Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan released a statement on Wednesday evening that he had relived executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin of his duties. It was a move that had to come, especially after the details of an NFLPA report came out about excessive grievances filed by current and former Jaguars players.
As Khan said in his statement, he had already made the decision to move on from Coughlin at the conclusion of the 2019 season, but it’s likely that the NFLPA fiasco forced his hand and it’s possible Khan took a day to find out if he could fire Coughlin “with cause”, as there was a report that he didn’t even give Coughlin the chance to resign or retire.
Khan mentioned in his statement that head coach Doug Marrone and general manager Dave Caldwell would report to him directly on an interim basis and the final two games of the season are important. This has led many to think that it’s possible if the Jaguars win out, both could be retained and come back in 2020 to continue.
While I understand the fear, the reality is Shad Khan cannot do that. You can’t bring these guys back and think firing only Coughlin will solve the issues.
Caldwell has been with the Jaguars as the general manager since 2013 and his track record in free agency and the NFL Draft, especially the first round, was spotty at best. His roster building culminated with a 2017 playoff appearance inches from the Super Bowl, the same season Coughlin joined the Jaguars as the guy in charge, and after that Caldwell’s record gets murky.
The 2017 season got the front office to buy into their own hype and a domino effect of bad decisions led us to right now, but the issue is we do not know what exactly Coughlin was responsible for and what Caldwell was responsible for. We can make some educated assumptions based on each person’s history, but we truly do not know. The only thing we know is that prior to the 2017 season, Caldwell’s record building a team was poor. He whiffed on his first coach hire, hiring the guy who accumulated the worst record of all time for a non-owner coach and whiffed on his quarterback selection with Blake Bortles.
I’m not sure what Caldwell has done, in the time we know what his decisions were, to remain beyond the 2019 season. His contract expires after the 2020 season, so you’d be bringing back a lame duck general manager and a lame duck coach with a lot of draft ammunition and a need to win in 2020 to save their asses.
Surely you don’t extend them, and if you don’t extend them then do you make other staff changes? If you do make other staff changes, what kind of quality are you going to end up on essentially a one year deal with a lame duck general manager and coach?
I like Doug Marrone a lot, I think he’s a solid coach and I think in the wake of everything that has happened in 2019 he’s done a phenomenal job not letting the season go completely off the rails. The season certainly hasn’t been good, but as evidenced by their double-digit come from behind win on the West coast last week, they’re still playing their asses off for him.
All that being said, I think he along with Caldwell need to be fired.
The Jaguars have too many times under Shad Khan gone with a half-measure. He kept Gene Smith and hired Mike Mularkey. He fired Gus Bradley and kept Dave Caldwell. Are we going to fire Tom Coughlin and keep Caldwell and Marrone?
At some point, you need to hit the reset button and the Jaguars probably should have done it last season.
The best way for the Jaguars to move forward is to rid themselves of all of this.