Jaguars HC Doug Marrone on 2020: ‘We’ll Have a Young Football Team’
Out with the old, in with the new. For the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2020, this phrase will stick for the entirety of the season as the roster undergoes a youth movement.
Head coach Doug Marrone and general manager Dave Caldwell have been hard at work in their efforts to reshape the Jaguars' roster this offseason, with the most emphasis being placed on shipping out older and expensive veterans and attempting to find cost-controlled options to pair with young and hungry players.
Out are Calais Campbell, Marcell Dareus, Nick Foles, Najee Goode, and A.J. Bouye, each considered a large portion of the elders of the Jaguars' already young locker room last season. In their places are younger players such as Rodney Gunter and Joe Schobert.
Last season, the Jaguars had seven players on the roster over the age of 30. Presently, none of those seven players are on the Jaguars' roster. Presently, there are only two players on the roster over the age of 30, with each being new free agent additions in nose tackle Al Woods (33) and cornerback Rashaan Melvin (30).
With the Jaguars slotted to have 12 draft picks in this month's NFL Draft, including multiple picks in the first, fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds, the roster is set to become even more youthful in the following weeks.
"Right now, we’re looking at what value we can get and with the draft. Everyone knows we have a lot of picks. We’ll have a young football team which, like anything else, there’s a lot of positive to that," Marrone said this week. "A bunch of hungry guys coming in here. A lot of enthusiasm. A lot of guys trying to work. There are a lot of things to look forward to."
What areas of the roster are the Jaguars set to target and attempt to add more talent and youth? As Marrone would note, the Jaguars aren't going to consider any position solidified. Instead, they will look throughout the entire draft to fill areas of need.
Jacksonville has already invested in linebacker, defensive line, tight end, and cornerback, but they will still look to improve the roster by any means, including giving the Jaguars a more positive long-term outlook by bringing youth and energy to the team.
“It’s interesting when you get asked a question like, what is your concern? How do you feel about this? For me, I’m always in this mode of, we do have a lot of draft picks, we do have some money left. Hey, how are we going to keep bettering this team?" Marrone said. "The cornerback position, safety position, linebacker, defensive line. Even though we’re taking players and putting them in a position, it’s not like you say, ok, that’s crossed off and let’s move on to the next."
Jacksonville will have an uphill climb in 2020, but working in their favor is the fact that some of their youthful talent already has experience. Josh Allen and Jawaan Taylor each played in all 16 games last season, while Gardner Minshew II appeared in 14 games and DJ Chark played in 15.
For the Jaguars to win in 2020, they will once again lean on a young and hungry roster. Will it pay off? Only time will tell, with the lone certainty being the fact that the Jaguars will be among the most youthful rosters in all of football next year.