Doug Marrone Fired as Jaguars Head Coach After 1-15 Season

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2021

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone answers questions after an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. The Titans won 42-20. (AP Photo/James Kenney)
James Kenney/Associated Press

The Jacksonville Jaguars announced Monday that they officially parted ways with head coach Doug Marrone after four-plus seasons.

Jacksonville posted three consecutive losing campaigns after winning the AFC South in 2017. The team lost 15 straight games following a 27-20 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1 this season. 

There had been speculation that Marrone's tenure in Jacksonville would come to an end following the 2019 season. ESPN's Dianna Russini reported prior to the regular-season finale against the Colts that Marrone had been informed he wouldn't be retained.

Jaguars co-owner Tony Khan denied that report on Twitter:

Jacksonville confirmed that Marrone would be back in 2020, but that decision didn't go as well as hoped, as the Jags posted their worst record in franchise history.

Marrone took over the Jaguars on an interim basis late in the 2016 season when Gus Bradley was fired. The 56-year-old went 1-1 to finish the campaign and earned the permanent job in January 2017. 

Jacksonville immediately took off under Marrone's leadership. He went 10-6 in his first season to win the division and led the Jaguars to the playoffs for the first time since 2007. The team reached the conference title game for the first time since 1999 before losing to the New England Patriots

A strong defensive foundation seemed like it would keep the Jaguars in playoff contention for the foreseeable future, but things unraveled quickly because of regression on that side of the ball and instability at quarterback. 

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Amid the Jags' struggles on the field, the 2019 season was also noteworthy for Jacksonville because star cornerback Jalen Ramsey, a first-round pick in 2016, grew frustrated with the organization and requested a trade early in the campaign. He was dealt to the Los Angeles Rams in October for two first-round draft picks and a fourth-rounder in 2021. 

Nick Foles received a four-year, $88 million contract in March 2019 to upgrade the Jaguars' quarterback situation. He broke his collarbone in Week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs, missed eight games and ultimately got benched in favor of rookie Gardner Minshew II amid ongoing struggles. 

Minshew was given the starting job to open the 2020 season after Jacksonville traded Foles to the Chicago Bears. Minshew's struggles and injuries led to Mike Glennon and rookie sixth-round draft pick Jake Luton starting multiple games. 

The Jaguars finished last in the AFC South in each of the past three seasons with a combined 12-36 record. 

Marrone finished 23-43 during his tenure in Jacksonville. His extensive resume as an offensive coach in the NFL and college should allow him to find a new job quickly, though it may have to come as an assistant before he gets a chance at a head coaching gig. 

The Jaguars need to figure out a direction for their franchise, starting with their next head coach and whomever they decide to pick with the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL draft.