While it could have been assumed newly hired Jaguars executive VP Tom Coughlin would have final say over the team’s 53-man roster, no more assumptions are required. The veteran coach and first-time exec will have the final say on the 2017 roster, stripping some power from GM Dave Caldwell, owner Shad Khan said. Caldwell had been in charge of the Jacksonville football operations since 2013.
Coughlin interviewed for the Jags’ HC position but said he prefers the VP job he acquired instead. The 70-year-old provided two of his top coaching choices to Khan, and Doug Marrone was one of those two. Khan added that the decision “wasn’t close” between Marrone and the other coaches the team interviewed during this hiring process.
In addition to Coughlin and Marrone, the Jags also met with Josh McDaniels, Kyle Shanahan, Mike Smith and Harold Goodwin. Marrone is 16-18 in two-plus years as a head coach.
Here’s the latest coming out of Jacksonville.
- The Jaguars hired Pat Flaherty to become their offensive line coach, the team announced today. Flaherty worked under Coughlin in each of his 12 seasons as the Giants’ HC, instructing the Giants’ offensive linemen from 2004-15. The 60-year-old Flaherty spent this past season as the OL coach for the 49ers.
- During the Jags’ time without a full-time head coach, the word coming down from the front office was one of hesitancy regarding Blake Bortles, with Caldwell saying the next coach would not have to commit to the former No. 3 overall pick. But Coughlin shut down notions the team will attempt to replace Bortles this offseason. “Blake Bortles is our quarterback,” Coughlin said, via Lindsay Jones of USA Today. Marrone’s belief in Bortles impacted the hiring decision. Bortles’ quarterback rating plummeted from 88.2 to 78.8 this season, but it’s safe to assume after this declaration the Jags are planning to pick up his fifth-year option.
- The Jaguars will have extensive sideline continuity despite finishing the season 3-13, retaining both coordinators in Nethanial Hackett (offense) and Todd Wash (defense).
- Jacksonville brought over Denver special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis to work in the same capacity.