It has been widely speculated that Jaguars owner Shad Khan has been so dissatisfied with his team’s performance on and off the field, that he would make sweeping changes at the conclusion of the season. He isn’t waiting that long.
The Jaguars put the statement on social media:
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) December 19, 2019
“I determined earlier this fall that making this move at the conclusion of the 2019 season would be in everyone’s best interests but, in recent days, I reconsidered and decided to make this change immediately,” Khan said. “I thank Tom for his efforts, not only over the past three years but for all he did from our very first season, 25 years ago, to put the Jacksonville Jaguars on the map.
General Manager Dave Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone will each report directly to me on an interim basis. My expectations, and those of our fans, for our final two games and the 2020 season are high.
Coughlin had been heralded as a savior being brought back by Khan nearly three years ago to help with coaching and player personnel decisions. Couglin was the original coach/GM of the franchise in the mid-1990’s, who led them to great on field success for a decade.
Meanwhile, the Wednesday statement is only a lukewarm vote of confidence to Caldwell and Marrone, and with essentially 11 days left in the season until the Jaguars finale they may not be around much longer, either.
The move comes on the heels of the Jaguars falling apart this season, even after they had gotten their record level at 4 – 4. Sunday’s win in Oakland snapped a five game losing streak to put the record at 5-9 headed to Atlanta Sunday.
It all began in week one, when prized free agent quarterback Nick Foles suffered a broken left collarbone in the first quarter against Kansas City. However sixth round rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew actually performed well in Foles’ absence and helped Jacksonville win some games to make it at least look like the team would have a shot at the playoffs, when Foles returned.
However, after being blown out by Houston in their London game, they came off the bye week and Foles came back, but was largely ineffective at the team was blown out in back-to-back games by Indianapolis and Tennessee.
When the Jaguars returned home on December 1st to play The Bucs, Foles was awful, turning the ball over three times in the first half as Tampa Bay built a 22-0 lead. Marrone then benched him in favor of Minshew, who actually rallied the team for 11 points and had them driving for more when he threw a critical interception on the goal line to kill the comeback.
Marrone announced the next day that he was benching Foles, who is still owed over $30 million in guaranteed money for the next two years.
Things got no better in Minshew’s first start back, as they were blown out by the L.A. Chargers at home 45-10.
It was obvious after that loss that Khan would be making changes.
The Jaguars went on to a come-from-behind win last week in Oakland with Minshew leading to touchdown drives in the final five minutes, including throwing the game-winning touchdown pass to Chris Conley in the final 30 seconds of the 20 – 16 win.
But, then came the latest off-field controversy, when on Monday it was announced by the NFLPA that an arbitrator ruled that the Jaguars had abused their power of fining former player Dante Fowler in the off season of 2018. The arbiter agreed with the association and Fowler that he wasn’t required to report to their team doctor and training staff in the offseason for an injury rehab.
Jacksonville had with held $700,000 in payments to Fowler.
Fowler took to social media Monday night to gloat and report that he got the money back. He was traded to the L.A. Rams last October and has gone on to have a successful season with them this year.
Another off field controversy involved the handling of star defensive back Jalen Ramsey, a perennial Pro Bowler and arguably Jacksonville’s best player. Ramsey became upset privately with Coughlin this past March, when Coughlin criticized he and teammate Telvin Smith not attending Organized Team Activities in the off-season
That led the NFLPA to publicly rebuked Couglin, with the association saying that those practices are voluntary and that a player cannot be threatened or penalized for not attending.
Then, after the Jaguars narrow loss in week 2 to Houston, Coughlin had a private meeting with Ramsey and apparently did not go well. So much so, that Ramsay left the meeting demanding through his agent to be traded.
An ordeal played out over the next few weeks, including Ramsey purposely trying not to play for the team claiming a back injury and also wanting to be away from the team for the birth of his second child, etc.
Coughlin and Caldwell traded Ramsey also to the L.A. Rams for two number one picks, just before the deadline in October.
Ramsey reacted with expected social media, emoji, “glee” later Wednesday night:
— Jalen Ramsey (@jalenramsey) December 19, 2019
As for Khan, he obviously got fed up with not only the problems away from the field but the losing on it as Jacksonville has never been able to recapture the magic of the 2017 season. That’s where they made the playoffs and battled the Patriots to the final minutes in the AFC Championship Game to go to the Super Bowl.
Last year they were 5-11 and the best they can be is 7-9 for 2019.
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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