clearn.png
Saturday November 27th, 2021 9:41PM

Jaguars fire Marrone, owner Khan plans to be more involved

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan plans to have the team's next head coach and general manager report directly to him, a structure he expects will keep him in the loop on major personnel decisions.

Khan said Monday he will have “roster control," but he later clarified that to mean “you don’t want players going in and out or contracts given until you’re aware of that.”

Khan also made it clear finding a franchise quarterback — hello, Trevor Lawrence — is as important as hiring the right people to those key positions.

“What's evaded the history of the Jags really has been a franchise quarterback,” Khan said. "I think what’s unique is we have the ability now to make a choice and it’s going to define the franchise moving forward.”

Khan fired coach Doug Marrone on Monday, a little more than 12 hours after ending the season with a 15th consecutive loss. It was a move many thought he should have made a year earlier. But Khan gave Marrone another chance to make Jacksonville a playoff contender again.

Marrone came up well short of the owner’s expectations, making Khan’s decision easy and expected. It was the first time Marrone has been fired in three decades of coaching.

Marrone went 25-44 in four-plus seasons in Jacksonville, including 2-1 in the postseason. The Jaguars just missed the franchise’s first Super Bowl in 2017 and mired near the bottom of the league since. Marrone lost 21 of his final 24 games, including 15 by double digits.

Khan kept Marrone in place after firing general manager Dave Caldwell in late November, but ultimately decided on a clean sweep.

Khan hopes to fill both spots "about the same time" and wants them to know who the other one will be to create a better working relationship. He already interviewed former Houston executive Rick Smith, current ESPN analyst Louis Riddick and former New York Giants GM Jerry Reese for the GM position.

Three-time national champion Urban Meyer is considered a leading coaching candidate if he decides to leave Fox Sports and return to the sideline. Meyer won college football titles at Florida (2006, '08) and Ohio State (2014).

“Obviously, I’ve known Urban over the years through the Big Ten and what have you, but we have not spoken to anyone about this job or obviously interviewed him," Khan said. "This is something I just made the decision this morning and I’ll leave it at that.”

Buffalo offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and San Francisco defensive coordinator Robert Saleh are expected to get interviews as well.

Despite Jacksonville’s recent struggles, both jobs are generally considered among the most attractive ones open. The Jaguars have five of the first 65 picks in the 2021 draft, including the overall No. 1 selection, and nearly $100 million in salary cap space to help rebuild.

“I certainly think there’s a huge amount of interest, much more so than the last time around,” Khan said.

Clemson's star quarterback, Lawrence, is considered a slam dunk to land in Jacksonville and serve as the centerpiece of the team’s latest rebuild.

Truth be told, Marrone didn’t have enough talent to turn things around in 2020. Of course, that was partly his own fault.

Khan fired personnel chief Tom Coughlin last December, essentially pinning the blame for the team’s struggles in 2018 and ’19 on its inaugural coach who failed to make a smooth transition to the front office.

Marrone and Caldwell were given the chance to fix everything Coughlin ruined in his second tenure in small-market Jacksonville. But they somehow made aspects of the operation worse.

“We did have team disarray and we were in to use the word 'salary cap hell," Khan said. "We had serious issues with the team. Who better to help clean it up than who were part of that, (those who) really created the mess and that would include me.”

They parted ways with several key starters, including five-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Calais Campbell, quarterback Nick Foles, cornerback A.J. Bouye, pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue, running back Leonard Fournette and safety Ronnie Harrison. They went young at numerous backup spots, and many of those guys looked overwhelmed when thrust onto the field.

It didn’t help that quarterback Gardner Minshew failed to mask any of the team’s deficiencies. After going 6-6 as a rookie in 2019, Minshew got a chance to be the unquestioned starter. Marrone and Caldwell felt as if he earned the opportunity to prove he could be a long-term solution to the team’s long-time hole at the all-important position.

Minshew, though, was exposed as opponents essentially dared the sixth-round draft pick to beat them from the pocket. He couldn’t, basically showing why he was the 10th QB selected that year.

So now Jacksonville is back where it’s been for the better part of the past two decades: in desperate need of a franchise quarterback and starting over.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Vaccination campaign picks up speed around the world
The campaign to vanquish the coronavirus is picking up speed
1:09PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Court upholds life sentence for Iowa coach who abused teens
A federal appeals court has upheld a life prison sentence for an influential Iowa youth basketball coach who used his position to sexually exploit more than 400 boys over 20 years
12:59PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Trump pressures Georgia elections chief: 'Find 11,780 votes'
President Donald Trump pressured Georgia's Republican secretary of state to “find” enough votes to overturn Joe Biden's win in the state's presidential election
12:56PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Gonzaga-Baylor remain 1-2 in AP Top 25; Texas rises to No. 4
Gonzaga and Baylor remain atop The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll while fourth-ranked Texas has climbed to its highest perch in nearly a decade
12:06PM ( 1 hour ago )
NCAA to play all 67 March Madness men's games in Indiana
The NCAA has announced that this year’s 67 men’s basketball tournament games including the Final Four all will be played in Indiana
12:00PM ( 1 hour ago )
Chargers fire head coach Anthony Lynn after 4 seasons
The Los Angeles Chargers have fired coach Anthony Lynn less than two seasons after he led the franchise to the AFC divisional round
11:54AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Giants outlast Cowboys, lose division hours later to WSH
Rookie Xavier McKinney intercepted Andy Dalton in the end zone with 1:15 remaining, lifting the New York Giants to the brink of an unprecedented, six-win playoff berth with a 23-19 victory over the Dallas Cowboys
11:30PM ( 13 hours ago )
Welcome to the postseason, Cleveland. Cleveland? Yep
Welcome to the postseason, Cleveland
11:24PM ( 13 hours ago )
Jets fire coach Adam Gase after 2 seasons of failed offense
The New York Jets have fired coach Adam Gase, ending a frustrating and disappointing tenure after just two loss-filled seasons
10:20PM ( 15 hours ago )
AP Online Football
The Latest: Derrick Henry has 5th-best season in NFL history
Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans now has the fifth-best rushing total in NFL history
7:35PM ( 17 hours ago )
The Latest: Derrick Henry 8th man to run for 2,000 in NFL
Derrick Henry has become the eighth man in NFL history to run for at least 2,000 yards in a single season
7:12PM ( 18 hours ago )
The Latest: Justin Herbert sets TD mark for NFL rookie QBs
Justin Herbert has accounted for the most touchdowns by a rookie quarterback in NFL history
6:56PM ( 18 hours ago )
AP Sports - NFL
Vaccination campaign picks up speed around the world
The campaign to vanquish the coronavirus is picking up speed
1:09PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Court upholds life sentence for Iowa coach who abused teens
A federal appeals court has upheld a life prison sentence for an influential Iowa youth basketball coach who used his position to sexually exploit more than 400 boys over 20 years
12:59PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Trump rewarding allies Nunes, Jordan with Medal of Freedom
President Donald Trump is set to present one of the nation’s highest civilian honors to two of his most outspoken congressional allies, California Rep. Devin Nunes and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan
12:50PM ( 33 minutes ago )
The Latest: No. 3 Villanova's next 3 games postponed
Villanova moved up to No. 3 in the AP Top 25, but the Wildcats won't be able to take the floor again for a bit
12:39PM ( 44 minutes ago )