Coach Doug Marrone and general manager Dave Caldwell will return to the Jacksonville Jaguars next season despite the team’s 6-10 record and last place finish in the AFC South in 2019.
Jaguars owner Shad Khan announced the move Tuesday. Khan met with Marrone, Caldwell, Jaguars players and other team staff members over the last several days before making his decision to keep the staff intact for 2020. He said the Jaguars’ season-ending victory against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday had “nothing to do” with his decision.
“The 2019 season was unacceptable and I’ve made my dissatisfaction clear,” Khan said in a statement. “While many unusual circumstances influenced our season, none can fully explain or defend our second-half collapse with first place in the division within reach on Week 9. At the same time, there were positive developments and contributions that should not be overlooked.”
The 2019 Jaguars were 4-4 entering their Week 9 game against the Houston Texans. They went on to lose five consecutive games before winning two of their final three contests.
Marrone has a 22-28 record in more than three seasons as Jaguars coach. He took over in an interim role in Week 14 of the 2016 season, after the Jaguars fired Gus Bradley. The 2017 Jaguars went 10-6 and made it to the AFC Championship game in Marrone’s first full season as head coach.
Jacksonville also finished in last place in the AFC South in 2018, posting a 5-11 record. The Jaguars ranked second in points allowed and fifth in points scored during the 2017 season. They ranked 31st in points scored and fourth in points allowed in 2018. Jacksonville slipped to 21st in points allowed and ranked 26th in points scored in 2019.
The Jaguars gave two-year contract extensions to Marrone, Caldwell and executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin in 2018, locking up the trio through the 2021 season. Jacksonville fired Coughlin Dec. 18. Khan said the team will not fill Coughlin’s role in 2020.
“We came out of our AFC Championship game season of 2017 by making a four-year commitment to the collective leadership of our football operations,” Khan said. “Only two seasons have passed and one change from that leadership team has already been made.
“I want to see what we produce under a new organizational structure in 2020. Goals have been established. Accountability will be paramount.”
The Jaguars have the No. 9 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.