Jaguars’ Khan: ‘What’s evaded the history of the Jags, really, has been a franchise quarterback’

After the Jacksonville Jaguars finished the 2020 season 1-15, it was clear that the team was going to make a change at the coaching position. On Monday, the team fired head coach Doug Marrone. In five seasons, Marrone went 23-43, including one playoff appearance.

The team fired GM Dave Caldwell back in November, so now the Jaguars are in the market for a GM and head coach.

Last season, Khan decided to bring back Caldwell and Marrone. On Monday, Khan was asked if that was a mistake. According to Khan, he has no regrets.

“Not at all. No, I don’t, and I’ll tell you why,” Khan said about bringing Caldwell and Marrone back in 2020. “When I sat down with them after [former Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations] Tom [Coughlin] ‘s departure, both of them expressed a desire that they want to be able to demonstrate what they can do working together. Also, as I mentioned earlier, we had serious issues with the team, so who better to help clean it up [than] who were part of that, really creating the mess. That would include me. So it was the three of us really need to join hands.

“You want to win but you want to set the foundation, and that was how do we help the players who don’t want to be there exit, and exit with the right value for the Jaguars? Then who are the players, maybe veterans, how do we identify them who’d be better off going someplace else and it would bring salary cap and draft picks we could invest in new players. That was done earlier, or last year, this season and then some of the capital obviously we have for the future. They played a role but we’re not where we would be where we could sustain or extend them.”

Jacksonville has an appealing situation. They have cap space. According to Overthecap.com, Jacksonville has $77 million in cap space. Also, Jacksonville has the number one overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, which means they probably can get their franchise quarterback in Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence or Ohio State’s Justin Fields.

 “Well, I certainly think there’s a huge amount of interest in this, much more so than the last time around,” Khan said. “And I also look at really—we’re in a much different, and I would say a better position today than we were a year ago. A little over a year ago, as you well know—and I think you reported—we did have team disharmony, and we were—for lack of a better word—salary cap hell.

“I think today; I frankly thought that we would do better. We won six games last year [2019], but you know, certainly, we have a lot of salary cap availability along with the draft picks and obviously the number one pick. But what’s evaded the history of the Jags, really, has been a franchise quarterback. And I think what’s unique, certainly, is that we have the ability now to make a choice, and it’s going to define the franchise moving forward.”

There were reports that the Jaguars had interest in former Florida and Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, Khan addressed those rumors on Monday.

“I’ve known Urban(Meyer) over the years through Big Ten and what have you,” Khan said. “But we have not spoken to anyone about this job or even, obviously, interviewed him. I mean, this is something—just made the decision this morning. So, you know there is—and I’ll leave it at that.”

Finding a franchise quarterback is never easy, and Jacksonville has not had one of those in a long time. Now, with a chance to draft Lawrence or Fields, the future could be very bright in Jacksonville. But before that, they must find a GM and coach, which will be a big decision for this team going forward.

Jags’ Marrone talks decision to go with Glennon over Minshew against Colts

An NFL season can be very long and can be even longer when you’re not very good, which is the position the Jacksonville Jaguars are in right now. Jacksonville won their first game of the season against the team they conclude the season with, the Indianapolis Colts. 

In that game against the Colts, Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew played his best game of the season. The second-year quarterback was 19-20 for 173 yards and three touchdowns. After defeating the Colts in Week 1, it’s been all downhill. Jacksonville(1-14) has lost 14 straight games, including last week’s 41-17 loss to the visiting Chicago Bears. 

Last week, Jacksonville did not name a starting quarterback against the Bears until Saturday afternoon, which was Mike Glennon. This week, Marrone decided a little sooner and will go with Glennon over Minshew against Indianapolis. Against the Bears, Glennon threw for 211 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.

On Wednesday, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone explained why he choose Glennon over Minshew.

“We just feel like it gives us a good chance [to win], and we can operate and see where it goes,” Marrone said. “Honestly, I don’t think any one decision on the quarterback, or any other position, is really going to move the needle one way or the other. If it did, then obviously we would make it, but we don’t feel that way. Let’s go in there, and let’s try to take advantage of some things.”

Marrone is right. When you are the Jaguars, it doesn’t matter what you do at this point of the season. You are what you are, and the Jaguars are not a good football team. A change will come in Jacksonville at season’s end, and hopefully, for the franchise, better days are ahead. 

 

Jags’ Marrone on Ravens: ‘This team was clearly the better team today’

The Jacksonville Jaguars went into Baltimore with little to no shot to beat the Ravens. Obviously, the Ravens(9-5) are a better team than the Jaguars, so for Jacksonville to win this game would have been a long shot, and ultimately, they were routed 40-14.

