract that stated in the event the team changed ownership he had three days to decide to get out of his contract, which he exercised and received his full salary for the 2015 season. This move was met with a lot of criticism, especially from Bills fans, but seeing how things have unfolded since Marrone left and the issues with the Bills front office, it appears he made the right decision.
One would expect for Marrone to keep offensive coordinator Nate Hackett, his coordinator at both Syracuse and Buffalo, on staff. It’s likely that Marrone will replace the team’s defensive staff, however.