JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – When the Jaguars fired Gus Bradley and named Doug Marrone interim coach, it’s safe to say that he wasn’t a favorite to land the full-time job. During Thursday’s press conference, Jaguars owner Shad Khan revealed that they interviewed a lot more candidates than were revealed publicly. But at the end of the day choosing Doug Marrone was a no brainer.
“We interviewed numerous highly-quality candidates,” said Khan. “Candidates who one day will return to the NFL as head coaches or get their first opportunity as a head coach. They were all fantastic and we interviewed Doug who went through the same process as everyone else. In the end with, respect of all the other candidates, it wasn’t close. Our choice was Doug Marrone. We love the fact that Doug had head coaching experience both at the college level and the NFL. I am particularly impressed that Doug was able to rapidly turn around Syracuse University and then the Buffalo Bills, and what we saw obviously from the Jaguars and as Doug’s brief time as our interim head coach, he certainly earned the respect of everyone here, including our players.”
Khan also said that he feels the Jaguars were more talented than their 3-13 record showed. Marrone is responsible for one of those wins after going 1-1 as interim coach and Khan said that small sample size played a big factor in their decision.
It’s fair to ask how different could Marrone be since he’s a product of Bradley’s coaching staff. It’s no secret that Bradley was a player’s coach, but Marrone’s personality is more confrontational.
“He’ll hold everybody accountable and find a way to get under everybody’s skin,” said Jaguars offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum, who had Marrone as his position coach this past season. “In the offensive line room he found ways to pick at you and get the best out of you. At the end of the day all he wants to do is make sure that you’re the best player you can be on Sundays.”
The next step for Marrone is completing his coaching staff. So far we know that last season’s defensive and offensive coordinators, Todd Wash and Nathaniel Hackett will return. But Marrone said that their titles have yet to be determined and he also had a message for the entire team.
“Well today, and I hope our players are watching this and understand that they need to be working right now,” said Marrone. “Again, it is going to be a culture where you earn the right to work every day and win that day. You have to understand and take that on a day-to-day basis as you work through all the different phases that you do, but I have a high expectation, a high standard for our players and our coaches and what they should be doing. Technically, you are not allowed to talk to the players during this time, so that was a subliminal message to them. And we may laugh about that, but that’s the truth. We need to be getting to work, we have a lot of work ahead of us, and I am looking forward to leading this team when they get back.”