The writing is on the wall and after 17 weeks of football, the Jaguars could potentially end the year on a 15-game losing streak. Not many coaches can survive such a disappointing season, and the Jaguars are certainly no different.
With long-time general manager Dave Caldwell already out, next up will likely be the team’s coaching staff, including head coach Doug Marrone. There have even been rumors surrounding who the eventual replacement for Marrone could be.
While the season continues forward for one more game today, Jaguars coaches recently fielded questions about what could very well be their final game in Jacksonville.
“I think that obviously there’ll be change,” Marrone said this week.
“I don’t know [how]. I’m not informed of anything like that, but obviously there’s going to be a lot of change going on. But my whole focus is [to] try to get this win. I don’t know how I’ll feel after the game. Honestly after the game, I might look at it differently, but right now I’m putting everything into trying to get this win and ending the season with a win.”
The question of change is more of a rhetorical one at this point. The Jaguars will be moving on from most, if not all, of their staff following today’s matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash has spent the past eight years with the franchise, first as a defensive line coach and now as a defensive coordinator for the past five years. He’s never been fired in his career as a coach.
“If it happens, it’ll be the first time it’s ever happened so I’m sure that will be a little bit of a strange situation to go through,” Wash said earlier this week.
“But Jacksonville’s a very special place. Both my daughters graduated from [high school] here and my son has obviously started high school here, so it’s always going to be a special place if that happens. But it’s part of our business, there’s no doubt. There’s critics all over there if you’re doing well or you’re doing bad. You take it all in stride and you just move on.”
It is part of the business, and Jaguars offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, who signed a two-year contract with the team in January, is no stranger to being fired. Just one season before becoming the Jaguars OC, Gruden was fired as the Washington Football Team’s head coach, a post he held for six seasons.
Now in Jacksonville, Gruden was dealt a curious hand, forced to play three different quarterbacks at varying level of play, never able to really leave his footprint on the offense for the majority of the season. Gruden says he and his family love Jacksonville, and have even bought a place in the city.
“Obviously, this is a one game at a time approach and one season at a time approach for all coaches. We understand if you don’t win, especially if you go 1-14 or 2-14 or 1-15, odds aren’t in your favor you’re going to stick around very long,” Gruden said earlier this week.
“The staff have worked extremely hard. Coach Marrone has done a great job with what he’s had to work with and everything. But the future is up in the air without a doubt. First, [we’re] going to work hard the last game and whatever happens happens, but I do love the area that’s for sure and I would love to coach these young guys again.”
Change is inevitable, and it’s bound to come in Jacksonville. While the team’s coaches prepare to take on the Colts in what is likely their final game for the franchise, they do understand the likely outcome in the coming days, the writing on the wall.