Jaguars Deny Report Doug Marrone Was Told He'd Be Fired: '100 Percent Incorrect'

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 28, 2019

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone before the start of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

The Jacksonville Jaguars released a statement on Saturday, calling reports that head coach Doug Marrone had been informed he was being fired "100 percent incorrect," according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

"Reports that Doug Marrone will be dismissed after Sunday’s game are 100 percent incorrect. Owner Shad Khan will meet with his football staff, which includes coaching and personnel, midweek next week," said Khan's spokesman, Jim Woodcock.

Dianna Russini of ESPN reported Marrone was informed he would be fired after Sunday's game, but Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reported that Marrone had not been told he had been fired, although he noted the move was still a possibility. 

Marrone, 55, took over the role on an interim basis in 2016 before leading a massive turnaround in his first full season with the team. After the organization went nine years without a playoff berth and six years without more than five wins, Jacksonville thrived in 2017 with a 10-6 record and a trip to the AFC Championship Game.

The team also had the No. 2 defense in the league that year.

Things went south for Jacksonville after that, however, with a 5-11 record in 2018 and a poor showing in 2019. Expectations were high this year after the Jaguars added former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles at quarterback, but he suffered a broken clavicle in Week 1 and wasn't effective when he returned.

Marrone also made negative headlines for a sideline altercation with star cornerback Jalen Ramsey in the team's Week 2 loss to the Houston Texans. Ramsey requested a trade one day later—which was eventually granted—based on frustration with the coaching staff, which had been "steadily building," per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

When executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin was fired before Week 16, it signaled an administrative overhaul was likely, although there were positive reports about the coach's future.

Rapoport reported there was a "good chance" Marrone could return, while ESPN's Adam Schefter noted Khan would "prefer" the coach stay in his role.

However, Marrone's inability to keep his players happy and the team's consistent losing may contribute to the end of his tenure in Jacksonville.

He has plenty of experience both in the NFL and college football, producing a 36-45 record as a professional head coach. If he is fired, he should be in high demand at least in an offensive role, if not as a head coach somewhere next year.

Should the need arise, Jacksonville could also be an intriguing destination for a top coaching candidate despite its lack of recent success. There is still young talent on both sides of the ball, and the squad may not be far from playoff contention with the right person in charge.