The decision of Jaguars owner Shad Khan to fire V.P. of football operations Tom Coughlin on Wednesday evening did not include a decision to fire coach Doug Marrone and G.M. Dave Caldwell. So are they safe?
Some would say the statement issued by Khan on Tuesday implies that their fate hinges on the remainder of the season. “My expectations and those of our fans, for our final two games and the 2020 season, are high,” Khan said.
Common sense arguably suggests otherwise. Surely, Khan won’t be hinging the future of his franchise on a final exam of sorts consisting of two games played by a team that has nothing for which to play. The fact that he made a decision to move on from Coughlin earlier this year potentially implies that he made a decision to keep Marrone and Caldwell.
If so, it’s the right decision. As explained earlier this month, Caldwell and Marrone discovered and groomed, respectively, rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew, who could become the team’s franchise quarterback with a full offseason to grow into the job as the unquestioned No. 1. There’s value in keeping in place the people who are responsible for Minshew’s presence on the roster, because a new G.M. and/or a new coach likely would want their own guy, and that guy may not be Minshew.
Regardless, it wouldn’t make sense to give Marrone and Caldwell two meaningless games to keep their jobs. Their body of work either justifies continued employment or warrants termination. The fact that they stayed on the same day Coughlin went seems to mean that, at least for now, Khan plans to keep Marrone and Caldwell into 2020.