Doug Marrone says he’s realistic. He knows at any given time, this could all be over. And addressing local reporters following the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5) 34-16 loss to the Detroit Lions (2-3), the head coach—who is 23-33 with the Jags following today’s loss—was confronted head on to contemplate his job security.
“I'm not gonna be one of those guys to say that you, know, that's not something that can happen. I mean we see what happens around the league so I acknowledge that," Marrone said following the loss.
“But at the same time it's something that I can't control so you know and I said it before, I really loved the coaches we have and I love the players that we have on this team and I look at that sense of…the 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 forever, however long I have maintained this position.”
Marrone may not want to provide any absolutes in relation to his own job security, but he is fine with providing absolute job security within his own power to defensive coordinator Todd Wash.
“As long as I'm here and I'm the head coach, yes [Wash is] safe.”
The Jaguars gave up 30 or more points for the fifth straight game and allowed the Lions their first game since 2013 with a 100-yard rusher and a 100-yard receiver. It’s the most rushing yards the Lions have had since September 29, 2019 (they had 180 today). Detroit went 3-12 on 3rd down but 2-2 for on fourth down and 4-5 in the RedZone.
The Lions offense stalled itself on half their drives but had 403 yards total thanks to 255 yards that came on 10 explosive plays.
“I think we all have to get better, I'm gonna acknowledge that,” Marrone admits, before going on to say that six weeks into the season, they have few to no answers on defense. This even after switching guys to different positions, trading for new players, benching guys; you name it, they’ve tried it, outside of firings on the coaching staff.
“I don't know what else—you know we've tried to do everything. I mean we’ve done things, we've worked on them, we've changed things up, we pressured, we played defense. I think, you know, we need someone to step up and make plays.
“We've talked about changes and things of that nature. I think, you know, if you have good options to go to. But right now I don't see any options; I see us. You know we just got to keep working to get these guys better and, you know, be able to make some plays and that's what's hurting us. It’s not a lack of…trying to, you know, change things, which we have done.”
On the youngest team in the league that today alone started five rookies (three on defense, two on offense) and had 10 total offer major contributive snaps, Marrone says the “young talent” is there. Now it’s his job to have them ready.
"You know there's a level of frustration and a little bit of—there’s obviously a lot of disappointment, and you got to be able to battle through those things. I think that we, you know, we have players that can do [produce] and, you know, rely on me to make sure that we're getting that done so; and I would put it more on me than anything else.”
As for putting those players into position—and for that matter, their own job security—Marrone says he didn’t consider benching second-year quarterback Gardner Minshew II for veteran Mike Glennon despite two Minshew turnovers (interception and a fumble). However, he clarifies the quarterback spot—like all others—are up for a change if they think they can get better.
But whether players underperform or overperform. Whether the Jags win out or lose all of the 10 remaining games. Whether Doug Marrone and Todd Wash keep their jobs, both are fired or one stays and one goes, Marrone says he’s trying to remind the players there are greater challenges in life that put this into perspective.
“This is not, you know, anywhere near some of the challenges I've had in my life and I tried to talk to the players about I think that, you know we've all had these, these challenges…someone that has a story to where they've had to come back from something that was tough. So, you know, we've dug ourselves in this hole and, you know, we've got to fight our way and just keep fighting.”
Still, that doesn’t make it any easier. To quote Marrone, the Jaguars dug themselves into this hole. Now they’re playing against the house with a bad hand and trying to bluff their way out of the situation. It’s left a hollow feeling in Marrone and desperation to save the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“Whatever happens with the chips, wherever, whichever way to go, whichever side of the table. You know, hopefully, we can win enough that we can gather those chips up. But that's what our goal is, that's what we're trying to do, but yeah…it’s a very difficult situation, I'm not gonna lie about that.
“I don't want to make it like, ‘Oh, I'm just frustrated. I'm throwing shit and I'm pulling out my hair and I'm just so disappointed.' That feeling or whatever it is in your gut that people have it, there’s a hole there for me. And because you know in my past, I've been able to pull through some things, and pull people up and get people to perform. And I'm doing everything I can to do that and you know it's not either a going as fast as I want it to, or be, I'm not getting that done and, and I feel like, you know, I'm the one that's, letting down the coaches and the players.”