The offseason, and the “dead period” in particular, are a popular time for listicles on reliable websites for football news, as we try to come up with things to pass time before training camp starts. One list that recently caught my eye was NFL.com analyst Elliot Harrison’s head coach power rankings.
Harrison listed Jacksonville Jaguars’ head coach in the bottom half of the league rankings, at 18th. However, this list wasn’t technically out of 32 coaches, as all first-year head coaches were given an “NR” for not ranked, which is fair as there is currently no track record to judge those coaches.
Six coaches are leading an NFL team in 2019 for the first time in their respective careers: Denver’s Vic Fangio, Miami’s Brian Flores, Arizona’s Kliff Kingsbury, Cleveland’s Freddie Kitchens, Green Bay’s Matt LaFleur and Cincinnati’s Zac Taylor. Meanwhile, Adam Gase is in his first year with the New York Jets, but having previously coached the Dolphins, he made the list at No. 25. Therefore, it’s more like Marrone checked in at 18th out of the 26 qualifying coaches.
Here is what Harrison had to say about Marrone:
“The Jags were as bad in 2018 as they were good in 2017. But with a new quarterback in Nick Foles, and Marrone’s no-nonsense approach -- not to mention what remains a strong nucleus of talent -- Jacksonville could be speeding into the playoffs come January. Marrone deserves a ton of credit for making the Jags viable in the first place, and there is some leeway for the dropoff last season, considering how subpar Blake Bortles was. He wasn’t Marrone’s guy to begin with, although Marrone’s staff could have squeezed more effective play from the former third overall pick. The discipline issues with Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon late in the year did come under Marrone’s purview, one reason the stain of the poor season cannot be completely wiped away. Meanwhile, competent QB play can be the great elixir for a football team and its head coach. Don’t forget that Marrone has led this franchise as far as anyone ever has, including Jaguars executive VP Tom Coughlin.”
Basically, the gist is simple: so far in Marrone’s two full seasons in Jacksonville, he had an extremely strong season where he helped to completely turn the team around and make a run in the playoffs, and an extremely poor season, where everything that possibly could have went wrong last year, did. And the other part of the equation for Marrone’s tenure is just how much did the poor play of Blake Bortles (and Cody Kessler for a couple games) weigh down the team? That question will be answered this year with Nick Foles now under center.
Listed right above Marrone at No. 17 was Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys, while fellow AFC South coach Bill O’Brien of the Houston Texans came right below Marrone at No. 19. Jacksonville’s head man was listed second in the division, with Indianapolis’ Frank Reich coming in at No. 12, and Tennessee’s Mike Vrabel listed at No. 20.
An obvious no-brainer, but Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots was ranked as the best head coach in the NFL. Seattle’s Pete Carroll and New Orleans’ Sean Payton round out the top-three.
Of course, Harrison’s list is subjective and open to debate, but I agree for the most part with his rankings. What do you think?
Doug Marrone ranked as the 18th best head coach in the NFL is...
This poll is closed
Too low (he’s better than 18th)
Too high (he’s worse than 18th)