Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone met with the media today at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Here are five takeaways from the Q & A session.
The scheme will fit the players
Without a doubt, the biggest money quote from Doug Marrone on Wednesday came when discussing the schemes the team would implement going forward. Marrone dictated that any scheme they develop will be dependent on the players they currently have on the roster, as well as any players they acquire in the offseason. In other words, the scheme will be designed to fit with the players’ biggest strengths. As Marrone put it, there’s no need to pigeonhole things, and try to force players into a specific scheme. This is a welcome departure from Gus Bradley’s philosophy, which included playing guys out of position just to fit his ‘scheme’.
The coordinators weren’t chosen for continuity
I think this one would usually get brushed off as good PR speak, and maybe it should be now, but it’s something that Marrone really emphasized. He stated that neither Nathaniel Hackett nor Todd Wash were being retained as coordinators based solely on continuity; rather, they were believed to be the best two men for the jobs. Marrone stated that he interviewed three or four other guys for both the offensive and defensive coordinator positions, but he truly believed that Hackett and Wash were the two best selections.
Kelvin Beachum could be returning, Prince Amukumara out?
Beachum possibly returning was also a takeaway from Tom Coughlin’s press conference, but it’s something that Marrone re-emphasized. Marrone also touched on the fact that Beachum has the ability to play guard, and that he thought Beachum did an admirable job of playing through injuries this past season. On the other side of the coin, Marrone didn't sound nearly as enthusiastic about the possibility of Prince Amukumara returning to the team. When asked about it, Marrone said that Amukumara was ‘out there in the process of unrestricted free agency’ right now. He continued on saying that they would be looking to improve the team in any way they could, and ended by stating that they would see where the process took them. Is a big money corner coming in free agency? It sure seems that way.
Bortles is still the quarterback, at least for now
When asked about Bortles continuing as the starting quarterback, or the possibility of bringing in some competition, Marrone reinforced the idea that he believes that Blake is their guy. When asked to speculate as to why Bortles regressed last season, Marrone cited his inconsistency with his mechanics, as well as poor performances from the team around him. It seems that the Jaguars plan for this year is to try and provide the best possible team and situation around Bortles, and see if he can bounce back. In all honesty, that’s probably the best idea.
Get over it, Buffalo
Doug Marrone last coached the Bills in the 2014 season. At the 2017 Scouting Combine, Doug Marrone was being asked about his time with the Bills. But it wasnt just one question, it was a multitude of them. Marrone was asked about coaching in Buffalo, his abrupt departure from the team, and even free agent safety Jairus Byrd. This was similar to when Marrone was asked ‘how do we know you won’t quit on the Jags like you did the Bills’ at his and Coughlin’s introductory press conference with the Jaguars. For whatever reason, the Buffalo media can't seem to get over Marrone, and it’s quite annoying when the first time you hear a head coach speak about his new team has to be overridden with questions about his former team. Let it go.