Jacksonville(1-13) has now lost 13 straight games.

“I mean, I can tell you what I told them in the locker room,” Marrone said after the game. “I told them that, ‘Hey listen, we came out here today and this team was clearly the better team today. There’s a lot of things that—there’s some things, obviously, I thought we did well and then—but for the most part, I’m not going to point those out. Obviously, we weren’t good enough at all those…’ I told the players after the game, kind of gave them—talked to them about our schedule next week, talked about our mindset, talking about playing our last home game, and really trying to put this game behind us quickly and move forward.

The Jaguars knew last night that they would be without their punter Logan Cooke, who did not make the trip to Baltimore due to illness. In his place, K Aldrick Rosas did the punting for Jacksonville. Rosas had three punts with an average of 36 yards, and he fumbled a snap. According to Marrone, losing Cooke was not the reason they lost, but it did change things.

“We were looking at, or I was looking at, the analytics of it for gain of field position, where Aldrick [Rosas] was as far as punting,” Marrone said. “So basically, we kind of expanded that zone more so, where if you’re looking at fourth-and-6 or less, you have a 40 percent chance of really making it. And if we go more than that, then obviously the number decreases, and you’ve got to make some decisions. So I guess my point is, obviously, like anything, you make adjustments when things occur. Did I feel forced to do that? No, I just thought that was the best chance for our team to win the game. And I want to make sure that just because Logan wasn’t able to play, that didn’t cost us the game.”

Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew, who made his first start for the team since October, threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday, but he was sacked five times and lost a fumble. After the game, Marrone did not name a starter for next week against the Bears.

“I don’t know,” Marrone said about who will be the starter next week. “I know everyone is going to talk to me about—that’s a question afterward. I knew you guys, I just think right now, I’m really, I really want to be in there to support these players and these coaches right now. And I’m not ready to say this or that, and all this other stuff, or really comment on playing time. And that’s not a knock on Gardner, and it’s not a knock on me not having a decision in my mind right now. My mind right now is totally focused. These guys, it’s tough to see. I know we’re pros, I know it’s like that, but when you see guys trying, they just, whatever it is that causes us not to get there or come with the win.”

Sunday was not all bad news for the Jaguars. The Jets won today, and with the victory, Jacksonville and New York have the same records, but due to strength of schedule(Jaguars having an easier strength of schedule), if the Jaguars and Jets end up with the same record, Jacksonville will get the number one pick. Therefore, the Jaguars could possibly get their hands on Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, so all is not lost for Jacksonville.

Jaguars’ Myles Jack wants Marrone to return next season

The Jacksonville Jaguars have had a long 2020 season. Currently, the team is 1-12 and are on a 12-game losing streak. In November, the Jaguars fired GM Dave Caldwell, so it would appear that head coach Doug Marrone will more than likely be fired at season’s end. 

In five seasons with the Jaguars, Marrone is currently 23-40, and after leading the team to a 10-6 mark in 2017, which ended with Jacksonville losing to the Patriots in the AFC title game, the Jaguars are 12-33, so Marrone has an uphill battle in terms of keeping his job.

However, if it were up to Jaguars LB Myles Jack, Marrone would return for a sixth season.

“[This is] kind of like high classified information, but typically we’ll meet with [Jaguars Owner] Mr. [Shad] Khan after the season and sit down in his office and talk to him about certain things,” Jack said on Thursday. “He’ll ask us what we do and don’t like. Me personally, I just have a lot of love for [Head Coach] Doug [Marrone]. I just feel like it’s been a rough year for him. I felt like the 2017 year when we were really good; I felt like he didn’t get enough credit, and then the years when we were bad, he kind of had to eat that. That all kind of got thrown on him. I’m always riding with Coach Marrone.

“We’ve had a lot of personal conversations and just things that I’ve had to get over and deal with that he’s always had my back with. Even when I’ve been wrong in certain situations, he’s always had my back, so I’m always going to have Doug’s back. If the man was [were] to ask me do I want Doug back, absolutely without a doubt. I just felt like this year; it’s weird to say like it’s not a great technical term, but it just wasn’t fair for Doug. It really wasn’t how things kind of shook out and the cards that he was dealt, but I definitely feel like Coach Marrone is a great coach. He’s definitely someone you want in your corner. I feel like if people really got to know Doug, they would really like him. Coach Marrone’s a real cool dude outside of ball, so I’m vouching for him absolutely.”

