This morning, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone and general manager Dave Caldwell were announced to return for at least the 2020 season by owner Shad Khan.
For the first time since the final day of draft, Caldwell was made available to speak to the media, addressing the structural change that has been made since the firing of former Jaguars EVP of Football Operations Tom Coughlin.
Marrone gave an opening statement to thank both Shad and Tony Khan for their communication throughout the process, stating once again that their desire to win for the franchise, the fans and the city, was real.
“A chance to return as the head coach of this franchise is always — and I’ve always viewed this position as a privledge that I don’t take lightly. Feeling the weight of the community, the sponsors, the building, the coaches and the players,” said Marrone. “Like I said before, one thing — make no mistake —, Shad has made it very clear that the results of the past two seasons are nothing short of disappointing and expectations are high going forward.”
Marrone would go onto say he felt he can do a better job and knows that there are better roads for this Jaguars franchise. “Our sponsors, people in the building and obviously especially our fans — they deserve that.”
Two things were made clear during the press conference — the Jaguars structure will evolve moving forward with both Caldwell and Marrone reporting directly to Khan, and Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue will be made priority number one to keep him in Jacksonville moving forward.
“Certain teams have different structures in how they do that but my feeling at the places I’ve been that have had success when you have thoughtful processes in place with the coaches and scouts and ownership, you generally make better decisions than one person,” Caldwell said when asked about the structural makeup of the front office without Coughlin.
There wasn’t too much to gather imo from the press conference today but here is the key from #Jaguars GM Dave Caldwell:— Demetrius Harvey (@Demetrius82) December 31, 2019
“When you have thoughtful processes in place with the coaches and the s outs, and ownership, you generally make better decisions than one person doing that” pic.twitter.com/on7qCYOa2P
“And I’m not saying that’s the way it was in the past but I think some of the ideas that Shad, Tony [Khan], myself and Doug have come up with our coaching staff and our personnel staff on how we’re going to go about this in February and March and April, I think it’s going to be something where everybody in the organization is going to be on the same page and everybody’s going to be moving forward.”
A collaborative effort will be made, which is a major difference since the departure of Coughlin who had carte blanche to overrule any major action which occurred during the the past two years. Having a more collaborative effort moving forward will help the Jaguars in their decision making process such as the draft and free agency.
The Jaguars general manager also addressed a major elephant in the room regarding the contract status of defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. The Pro Bowl defensive end has currently ranks second all-time in franchise history with 37.5 sacks, he’s also contributed 14 forced fumbles over his career which ranks fourth in the league since 2016 — the year he was drafted.
“I think you guys all know in this room how both Doug and I feel about Yannick [Ngakoue] and through our conversations over the years. And he’s a tremendous player -- even a better person. How he handled his business this year was tremendous but I would say that’s priority number one to make sure that he comes back to Jacksonville and he’s a Jacksonville Jaguar so hopefully we can get that done you know where he’s here for a long period of time.”
Recently, Ngakoue would only go on to say that he’s learned a lot about the Jaguars organization over the last few years and “business is business”, stating that he doesn’t know what the future may hold regarding his contract situation. Caldwell made no mention if the team would apply the franchise tag to Ngakoue.
Finally, Caldwell spoke on the team’s response to the NFLPA letter which indicated that more than 25% of grievances filed came from Jaguars players over the past two seasons, specifically the line which states that players should keep it in mind when deciding on Jacksonville as a destination in free agency. Caldwell believes there should be no problem.
“As far as the last five or six years, we’ve made it a priority of making Jacksonville a destination team to come to, and we have not had an issue signing any player that we put our sights on to get here and I don’t think that’s going to change.”