Doug Marrone Opens Up to Regrets and Past Internal Criticism of Preparation of Team
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone is not known as a man who will mince words or sugar coat things. He tells it how it is and gives straight answers to questions from media.
Such was the case during his Tuesday press conference at TIAA Bank Field, where the coach discussed if he has any regrets about how he prepared the Jaguars for 2019 and even revealed there has been past internal criticism of him from within the Jaguars' organization about the team's preparation.
Marrone notably went a different way about getting the Jaguars prepared for the 2019 season compared to past years. Jacksonville, now 4-7 and in the midst of losing three straight games by 20 or more points, sat its starters throughout the entire preseason sans the third week of the exhibition games. This was in response to the string of injuries that decimated the team in 2018, Marrone has said in the past and reaffirmed Tuesday.
“I’ve been criticized even within the organization of how the team was, you know, and how I trained the team," Marrone said unprompted Tuesday when asked if he has any regrets about how he approached this season.
“But I go back to I make decisions based on obviously things that have happened. So last year, with the injuries and everything we had, I went out and researched a bunch of other teams and what they do.”
Marrone noted he made a "conscious decision" about how to prepare the team, noting if he did the same things he did in 2018, when the team lost nearly its entire offensive line to injury, and injuries occurred again, it would have to be examined.
“I think you always have to find ways to get better,” Marrone said. “You’re going to look at what other people do. You’re going to look at all this other stuff – whether it’s soft tissue, training all that stuff. I went out and I worked my butt off to do that.”
"So, I don't think that I regret that part of what I did."
While Marrone said he doesn't regret the things he did differently in terms of approaching the 2019 season, he stated the obvious and said when you lose as the Jaguars have been lately, then you have to reflect on all of the prior decisions made.
“Make no mistake: When you don’t win football games, there will be a lot of things I look back on and say, ‘Well, gosh, if I would have done this or done that,’" Marrone said. "I think if you don’t do that, I think that’s poor character when you can’t admit to those things.
When asked to elaborate on his prior statement about internal criticism of him, Marrone did not say if the criticism came from players or the front office, but he did not deflect from the fact that criticism was made.
“I’m not going to stand up here and lie, but I’m also not going to make this thing a huge story," Marrone said. "I’m just telling the truth. That’s just how it is. But you know what, though? Just to add that; That’s not the first time it’s ever happened to me, and I’m sure it’s not the first time it’s ever happened to anyone in my position. That’s not unnormal."
But as Marrone would note, what is out of the norm is the fact that Marrone publicly confirmed such criticism from within the franchise.
“What’s probably not normal is me saying, ‘Yes, that I have been.’ But like I said before, I don’t have a lot of secrets," Marrone said. "I’m really boring. I don’t have a lot of (explicit) to hide.’’
Marrone's job status is in question as Jacksonville's season has come off of the rails in the past month. Since leading the Jaguars to the AFC Championship and a 10-6 record in his first season as head coach, the team has 9-17.