On paper, the Jaguars did not have a lot of talent on this roster coming into the season. They traded away a lot of talent, especially on the defensive side of the ball, including Jalen Ramsey and Yannick Ngakoue. Plus, they never could get that franchise quarterback, so it’s not all Marrone’s fault, but in the end, it comes down to wins and losses, and Marrone has struggled to win in Jacksonville.

Jags’ Minshew on team celebrating James Robinson’s 1,000-yard season: ‘He definitely deserved that’

On Sunday, Jaguars RB James Robinson became the fourth undrafted rookie in NFL history to total at least 1,000 rushing yards, and the fastest to do so, on his longest rush of the season, a 47-yard gain in the fourth quarter. Robinson is the third rookie running back in Jaguars history to total 1,000 yards in a season and the fourth running back overall in franchise annals to rush for 1,000-plus yards.

However, the Jaguars(1-12) would lose their 12th straight game as they fell to the Titans(9-4) 31-10 at TIAA Bank Field on Sunday.

After the game, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone celebrated Robinson, which meant a lot to the former Illinois State product.

“I am grateful that he did that, and before the game was even over, all the guys were coming up to me and saying ‘Congratulations,’ Robinson said. “And, I mean, all those guys are behind me, and we were hoping I was going to get it in the first quarter.”

Some might find it odd that Marrone celebrated Robinson’s achievement in a loss, and after the game, Marrone explained why he decided to show Robinson some love.

“Normally, I don’t ever really talk about individual accomplishments after the game, but I did because we don’t really have a lot going for us, obviously, right now, except we have three more opportunities,” Marrone said. “But it’s something that could be celebrated by all of us, the offensive line, receivers, the tight ends, and I said even the defensive guys and specialists. I mean, it’s something of here’s a guy that represents so much of what’s good about competition, about playing, about humility, about keeping things in perspective. He’s been a great example, even though he’s a rookie free agent, he’s been a great example for everybody. So, I said that to the team after the game, and they clapped for him when there’s not a lot to clap about, really.

Jaguars QB Garnder Minshew agreed with Marrone’s decision to celebrate Robinson.

“No, he definitely deserved that,” Minshew said. “I mean, coming in as an undrafted rookie and to carry the load and help this team the way he has, he deserves all that. I’m all for individual accomplishments because that eventually that helps the team win. I wish everybody were out here breaking records and reaching milestones, so I think that’s something we should all strive for, and if everybody does their job to the level that James is doing it, then we’ll be alright.”

It’s been a long season for the Jaguars, but what Robinson has done this season is a huge accomplishment, so for Jacksonville to celebrate him is not a bad thing, even in a loss.

Marrone thinks Glennon gives Jacksonville the best chance to win

Last month, Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew was cleared to return to the field after dealing with a thumb injury. Minshew injured his thumb against the Texans in Week 5 but hid it from the team until after their loss to the Chargers in Week 7. 

The second-year quarterback has not been on the field since.

“It’s so frustrating,” Minshew told ESPN’s Mike DiRocco. “I pretty much went and begged before the Cleveland game to be able to play. It sucks, you know, There’s no way around it.

Rookie quarterback Jake Luton started three games during Minshew’s absence; Mike Glennon would start the next two, including the team’s 27-24 loss to Minnesota on Sunday.

On Monday, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone addressed Minshew’s situation, and according to Marrone, whose team host the Titans on Sunday, the 30-year-old Glennon gives Jacksonville the best chance to win.

“We talked today, and just like I told him, I just want to see more at practice,” Marrone said. “I think he’s working on his volume and the amount of throws and all of that. He’s obviously cleared medically, but still, you want to be able to see those things on the practice field. I just think right now, in practice, Mike [Glennon] is throwing better and giving us the best chance to win. I don’t think Gardner [Minshew II] ‘s 100 percent as far as his workload, and that’s always [of] concern to me. I’m trying to understand it, and we’re both trying to work through it.” 

During this time, according to Marrone, he and Minshew have been in constant communication.

 “We’ve been having a lot of conversations, so it’s not a problem at all,” Marrone said. “I mean whatever he feels he can do, what’s best for the team, he’ll do. He’s said that quite a bit, so I don’t see a problem there. The communication’s been fine. I think everything’s been upfront, everything’s been talked about, so I feel comfortable with that. I think he’s trying to do everything he can to get himself back to a point where he feels comfortable, and his workload is right.”

Minshew wants to prove that he can be a starting quarterback in the NFL, so you can understand his desire to want to get back on the field, but with only four games left, there is a chance that he does not play another down this season, especially if Glennon plays well. 

However, the Jaguars(1-11) are on an 11-game losing streak, and they will have a hard time winning another game, so we will probably see Minshew at some point again in the next four games. In seven games, the 24-year-old Minshew threw 1855 yards with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions, so his numbers aren’t bad. 

