What is next for Jacksonville Jaguars’ head coach Doug Marrone. His first full season as head coach yielded 10 wins, an AFC South Division title and a spot in the AFC Championship Game. The roster Marrone has to work with will look different this season, but that does not mean the expectations for the 2018 NFL year will diminish. They may, as he explained, might be bigger and tougher.
“I embrace that,” he said. “I’d much rather be on team that has expectations than on a team with like, ‘Look, these guys, they’re awful. Here they go.’”
Doug Marrone did the unthinkable at the start of training camp last season. He took this team, a 3-13 organization to the playoffs. There were plenty of detractors to begin with. But as he and this organization stood together, there was a thought inside the confines of EverBank Field, things could turn around.
They did – for the team, the ownership and Doug Marrone. Now, anything less than a Super Bowl appearance could be viewed as a letdown. The coaching staff and veteran leaders will once again set the tone for the upcoming season, with new free agent signees and draft picks who haven’t heard their names called yet.
With 12 of the top 14 players from the NFL’s second-ranked defense returning, the addition of All-Pro guard Andrew Norwell to boost the league’s top-ranked run game, and a potentially deep and talented young group of receivers, the outside expectations for the Jaguars in 2018, ESPN.com’s Michael DiRocco writes that like my prediction, it might be Super Bowl or bust.
And for team owner Shad Khan, this is exactly where he wanted to be since he purchased the team in 2011. Now, his dream has come to fruition and the expectations of the owner are even greater.
“I’ve had high expectations for six years,” Khan said. “So expectations are the easy part. Delivering, that’s the hard part. I think what’s fun going forward is [there are high] expectations, but then a high degree of confidence that we’re going to deliver.”
Marrone is an even-tempered coach who stresses a strong commitment to detail, much like executive vice-president Tom Coughlin did when he was in the same position as the current head coach. With expectations high for everyone involved in this franchise, it will be up to everyone within the organization to reach those goals and once again, exceed them.
Adding to the challenges the 2018 may present to the Jacksonville Jaguars are the improvements made by the other teams in the AFC South. As long as Marrone and his staff have a game plan they can execute like last season, there is a good chance the Jaguars are still the team to beat this year.
“I have to do a good job of getting our football team and our coaches [and] everyone back to that, and I think the players are aware of the work we have to put in and I just have to make sure that we do that. Then let’s go ahead and build [the] 2018 football team, because we are starting over.”