The Jacksonville Jaguars did what we all feared would happen.
Owner Shad Khan announced this morning that general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Doug Marrone would both be keeping their jobs in 2020. It’s a confusing (and frustrating) time to be a Jaguars fan. After all, the team suffered their ninth losing season of the decade.
But the sheer incompetence to look at what this franchise has become since Caldwell took over the front office in 2013 and say that the best thing to do is stay the course is... well, sometimes there are no words.
And above all else, it’s a slap in the face to everyone who sat through this same, exact situation a full 366 days ago.
Remember that? When Khan bemoaned “far too many long Sundays” and that the spiral of losing “cannot repeat itself” in 2019?
Here’s the full statement from Shad after the disappointment that was the 2018 season:
I informed Tom Coughlin this week that I want him to see through our shared goal of bringing a Super Bowl title to Jacksonville. Given our overall body of work over the past two seasons, I offered to Tom that I preferred entering the 2019 season with as much stability as reasonable or possible at the top of our football operation. However, those decisions, at all times, are Tom’s decisions, and I would respect any call he made on our general manager and head coach. I am pleased that Tom sees our situation and opportunity similarly, so we will return to work this week fully confident and optimistic with Dave Caldwell as our general manger and Doug Marrone as our head coach.
I have the same trust in Tom, Dave and Doug as I did upon their introduction two years ago, and I do believe our best path forward for the moment is the one less disruptive and dramatic. Stability should not be confused with satisfaction, however. I am far from content with the status quo and while it’s best to put 2018 behind us, I will not overlook how poorly we accounted for ourselves following a 3-1 start. There were far too many long Sundays over the last three quarters of the season, with today’s loss in Houston being the final example, and that cannot repeat itself in 2019. That’s my message to our football people and players, but also our sponsors and fans, both of whom were remarkable.
And here’s his statement from just a few minutes ago about the 2019 season:
I have met on several occasions over the past few days with Dave Caldwell, Doug Marrone and their staffs to fully understand their plans to reverse our course and compete for a postseason berth in 2020. In addition, I held numerous one-on-one meetings with players on Monday and thoroughly appreciated their candor and thoughtful views – some expected, some not – on the season behind us and where we go from here.
While our discussions will remain confidential, the decision I am making to keep our staff intact for 2020 has nothing to do with our victory on Sunday and everything to do with my positive meetings with Dave, Doug, the coordinators and our players, as well as my belief that this is not the time to consider an overhaul of our organization.
The 2019 season was unacceptable and I’ve made my dissatisfaction clear. While many unusual circumstances influenced our season, none can fully explain or defend our second-half collapse with first place in the division within reach on Week 9. At the same time, there were positive developments and contributions that should not be overlooked.
We came out of our AFC Championship Game season of 2017 by making a four-year commitment to the collective leadership of our football operations. Only two seasons have passed and one change from that leadership team has already been made. I want to see what we produce under a new organizational structure in 2020. Goals have been established. Accountability will be paramount.
As part of our new framework, the position of Executive Vice President of Football Operations will not be filled in 2020. Dave and Doug will each continue to report directly to me, as they have since mid-December. Our work begins immediately. We have a lot of draft capital in our favor to help us achieve our goals for 2020, and beyond.
Finally, I was struck and impressed, but not surprised, by the strong showing of our fans Sunday at TIAA Bank Field. The euphoria and passion was genuine and appreciated by everyone with our team, and that goes double for me. My sincere thanks to everyone. It was a moment that underlines the fact that nothing beats having a winning football team. It’s my obligation to deliver one to Jacksonville in 2020.
I’ve bolded where the statements read similarly or damn near the exact same. It’s the same statement made at this time last year.
It’s insulting. It’s laughable. It’s unbelievably bad.
With so many draft picks, some salary cap work to do, and a roster that boasts a good, young core of players (including a quarterback you can win with on a bargain basement deal for the next three years) this is absolutely the perfect time to clean house and start fresh with new people offering new ideas in the front office and the coaching staff.
And guess what? By keeping Caldwell and Marrone on a short leash (again!) you’ve ensured that both the front office and coaching staff will be making short-sighted decisions that aren’t in the best interest of your franchise.
Great job, Shad.