However, there’s a good chance that Minshew won’t be in Jacksonville next season. At this point, Jacksonville has the second-worst record in football, and if things go their way, maybe the Jaguars will be in line to draft Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence or even Ohio State’s Justin Fields. 

Next season, the Jaguars will have a new GM after firing Dave Caldwell last month, probably a new coach, and probably a new quarterback. 

Changes are coming in Jacksonville.

Jaguars’ Marrone: ‘I just work and do the best job I can for the coaches and players’

 

As the losses continue to mount for the Jacksonville Jaguars(1-6), everyone starts to think about the future of head coach Doug Marrone, and on Sunday, Marrone and the Jaguars would lose their six straight contest as they fell to the Chargers 39-29 on the road.

At this point, the Jaguars, who have a bye next week, are playing like one of the worst teams in football, and also, at this point, if the losing continues, Marrone may not have a job. Coming into this season, not many expected the Jaguars to be very good. In fact, some accused the team of tanking after Jacksonville traded away some key members of the team, including Calais Campbell and Ronnie Harrison. However, Jacksonville started the season with a win over the Colts, which got some fans excited, but from there, it has been all downhill.

After Jacksonville’s loss on Sunday, Marrone was asked if he thinks he will be the coach following the bye week; here’s what he had to say:

“I think that any time you’re losing like this and you’re not performing well on Sundays, I think it’s naive. It can happen,” Marrone said. “I just work and do the best job I can for the coaches and players. I know those questions come, and you guys know me; I understand that. That’s just what this game is – work as hard as you possibly can, and at the end of the day, you have to hold your head up high knowing that you did everything you possibly could to try to win games, while at the same time, know that you did your best for the coaches and the players.”

Marrone’s contract goes through the 2021 season. Outside of 2017, when Marrone led the Jaguars to the AFC title game, it’s been a struggle for Jacksonville. The Jaguars are 12-27 since that magical 2017 season, so unless something miraculous happens, it appears that 2020 will probably be Marrone’s last season in Jacksonville.

Jaguars’ Minshew on loss to Lions: ‘We beat ourselves today’

When you are a team that does not have a lot of talent, you can’t beat yourself. On Sunday, at times, the Jacksonville Jaguars beat themselves, including their QB Gardner Minshew, who had two turnovers(interception, fumble), as the Jaguars fell to the Lions(2-3) 34-16 at TIAA Bank Field. 

With the loss, the Jaguars(1-5) have now lost five straight games. As the losses mount, Minshew, who was 25/44 for 243 yards, with a touchdown and interception, is frustrated and looking for answers.

“There’s not a guy on this team that likes losing or even wants to tolerate losing,” Minshew said after the game. “We’re definitely frustrated. It feels like the same story each week. We are trying to figure out what our solution is, we got to start finding it, and the urgency should be at an all-time high. That being said, I believe we have the guys in our building to do it, so we’re just going to have to come back together; I know you all are sick of hearing it, but come back together, have a good week at practice, and just get ready to win one game at a time…

 “Any time you play a game like that, and you just walk away feeling that you beat yourself, that’s super frustrating. Talk about a disciplined team that beat themselves, we feel like we beat ourselves today, and we just can’t do that.”

In addition to the turnovers, the Jaguars had a hard time stopping the Lions. Jacksonville allowed Detroit to rush for 180 yards, and coming into the game, the Jaguars were 26th against the rush and 30th in total defense. However, when asked if defensive coordinator Todd Walsh’s job was in jeopardy, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone had this to say.

“Yes. Yes, as long as I’m here and I’m the head coach, yes, he’s(Walsh) safe.”

When asked about own his status after a 1-5 start, Marrone said the following:

“Yeah, I mean, the realistic part is you never know when it’s going to stop,” he said. “I mean, I’m not going to be one of those guys to say that that’s not something that can happen. I mean, we see what happens around the league, so I acknowledge that. But at the same time, it’s something that I can’t control. So, and I’ve said it before; I really love the coaches we have, and I love the players that we have on this team. And I look at that sense of relationship that I have with them as to make sure that I’m coming in doing the best job I can to get everyone around me better for however long I maintain this position.”

No one expected the Jaguars to be very good this season, but there was some optimism after the Colts’ victory and the close loss to the Titans in the first two weeks of the season. However, at this point, it’s pretty clear that it will probably be a long season in Jacksonville.

