When the Jacksonville Jaguars fired Gus Bradley with two games remaining in the 2016 season, it was a bit of a shock. The team could have made the move weeks before. But if timing is everything, the two games remaining were enough of a showcase for new head coach Doug Marrone.
That’s all the team needed to see Marrone, the offensive line coach on staff, was the right man for the jobs.
“I am just being honest,” Marrone said when he was asked about sounding disappointing with where the team is at after a full week. “We are a team that won three football games. I would be lying to you guys if I came up here and said everything is great. Listen, this is where we are. Listen, we only won three football games. We have a lot to prove.”
Proving is one thing. Making this community believe in the product is another. Nobody thinks “winner” when you talk about the Jacksonville Jaguars in NFL circles. That may change this season.
There were other names that walked in and out of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ front offices – they all made their pitch. Marrone was the man who stood out, and the one who stood at the podium Friday and told the media there is still plenty of work to do. This is, after all, a 3-13 Jacksonville Jaguars team. A team that hasn’t sniffed the playoffs in a decade. A team that is being viewed in the same vain as the Cleveland Browns.
Only problem is the Jacksonville Jaguars aren’t lovable losers.
In his own way, which has been a short amount of time, Marrone – with the aid of executive vice-president Tom Coughlin – has changed the culture here in town.
Fans are all in with the new look Jacksonville Jaguars.
“We have a lot of work to put in on the field. We have to do those things and put that work in. I am not the type of person that is going to sit up here and sell some ‘BS’. I am not going to do that,” Marrone explained. “Are there certain things that are going on out there that are good? Absolutely, there are. I am talking about overall, as a whole, we have a long way to go and we have to continue to keep our nose to the ground and keep working. Really, just all the way up until, we will be coaching and doing everything we possibly can right up until that first kickoff when everything does count.”
If Gus Bradley was everyone’s friend, then Marrone is the Dean of Students at the local high school. He screams discipline when he talks – just like Coughlin did with an upstart NFL franchise. And his pedigree of winning in the NFL, with Buffalo – tells you there will be changes from top to bottom in this organization. Those changes are for the better.
Jacksonville Jaguars’ OTAs have begun. There are still plenty of questions to answer about this team. This is still plenty of work to be done. Marrone is running the ship. Players and coaches seem to be onboard with his philosophy. All this proves is he was the right hire for this team. At least that change has been felt immediately.