After relieving now-former Jaguars EVP of football operations Tom Coughlin of his duties, the Jaguars coaches and players have to now set their focus on winning the last two games of the season. The first game coming this Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.
In a statement released yesterday, Khan addressed his level expectations for the remainder of the season, “General Manager Dave Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone will each report directly to me on an interim basis. My expectations, and those of our fans, for our final two games and the 2020 season are high,” he said.
Today, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone held a morning press conference to address the change within the front office, to answer any questions as the team moves forward without Coughlin.
“Obviously right now what is important to me is obviously my job, is to lead these coaches,” Marrone said in his opening statement. “And that’s what we did last night game planning, and lead these players and do the best job I can for them to really win these next two games. So, that’s my focus.”
According to Marrone, Coughlin informed the head coach that he had been let go by Jaguars owner Shad Khan.
“I was working on goal line short yardage [situations], and then Coach [Tom] Coughlin walked in and he said that [Jaguars Owner] Shad [Khan] had ‘just let me go’,” Marrone said on Thursday. “We’ve been through this. Unfortunately in coaching it happens. We’ve been through it before. I kind of just took a step back and asked Coach, ‘Is there anything that I can do for you?’ Coach was as professional as you guys know he would be. That was it.”
Marrone has known Coughlin since his time at Syracuse, and has the upmost respect for Coughlin as a coach and as a person.
“To be around someone that has just a great heart, great principles, great family man,” said Marrone. “I think those are the things that come to my mind. But again, like I said before, there’s not a lot of time for me for reflection, because I have to lead these coaches and lead this team.
Changes throughout the building could result in certain levels of distraction, but for Marrone his goal is to remained focused on the task at hand, and his conversation with Khan reflected such.
“Pretty much Shad [Khan] brought me in his office afterwards and said that he let coach go, and that for the time that I will be reporting to him, and that he expects me to be focused on these next two games. I said, ‘absolutely,’ and that was the that conversation.”
A short, but pointed conversation which reflects the goal of the end of the season for Jaguars’ leadership. There aren’t anymore mulligans, the time to win is now, and the message Marrone sends to the team is extremely important over the next several days.
While Khan did inform coach Marrone about his expectations for the last couple games of the season, he did say he was not told about anything beyond this season, “Nor should I expect that.”
For now, the Jaguars will remain steady with the message sent to the locker room the same as before, to win games, and to save any sort of hope going into next season.
“I’m going to say obviously they know that coach [Coughlin] was let go last evening and that you’re going to get a lot of questions on it. I sat there and answered a bunch of them, but I want to remind you of one thing - our focus is on the Atlanta Falcons. We have to win,” Marrone said of his upcoming message to the team.
Marrone finished by saying there should be no difference for the situation the team is end. For the players nor for the coaches currently in place.
“So again, it’s a tough situation, but you have to keep your focus, and you have to lead, and you have to go out there and do your job.”