JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Jaguars will dismiss head coach Doug Marrone after Sunday’s regular-season finale, sources told ESPN’s Dianna Russini on Saturday.
“Reports that Doug Marrone will be dismissed after Sunday’s game are 100 percent incorrect,” a spokesman for Jaguars owner Shad Khan said in a statement. “Owner Shad Khan will meet with his football staff, which includes coaching and personnel, midweek next week.”
A coaching change would come on the heels of Khan ousting Tom Coughlin, the team’s executive vice president of football operations, on Dec. 18.
Marrone has a 21-28 record in his two-plus seasons with the Jaguars, which includes a 10-21 mark since winning the AFC South with a 10-6 record in 2017 and an appearance in the AFC title game. The Jaguars are 5-10 heading into Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.
This has been an eventful season for Marrone and the Jaguars. The team signed quarterback Nick Foles to a four-year, $88 million contract with a franchise-record $50.125 million guaranteed in March and had defensive end Josh Allen fall to them at No. 7 in the draft.
However, linebacker Telvin Smith, the team’s leading tackler last season and a player who had compiled more solo tackles (441) than anyone else in the league the past five seasons, announced in May that he was taking the 2019 season off for personal reasons.
Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue held out the first 11 days of training camp before reporting without a new contract. Foles lasted just 11 snaps before suffering a broken collarbone while throwing a touchdown pass to DJ Chark in the season opener.
Foles returned as the starter in Week 11 against Indianapolis, but the supposed franchise quarterback was benched by Marrone just 10 quarters after his return from a broken collarbone.
Rookie sixth-round quarterback Gardner Minshew turned into a pleasant surprise and was able to go 4-4 as the starter until Foles’ return in November. He then again took over after Foles was benched and has gone 1-2 as the starter heading into Sunday’s game.
Cornerback Jalen Ramsey got into a sideline spat with Marrone in a Week 2 loss at Houston, was privately chastised by management after the game, and demanded a trade. Ramsey played the following week against Tennessee but missed the team’s next three games because of a back injury before GM Dave Caldwell traded him to the Los Angeles Rams for a first-round pick in 2020 and first- and fourth-round picks in 2021.
Marrone went 10-6 during his first season with the Jaguars in 2017, winning the franchise’s first division title since 1999 as the Jaguars made their first playoff appearance since 2007. They beat Buffalo at home in an AFC wild-card game before upsetting Pittsburgh on the road in a divisional game to reach the AFC Championship Game in New England.
The had a 10-point lead against the Patriots with 10 minutes remaining, but quarterback Tom Brady led a pair of touchdown drives — converting a third-and-18 on one drive — and the Patriots won 24-20 to reach the Super Bowl.
Khan gave Marrone, Coughlin and Caldwell two-year contract extensions through 2021 after the 2017 season.
The Jaguars were the most disappointing team in the NFL in 2018. They finished 5-11, which included a seven-game losing streak and an embarrassing loss at Tennessee on national television in early December. The season fell apart because of a slew of injuries, poor play by quarterback Blake Bortles and a defense that didn’t play at the elite level that it did in 2017.
Marrone was named the Jaguars’ interim head coach on Dec. 18, 2016 after Khan fired Gus Bradley, who compiled a 14-48 record in nearly four seasons. Marrone, who had been the Jaguars’ assistant head coach/offensive line coach since 2015, became the head coach less than a month later and hired Coughlin at the same time.
Marrone served as the Buffalo Bills’ coach in 2013 and 2014, going 15-17 — including Buffalo’s first winning season in 10 years in 2014 (9-7) — before opting out of his contract after an ownership change. He was hired as the Jaguars’ offensive line coach and an assistant coach for offense before the 2015 season.
Marrone, 55, coached Syracuse to a 25-25 record from 2009 to 2012, which included a share of the Big East title in 2012. The Orange won two bowl games under Marrone, and their victory in the Pinstripe Bowl over Kansas State after the 2010 season was the program’s first bowl victory since 2001. That also was the first time Syracuse had posted a winning season since 2001.