The Jaguars leadership will remain intact heading into 2020 as both head coach Doug Marrone and general manager Dave Caldwell are to be retained heading into the new year, Jaguars owner Shad Khan announced today.
After a 6-10 season which was marred with countless distractions, Khan felt the team needed a new structure and fired Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin just a few weeks ago.
Over the past several days, Khan met with both Marrone and Caldwell to discuss the plans for the team moving forward and how they might achieve a playoff berth for the 2020 season. The Jaguars’ last playoff birth came in 2017 — the first year under Coughlin. Since then the team has gone 11-21, and are selecting in the top 10 of the NFL draft for the second-straight year.
Full statement from #Jaguars owner Shad Khan: pic.twitter.com/uKc5fZn5T0— Demetrius Harvey (@Demetrius82) December 31, 2019
“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,” Khan said.
The Jaguars players have routinely stated their desire for Marrone, and his staff, to remain on the team beyond this season. Recently, Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette stated that he loves coach Doug Marrone, adding “Coach Doug has done an excellent job with the players.”
Khan also indicated that the team’s plans to retain both their GM and HC have nothing to do with the 38-20 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. The Jaguars were entering a game with uncertainty, and exceeded any and all expectations. The meetings between Khan and his staff were positive, he says, adding that his “belief that this is not the time to consider an overhaul of our organization,” was part of the decision making.
The question is, if now is not the time for a complete overhaul of the organization then when is? The Jaguars were not able to accomplish any of the goals set out for them this season, and the team has decided now to make no further changes — as of right now —, to the coaching staff and the front office.
One thing was made clear by Khan today, however. The brunt of the blame for the team’s ineptitude for the past two seasons have virtually been pinned on one person — Tom Coughlin.
Coughlin was hired by the team as it’s EVP of Football Operations prior to the 2017 season. Since then, multiple players have been exiled from the team via trade or otherwise, and prior to Coughlin being fired a report surfaced from the NFLPA which indicated more than 25% of grievances filed by players originated from the Jaguars organization.
Khan says both Marrone and Caldwell will report directly to him as of now, and there will be no EVP hired for the 2020 season — a stark change from the previous power structure. In the past, Marrone reported to Caldwell and Coughlin, and only Coughlin would report directly to Khan himself.
“I want to see what we produce under a new organizational structure in 2020. Goals have been established. Accountability will be paramount.”
From 2013-2016, Caldwell was in charge of the draft, selecting Luke Joeckel (2013), Blake Bortles (2014), Dante Fowler Jr. (2015), and Jalen Ramsey (2016). None of the four remain on the team, with three out of the four ousted after Coughlin was in charge — Fowler Jr., Ramsey, and Bortles.
Caldwell will now have a slew of draft picks to choose the players of his liking, including nine selections in 2020 — two in round one. “Our work begins immediately,” Khan said. “We have a lot of draft capital in our favor to help us achieve our goals for 2020, and beyond.”
Although Caldwell and Marrone will remain, the Jaguars owner also made it clear his dissatisfaction for how poorly the team played during the second half of the season (2-6), sine the game in London against the Houston Texans.
“At the same time, there were positive developments and contributions that should not be overlooked.”
Rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew II accomplished everything beyond his draft status of a sixth-round pick, throwing for 3271 yards, 21 touchdowns and six interceptions on the year with a 6-6 starting record. Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette posted his best season as a Jaguar and receiver DJ Chark Jr. who accomplished a 1,000 yard receiving season in just his second year.
Khan concluded by thanking fans for their attendence on Sunday’s matchup even in a losing season. Fans were loud, and proud on Sunday.
“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.”