Black Monday has potentially started early. ESPN’s Dianna Russini reports (via Twitter) that the Jaguars have informed head coach Doug Marrone that he’ll be fired following Sunday’s season finale.
However, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com tweets that Marrone has not been informed of his impending firing. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweets that Marrone had dinner on Friday night with owner Shad Khan and SVP Tony Khan, but no decision has been made about the coach’s future. Pelissero adds that there’s a “real chance” he sticks around.
Owner Shad Khan’s spokesman told NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport that reports of the dismissal are false (Twitter link).
“Reports that Doug Marrone will be dismissed after Sunday’s game are 100 percent incorrect. Owner Shad Khan will meet with his football staff, which includes coaching and personnel, midweek next week.”
Following an underwhelming two seasons as the Bills head coach, Marrone took on the Jaguars gig towards the end of the 2014 campaign. He impressed during his first full season in Jacksonville, guiding the team to 10 wins and an AFC Championship appearance. After that season, the organization signed Marrone to an extension that was intended to keep him in Jacksonville through the 2021 season.
Unfortunately, the team took a major step back in 2018, finishing with a 5-11 record. The 2019 iteration of the Jaguars could match that record with a loss to the Colts on Sunday. This past offseason, the team signed quarterback Nick Foles to solidify their offense. However, Foles suffered a broken collarbone in his first regular season action. Rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew took the league by storm while Foles recovered, but is far from a dynamic option. The more concerning occurrence for the Jaguars has been the deterioration of their elite defense to one of the more inconsistent units in football.
We heard earlier this week that the Jaguars were leaning towards retaining Marrone (along with general manager Dave Caldwell). Khan reportedly wanted to maintain continuity, and the firing of executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin was assumed to be the only major shakeup. There was additional optimism when it was learned that Tony Khan, the team’s EVP and son of the owner, is expected to take on an increased role in the organization. The younger Khan reportedly had a good relationship with Marrone.
The Jaguars join the Panthers and Redskins among teams with head coach vacancies. There will surely be more teams added to that list on Monday.