Nine years and counting. That’s how long it’s been since the Jaguars posted a winning season or made the playoffs.
New head coach Doug Marrone has only been a part of that losing culture for a couple years but already he’s sick of it, he says.
“Living here for two years, I want to make sure that on Monday after we play that we’re proud to wear the colors of this team, to wear the Jacksonville Jaguars emblem,’’ Marrone told a gathering of season ticket holders during a Jaguars town hall event on Tuesday. “You get tired of people the way they talk about our team right now, and I’m going to do everything I can and we will change that.’’
Jags fans have heard that one before, and really what would you expect to hear from a coach speaking to his fan base?
The truth will be known soon enough but Marrone seems to have a believer in general manager David Caldwell.
“Talking with Coach Marrone and what we’ve done in the offseason over the last two years and in last year’s draft, I think this team is poised to kind of have a breakout year,” Caldwell said during the same event. “What that looks like on paper at the end of the year we’ll see, but I feel a lot more confident this year than I have in the past.”
Again, this is exactly the kind of rhetoric you would expect to hear from a GM at a gathering of the team’s faithful.
Also, owner Shad Khan had faith in Marrone (and Caldwell, too), because he chose to retain both his “interim” coach and GM at the end of this past season.
It is a good sign that at least internally the Jags are feeling good about what’s ahead. The trick of course is making good on all those promises.
No easy task there, especially when you consider quarterback Blake Bortles regressed miserably last year. The defense should be better, though, and executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin isn’t goofing around.
Coughlin was part of the town hall event, too. As you might expect he didn’t have much to say. When he did speak, however, he was quick and to the point and he drew one of the biggest rounds of applause with one of his statements.
“I don’t want to hear about it, I want to see it on the field,’’ Coughlin said.
The statement was in answer to a question about young players and their talent level but coming in the wake of the comments you see above from his coach and GM, he could have been talking directly to Marrone and Caldwell, too.