For the second straight year, Jaguars coach Doug Marrone will look to overhaul his offense in the offseason starting with the play-caller. And, it could ultimately be the end of QB Nick Foles in Jacksonville.
First, the team announced on Monday morning that Marrone and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo had “mutually agreed to part ways” after only one season:
The Jacksonville Jaguars and Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo have mutually agreed to part ways.
Head Coach Doug Marrone will begin the offensive coordinator search immediately.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) January 13, 2020
DeFilippo came almost as a “package deal” in January of 2019 for the attempt to lure Foles, a free agent to come from Philadelphia to Jacksonville. DeFilippo had been Foles’ quarterback coach with the Eagles ,when they won the Super Bowl in the 2017 season. He also had been the Vikings play caller in 2018, but coach Mike Zimmer abruptly fired him 2/3 of way through his first season in Minnesota.
Foles was subsequently signed to the most lucrative guaranteed contract ($50 million) the Jaguars have ever given to a quarterback in March of last year. However, he was injured with a broken collar bone in the first game. So, rookie 6th round pick, Gardner Minshew, took over (above with DeFilippo) and performed well in his absence, winning four games to keep the Jaguars in the playoff hunt.
However, once whole Foles’ collarbone was fully healed, he came back into the starting lineup and performed poorly in three consecutive losses in November, which sunk the Jags season for good and sent him back to the bench for Minshew.
Jacksonville finished 26th in the NFL in points at 18.8 per game.
That also ultimately put Marrone, his coaching staff and all of the Jaguar football front office people in jeopardy with owner Shad Khan.
Khan elected ultimately to fire VP of Football Tom Coughlin, but keep Marrone and GM Dave Caldwell. And now this Monday move being announced indicates that not only is the play caller is gone but the quarterback they thought could lead them may now be expendable.
We write “maybe,” because Foles still owed $15.8 million guaranteed from Jacksonville this season and would have a cap hit of a staggering $33.8 million, if the Jaguars were to cut him loose.
So, seems more likely that they would be inclined to keep Foles and let some form of competition ensue this fall, where at the minimum, Foles would be a capable backup in reserve and it is something he has done throughout his career.
Back to Marrone. He fired former offensive coordinator Nate Hackett in November of 2018 as Jacksonville’s offense with QB Blake Bortles had become so bad that it was time to move on from him.
And that means, will be the third different play caller in three seasons for his offensive players, as the Jaguars try to find their way back to playoff form from the 2017 season.
A guy that might have been the option to call plays this year, and who was the interim play-caller at the end of 2018 when Hackett was dismissed, was former quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich.
However it was announced in December that Milankovitch is taking over as head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL this season. Milanovich was previously head coach of the Toronto Argonauts for five seasons 2012 – 16, where he won the Grey Cup and was named CFL coach of the year his first season.