By MARK LONG, AP Professional Soccer Author
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jacksonville Jaguars proprietor Shad Khan thought of firing basic supervisor Dave Caldwell final yr. He finally gave him an opportunity to point out what he may do with out personnel chief Tom Coughlin wreaking havoc on the wage cap and the locker room.
Caldwell got here up nicely in need of the proprietor’s successful expectations, making Khan’s determination a straightforward and considerably anticipated one.
Khan fired Caldwell on Sunday after the crew’s 10th consecutive loss, its single-season document. The transfer sends a transparent message that the small-market franchise is headed in a brand new path.
“Dave was exceptionally dedicated and decided to carry a winner to Jacksonville, however sadly his efforts weren’t rewarded with the outcomes our followers deserve and our group expects,” Khan stated after a 27-25 loss to Cleveland. “Our soccer operation wants new management, and we can have it with a brand new basic supervisor in 2021.”
Khan will preserve coach Doug Marrone and his workers to complete out the season and sure let the subsequent basic supervisor determine their destiny. It might be beautiful to see Marrone return in 2021. Former San Francisco govt Trent Baalke will function interim GM.
Caldwell is the fourth basic supervisor fired throughout this pandemic-impacted season. Houston fired Invoice O’Brien, who additionally was its coach. Atlanta fired coach Dan Quinn and GM Thomas Dimitroff. On Saturday, Detroit launched coach Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn.
The Jaguars are 39-87 since Khan gave Caldwell his first GM job in 2013, falling just a few performs shy of the franchise’s first Tremendous Bowl in 2018 and miring largely in mediocrity since. The Jaguars (1-10) have dropped 16 of their final 19 video games, together with 11 by double digits.
Caldwell drafted and signed loads of expertise alongside the way in which, however he whiffed repeatedly whereas making an attempt to fill a gaping gap at quarterback. He selected Blake Bortles with the third total decide in 2014, and almost 4 years later — after everybody within the league knew the QB’s flaws — he gave Bortles a three-year, $54 million extension that included $26.5 million assured.
When Bortles didn’t pan out, Caldwell signed Tremendous Bowl 52 MVP Nick Foles to a four-year, $88 million deal that included $50.125 million assured. The oft-injured Foles broke his collarbone within the 2019 season opener, returned two months later and received benched for good three video games into his return.
Caldwell and Marrone gambled on second-year professional Gardner Minshew this yr, solely to see the sixth-round decide uncovered because the crew began 1-6. One other rookie, fellow sixth-rounder Jake Luton, wasn’t any higher.
The Jaguars will attempt once more with what seemingly can be one other top-five decide in 2021, with most anticipating them to draft Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence or Ohio State’s Justin Fields ought to they enter the draft.
Khan couldn’t let Caldwell make that all-important choice, even when it seems to be a no brainer.
Nonetheless, Caldwell constructed the core of the roster that received a division title in 2017 and almost upset New England within the AFC championship sport. He drafted top-of-the-line receivers (Allen Robinson, 2014), the very best cornerback (Jalen Ramsey, 2016) and top-of-the-line move rushers (Yannick Ngakoue, 2016) in franchise historical past. However he additionally didn’t re-sign any of the three.
First-round picks have been as a lot part of his undoing as quarterbacks.
Left deal with Luke Joeckel (2013) is out of the league. Bortles (2014) additionally was out till Denver signed him to its observe squad this season. Defensive finish Dante Fowler (2015), Ramsey (2016) and operating again Leonard Fournette (2017) had been thought of complications and traded. Defensive deal with Taven Byran (2018) is a first-round bust, and cornerback CJ Henderson and defensive finish Okay’Lavon Chaisson appear to be 2019 reaches at Nos. 9 and 20, respectively.
In Caldwell’s protection, he didn’t have whole management for a few of these calls. Coughlin had last say over all soccer choices for 3 years (2017-19).
Caldwell spent a part of this offseason making an attempt to wash up Coughlin’s mess. Khan basically blamed the crew’s struggles in 2018 and ’19 on its inaugural coach who didn’t make a clean transition to the entrance workplace.
Caldwell and Marrone had been tasked with fixing the 2 most vital components Coughlin ruined in his second stint in Jacksonville: the wage cap and the locker room.
They parted with a number of key starters, together with five-time Professional Bowl defensive lineman Calais Campbell, cornerback A.J. Bouye, security Ronnie Harrison, Fournette, Foles and Ngakoue. They went extraordinarily younger on protection — getting caught with a digital offseason was a setback — and a few of these guys appeared overwhelmed when thrust onto the sector early.
Regardless, Jacksonville has constructing blocks for the subsequent regime. Defensive finish Josh Allen, defensive tackles Doug Costin and DaVon Hamilton, linebacker Myles Jack, cornerback Sidney Jones, security Daniel Thomas, proper deal with Jawaan Taylor, operating again James Robinson, and receivers DJ Chark and Laviska Shenault are all good, younger gamers with their finest soccer forward.
They only can have a brand new GM and possibly a brand new quarterback and training workers in 2021 and past.
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