Minshew is confident the Jaguars want to win in 2020

The Jacksonville Jaguars will look very different in 2020. Gone are Leonard Fournette, Nick Foles, Yannick Ngakoue, Calais Campbell, Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, and Ronnie Harrison, all who were starters on opening day for Jacksonville last season. Coming into this season, Jacksonville will be a young team. With youth, sometimes comes struggles, which could be the reality for the Jaguars.

“Yeah, I think it’s a double edge sword,” Minshew said about the team’s youth on Thursday. “I think experience really does help you learn. I know from my last year, getting those reps is better than any classroom learning or practice learning that you can do. But I’m also very excited; I think with that youth comes a lot of energy, a lot of excitement, and not much ego. I think everybody is coming together in a great way. And more than anything, I’m just excited to get everybody out there for the first time and really see what we’ve got.”

As a second-year quarterback, Minshew is one the young players on the team, and according to Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone, Minshew has improved in many areas, including leadership.

“Just obviously from a leadership standpoint obviously, you see him trying to help his teammates more whereas last year, at this time, he was trying to make the team and not knowing where he stood with the roster,” Marrone said about Minshew. “He’s worked considerably hard over the summer for accuracy and all those other things that every quarterback works on. He worked extremely hard and has taken a ton of reps trying to get all that experience.

“The toughest part about that position is obviously you need a skillset to play that position but the toughest part for, at least in my opinion, is putting them in all the different situations that’s going to occur during the course of a game. You’re constantly trying to manage the emotion of the player wanting to [say], ‘Hey, listen, I’m going to put this thing in the end zone. I’m going to through it in here because we have to score a touchdown.’ [But, you have to say,] ‘Hey listen, if it’s not there and you don’t need a touchdown, check it down, and maybe we can run it in.’ I’ve seen him become much better at the decision-making process of [when] to extend the play, when to throw it away when to take the calculated risk. So the experience of putting him in those positions is something I’ve seen him improve upon greatly.”

After a few trades, which netted draft picks for the Jaguars, many believe that winning is not a priority for Jacksonville this season, but Minshew disagrees.

“I think people see it from afar and see, ‘Oh they’re losing their biggest names,'” Minshew said. “But, that’s not how we feel. And I mean realistically, I know if we’re tanking, Coach [Doug] Marrone, Dave Caldwell and [I] are probably going to be out of jobs. So, I know us three, and a lot of those other guys in the locker room are not going to let that crap happen. So, I feel very confidently in everybody’s desire to win, and that’s absolutely not anything that we envision happening.”

The odds are stacked against Jacksonville, and with all the changes, it should be interesting to see what the Jaguars will be in 2020. 

 

 

 

Jags’ Marrone on if team is tanking: ‘I’m doing everything I can to make sure that we have the best team to win’

In a move that shocked many around the league, the Jacksonville Jaguars waived RB Leonard Fournette on Monday. The fourth-year player, who was the fourth overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft and whose fifth-year option was declined by the team in May, was rumored to be on the trading block this spring, but ultimately, according to Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone, there were no takers.

“My question was, ‘Can we get any value?’ and [the answer] it was we couldn’t get any,” Marrone said via a video call on Monday. “Fifth, sixth [round picks], we couldn’t get anything.”

As a rookie, in 2017, Fournette rushed for 1040 yards and nine rushing touchdowns and helped Jacksonville make it to the AFC title game. In 2018, Fournette struggled with injuries and was fined(later overturned) by then team president Tom Coughlin after Fournette, who was inactive due to an ankle injury in the season finale, sat on the bench. However, in 2019, Fournette had career-highs in rushing yards(1152), receptions(76), and receiving yards(522). Now, without Fournette, the Jaguars will turn to Ryquell Armstead and Chris Thompson, and Marrone feels those guys can help Jacksonville more than Fournette could in 2020.

“I just feel like [with] the skill set of the guys that we have being used the right way, [they] will be able to give us more production and give us a better opportunity to win games,” Marrone said. “That’s exactly what I feel and exactly what I’ve seen on tape.”

Some might believe Jacksonville could be tanking after waiving the 25-year-old Fournette. However, Marrone said that is not the case.

“I can’t speak for anyone like I said I’m not going to speak for anyone else,” he said. “But if that’s the case(tanking), then the realization is that if that happens, I’m not going to be here. Right? At the end of the day, if I don’t win enough games or do enough with this team, I don’t foresee me still being employed. So I’m doing everything I can to make sure that we have the best team to win football games. I mean that’s as simple as I can be on it.”

Marrone is right. Jacksonville does need to win for him to keep his job. I don’t think Jacksonville is tanking, but it’s clear they wanted to get Fournette out of their locker room. He was the best running back on Jacksonville’s roster, so this is a move, according to Jacksonville, that is addition by subtraction.