Many have already pinpointed Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone as a likely candidate to be replaced this season, but one report suggests this isn't yet a done deal.
ESPN's Adam Schefter said during 'Sunday NFL Countdown' that he has heard some people around the NFL that believe Marrone may be an extended an opportunity to stay with the team after the 2020 season.
"In Jacksonville, Doug Marrone has had the Jaguars playing well the last couple of weeks. They played the Steelers very tough, they played the Minnesota Vikings very tough. There are some people around the league who believe he is actually garnering some support to stay on," Schefter said.
This runs contrary to how some ran with Schefter's report on social media, with Schefter instead seemingly giving a mild at best indication of Marrone's chances to stay.
"Even though Jacksonville changed its general manager, Dave Caldwell, firing him recently, there are some people who believe Marrone could be given a chance to stick on. We will see how this situation unfolds in the coming weeks," Schefter said.
Marrone is in his fourth season as head coach of the Jaguars and has overseen the Jaguars finish in last place in the AFC South every year since 2017. The Jaguars are currently 1-11 and are in the midst of an 11-game losing streak, the longest single-season losing streak in franchise history. Marrone has also overseen losing streaks of seven and five games in recent seasons.
Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell was fired shortly following the team's Week 12 loss to the Cleveland Browns. Marrone and his coaching staff have been safe from firings so far, however, and have been told by owner Shad Khan that they will remain in place through the rest of the 2020 season.
"I’ve learned this a long time ago and I’ve always tried to [live by it]- [it’s about] the things that you can control and what you’re committed to and the commitment I have for the players and the organization, even the fans, I’m committed to doing what I have to do in trying to get this team to win," Marrone said following Caldwell's firing.
"I think that was my only focus. I’m not one of those guys that is going to say, ‘I’m wondering if this is going to happen or if that’s going to happen’ because with where we are right now as a team, I’d be selling everyone short. I’m not going to be that guy and I never have been that guy, so that’s what my focus is on, trying to get a team that’s playing hard that’s coming up short on plays, making the plays at the right time. But I can’t ask for more from the players and the coaches as far as what they’re doing. I have a ton of respect for them. You guys know how I feel about this team and I’m just trying to do the best job I can.”
It seems unlikely that Marrone's fate would be decided upon as of now considering how the Jaguars have operated under Khan. Khan's past decisions instead indicate he will hire a general manager who would then decide on Marrone's fate, much like Dave Caldwell did in 2013.
The Jaguars are 25-40 (including playoffs) under Marrone. He did lead the Jaguars to an AFC South title and a 10-6 record in 2017, helping push the Jaguars to two playoff victories and an appearance in the AFC Championship Game.
"Shad has said multiple times whatever you need from a support standpoint of whatever the team needs or whatever the players need, it’s never been an issue, so I think that’s attractive. I think when you look at the dead money and things of that nature and where we are now, it’s good," Marrone said following Caldwell's firing when asked about the potential appeal of the general manager position.
"I look at it more from the coaching perspective of things that you have to do, but there’s a lot of positives, there’s a lot of positives about it. I think there’s lot of good positioning about it, the foundation. I think there’s a couple things that you have to clear up roster-wise, but we knew that going in. I think you guys can see that and I think it will attract many people. I mean who wouldn’t want to work for someone that’s going to give you all the support that you need."
As of today, Marrone returning in 2020 would be a surprise. His return would almost assuredly depend on the next general manager and nothing else, so it doesn't really matter what others throughout the league are thinking. They are not Khan, who is one of two people (along with the future general manager) whose opinion actually holds weight when it comes to the future of Marrone.