Black Monday in the NFL started bright and early on the gloom day, with Doug Marrone fired from coaching the Jacksonville Jaguars. The news was no surprise as Marrone has been on borrowed time for a few seasons now. His final season ended with a 15-game losing streak and a constant carousel of mediocre QBs. He exits with a record of 23-43 and only one successful year followed by tons of questionable decision-making.
After being with Jacksonville since 2015, what legacy or mark will Doug Marrone leave on this franchise? After taking over after the firing of Gus Bradley, Marrone"s first full season in 2017 was quite the turnaround actually. With a struggling QB (Blake Bortles) at the end of his rookie deal, a rookie RB, and a young defense, he led the Jaguars to a 10-6 record and was just a TD short of making it to the Super Bowl.
Marrone seemed like a saving grace for the Jags and the entire city was behind him. He seemed to have turned around the career of a failing former third overall pick and was building a team through the draft. As we all now know, 2017 was the peak of his coaching career. So what led down to this path that now has Doug Marrone fired?
Doug Marrone Fired: How We Got Here
He, along with former GM Dave Caldwell, gave Bortles a 3-year/$54 million deal, who would go on to just a 4-9 record as a starter and then be released after the season. Marrone–along with Tom Coughlin– then gave a 4-year/$88 million contract to Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles. However, Foles was traded at the end of that first season after only having four starts.
Marrone somehow was granted to stay coaching the Jaguars even after two back-to-back losing seasons and constant duds at QB. He even started a semi-rebuild by trading away most of their former defensive stars. His final answer was 2019 rookie Gardner Minshew.
Minshew was at least a media darling and fan favorite but 2020 saw three different QBs under center: Minshew, Mike Glennon, and rookie Jake Luton. At least Marrone did one last decent thing for the Jacksonville franchise: giving them the number one overall pick, 11 draft picks, the most cap space in the NFL for 2021 ($75 million), and an ironically young, raw, and talented roster. This just furthers the fact that the head coach was one of the main issues and that the “Doug Marrone fired" headline should not surprise anyone.
Marrone is finally out after possibly one year too long at the helm but Jacksonville can look forward to a new leader. The Jaguars are a very enticing landing spot for candidates, having the top pick in the draft, a slew of high picks, and a pile of cap space to work with. Some of the top candidates available are already showing mutual interest. Once the Jaguars scored the first pick, many coaches were salivating at the prospects of seeing Doug Marrone fired.
You read that right. The former Ohio State and Florida coach could be the successor to Doug Marrone. There is no solid statement from either party yet but signs are pointing in the right direction. The 56-year-old has multiple champions between Ohio State and Florida but could look forward to a slower pace of the NFL. No long recruitment hours is a nice change of pace for anyone who has ever coached in college. There has also been news of Meyer reportedly lining up a team and expecting to get the gig. As of Monday, Urban has announced his bid is around $12 million a year for him to take the job.
This would be the overall best coach for the job. Meyer was one of the best in the NCAA and knows college prospects. He can work his magic with his pot of draft picks as well. It seems like only a matter of days before this happens. The Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions are also emerging as possible landing spots.
Ryan Day just defeated Trevor Lawrence and the defending champions in the semi-finals of the CFP and is looking ahead to Alabama for the title. He sure seems like the top candidate for any job, except for the fact he stated he had no interest in the NFL. Still, never say never as things can change in a second in the world of football. It"s also a far-fetched scenario but Day could end his college career on a high note, sign with the Jaguars, and draft his own QB in Justin Fields at No.1 overall. That would take the NFL by storm.
Yes, Marvin Lewis is the guy to never win a playoff game in sixteen years with Cincinnati. He"s got the experience the Jaguars are looking for and has been working under Herm Edwards at ASU as co-DC. Lewis is an interesting candidate but is also getting major interest from the Detroit Lions. Getting Doug Marrone fired and then getting Marvin Lewis as a replacement is not very much of an upgrade, in most people"s eyes.
Daboll has been the OC for the Buffalo Bills since 2018 and has played a pivotal role in Josh Allen and the success of Buffalo"s offense. In addition, he"s part of the Bill Belichick coaching tree and helped them win 5 Super Bowls. He also won a CFP Championship with Alabama, giving him the championship background that makes most former Belichick coaches a hot commodity. Daboll is also being courted by the New York Jets.
Saleh has become another name in high demand this year. He"s been the DC for San Francisco since 2017 and led one of the best defenses in 2019 that placed the 49ers in the Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs. Jacksonville has a defense that isn"t horrible but hasn"t been coached up to their maximum potential. Saleh could be the piece to get them back to their 2017 success. He also has a history with the Jags, being the LB coach from 2014 to 2016 under Gus Bradley. The Jets, Falcons, and Lions are also in the running.