JACKSONVILLE - The Jaguars are keeping the band together after the team announced Tuesday that coach Doug Marrone and general manager Dave Caldwell will both return in their roles in 2020.
"I have met on several occasions over the past few days with Dave Caldwell, Doug Marrone and their staffs to fully understand their plans to reverse our course and compete for a postseason berth in 2020," Jaguars' owner Shad Khan said in a statement. "In addition, I held numerous one-on-one meetings with players on Monday and thoroughly appreciated their candor and thoughtful views – some expected, some not – on the season behind us and where we go from here.
"While our discussions will remain confidential, the decision I am making to keep our staff intact for 2020 has nothing to do with our victory on Sunday and everything to do with my positive meetings with Dave, Doug, the coordinators and our players, as well as my belief that this is not the time to consider an overhaul of our organization."
In 2019, Jacksonville suffered through its second consecutive season with 10 or more losses as Marrone’s team completely unraveled in the second half of the season, losing six of the final nine games by 17 points or more. The Jaguars ended the season with a 6-10 record.
Jacksonville was 4-4 through the first eight weeks of this season but went 2-6 over the second half of the season. The Jaguars went 1-3 against AFC South opponents in that span.
Marrone, the team’s sixth head coach in its history, has been in the position since 2017. He was also the team's interim head coach for the final two games of the 2016 season. Jacksonville is 22-28 in three seasons under Marrone.
"The 2019 season was unacceptable and I’ve made my dissatisfaction clear," Khan said. "While many unusual circumstances influenced our season, none can fully explain or defend our second-half collapse with first place in the division within reach on Week 9. At the same time, there were positive developments and contributions that should not be overlooked."
Caldwell has been the team’s general manager since Khan hired him to run the football operations in 2013. Through seven seasons, Jacksonville’s record during Caldwell’s tenure is 36-76.
Things changed for Jacksonville’s power structure in 2017 following the firing of Caldwell's first head coach, Gus Bradley. And while Caldwell retained his general manager title, the front office had a much different set up. Tom Coughlin, Jacksonville’s first-ever head coach, was hired as executive vice president of football operations and became the team’s new top executive.
Jacksonville went 10-6 in 2017 and advanced all the way to the AFC Championship Game, leading to multi-year extensions for Marrone, Coughlin, and Caldwell.
Coughlin was in his position for almost three seasons before being fired by Khan earlier this month. Since then, Caldwell and Marone have each reported to Khan on an interim basis.
"We came out of our AFC Championship Game season of 2017 by making a four-year commitment to the collective leadership of our football operations," Khan said. "Only two seasons have passed and one change from that leadership team has already been made. I want to see what we produce under a new organizational structure in 2020. Goals have been established. Accountability will be paramount."
Some speculation after Coughlin's firing hinted the team could fill Coughlin's role with a different executive, but Khan said today that will not be the case. Caldwell will lead Jacksonville's front office, and Marrone will lead the team on Sundays.
"As part of our new framework, the position of Executive Vice President of Football Operations will not be filled in 2020. Dave and Doug will each continue to report directly to me, as they have since mid-December," Khan said.
"Our work begins immediately. We have a lot of draft capital in our favor to help us achieve our goals for 2020, and beyond."