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.
Jaguars exercise 2020 option for WR Conley
Before free agency hits in March, the Jaguars have already begun to put some pieces together for their 2020 roster. And, that includes a big play wide receiver that they intend to keep around for this season.
The team announced on Friday afternoon that they have picked up a contract option on fifth year receiver Chris Conley, who comes off a career year in Jacksonville:
We have exercised the team options for WR Chris Conley (through 2020) and S Jarrod Wilson (through 2021).
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) February 21, 2020
Conley signed a two-year deal with the first year being guaranteed and the second year being a team option. He definitely lived up to the free-agent billing having a career-high season in receptions (47) yards (775) and touchdowns (5) despite Jacksonville struggles.
Conley did develop a chemistry with rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew, as he took over for the injured Nick Foles early in the year and won four games to get the team to 4-4. Conley also averaged a career-high 16.5 yards per catch in 2019.
He previously played four seasons in Kansas City before coming to the Jaguars via free agency. In picking up the option Jacksonville will pay Conley $2.3 million for this season including a $445,000 roster bonus. That is very cost-effective for the team in terms of the salary cap can other players they are looking to fit in.
The team must decide whether they will put huge money in front of their top pass-rusher the last three years, Yannick Ngakoue. Ngakoue has 29.5 sacks from 2017-29 with is the most productive three season stretch for any Jacksonville pass rusher in that amount of time. Jaguars coach Doug Marrone and GM Dave Caldwell have to figure out if they can get Ngakoue to agree to a long term deal or will they perhaps use the 2020 “franchise tag” for him, which would pay him around $18-19 million for the upcoming year.
And, the team also can negotiate a new deal with star running back Leonard Fournette, who is about to enter the final season of his rookie contract and is also going to be seeking a huge extension.
Report- Jaguars to hire former Giants coach McAdoo as QB coach
The Jaguars are trying to fix things offensively and especially, at the quarterback position. And, to that end, they have apparently settled on another hire, involving another former NFL head coach to lead their QB room.
ESPN Giants reporter Jordan Raanan reported Tuesday night the Jacksonville is hiring former New York Giants head coach, Ben McAdoo, to be their quarterback coach:
Ben McAdoo is being hired as the Jaguars quarterbacks coach, per source. The former Giants coach is back in after two years out of the NFL. McAdoo has worked well with Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning in his previous stints.
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) February 12, 2020
McAdoo had been under consideration by head coach, Doug Marrone, for the offensive coordinator vacancy that occurred when the team dismissed John DeFilippo after just one season.
Eventually, Marrone decided upon another former NFC East coach, Jay Gruden, from the Redskins, as the offensive coordinator hire. Gruden, the younger brother of Jon Gruden, is known as an innovator in the passing game.
However, the Jags, including GM Dave Caldwell, were obviously impressed with Macado’s previous work with the Giants and Eli Manning. McAdoo began as an offensive coordinator in New York in 2014 – 15. He was then given the head coaching job, basically at the uriging of the two-time Super Bowl champion QB Manning to take over in 2016.
The Giants finished 11 – 5 McAdoo’s first year as the head coach and made the playoffs. However, the relationship with Eli Manning quickly soured and the team fell apart going 2 – 10 in its first 12 games with McAdoo actually benching Manning late in the 2017 season. McAdoo was fired the week after that benching and has been out of the NFL the last two seasons.
McAdoo will replace QB coach Scott Milanovich, who took over as head coach of the CFL Edmonton Eskimos for later this summer.
The Jaguars still have to resolve their quarterback situation, as they have high price free agent signing Nick Foles, who did not perform well in his first season in Jacksonville. And then, they have fan favorite rookie 6th round pick Gardner Minshew, who did play well at times in relief of the injured Foles and when Marrone benched Foles for the final four games of the year.
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