Doug Marrone addresses Leonard Fournette’s public clamoring for Cam Newton

Getty Images

Gardner Minshew II currently is the starting quarterback in Jacksonville. But Cam Newton is available, and Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette has publicly clamored for the team to sign Newton.

Jaguars coach Doug Marrone addressed Fournette’s infatuation with Newton during Friday’s Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN.

“You know, with players, you’re always going to have friends [who say] like, ‘Hey, this guy should come, or that guy should come,’ and you try to talk to the players about talking about the team and doing what is best and keeping a single message, but then a lot of times you’re going to have to be able to communicate in that locker room, I mean that is the big thing with me,” Marrone told Mike Tirico. “I mean, we all talk about men are all men and everything, when you are in that locker room, you’ve got to say, ‘Hey listen, I said this because I really think this is best for the team,’ and if you can’t say this is what’s best for the team, then you’re going to have issues. . . . It’s not like a coach can get in between two players and fix something. You know, these things have to be fixed among each other at times and the coach can go in there and try to guide it through.”

So it sounds like Fournette’s stated preference for Newton doesn’t mean that the Jaguars will be signing Newton, but it apparently does mean that Fournette and Minshew may have to work things out between them, at some point before the 2020 season begins. Possibly with Marrone serving as a mediator, of arts.

Regardless of whether the Jaguars add Newton or anyone else at the quarterback position, Marrone will put the best man on the field, for pragmatic reasons that reflect the inherent meritocracy of the sport.

“I think we as coaches, when we put someone out there, people always ask, ‘Hey do you have confidence?'” Marrone told Tirico. “Well, we have to. I mean, it’s our responsibility that the players we put on the field, we have to have confidence with them. Not only for you as the head coach, but more importantly for his teammates and the people around him. So the one thing that I have always agreed with, and maybe it is the player in me, the past player, that players know who deserves to be on that field. The players know who should be starting, so it is not one of these things where I like this guy so he is going to play or I like this guy, you know you have to go out there and earn the right to play. Not just from the coaches, but also from your teammates.”

So if the organization would decide to add Newton, plenty of players (like Fournette) would believe from the get-go that the 2015 NFL MVP deserves to be on the field. This doesn’t mean that the Jaguars would or could (given the salary cap) pursue Newton. But if they end up, via free agency or the draft, with someone who eventually persuades the locker room that he’s the best option, then that’s guy who will be more likely to play.

None of this means Minshew isn’t the right guy. Marrone gushed to Tirico about Minshew’s ability “to make plays with his feet” and “to get out of trouble and make some plays.”

“[I]t was exciting because in the beginning, this is well-documented, we weren’t sure if we needed to go out and get a backup quarterback early in the season because of the preseason or we were going to stick with Gardner?” Marrone said. “When Nick [Foles], he unfortunately got hurt early on and [Minshew] came in and played well towards the game plan we were thinking to ourselves, ‘Hey listen, this kid is a lot better than we thought coming into the season,’ and then the second game he started of struggling a little bit against Houston and then really in the last three drives lead us on potential scoring drives late in the game. [Against] Denver he came back in the two-minute situation. It seemed like whenever the pressure was at its highest he performed at his best.”

Those attributes presumably will make the team less likely to bring in someone who would potentially cause the locker room to believe that he should be playing instead of Minshew. Still, Marrone realizes that Fournette’s position regarding Newton can’t be ignored; otherwise, any potential problems between Fournette and Minshew may fester.

28 responses to “Doug Marrone addresses Leonard Fournette’s public clamoring for Cam Newton

  1. rodgerstonelson says:

    Marrone needs to go. He has a top 5 Rb and no clue how to use him.

    Sorry but a career average 4.0 YPC is not top 5 RB.

  2. Throwing your QB under a bus before the season begins is not the road to the SB. Whatever you think of Cam this is not the way to handle it.

  3. Minshew was better than Kyler Murray last year. Murray came into the NFL and played in the same system he did in college. Minshew came in and learned a pro style offense – was written off as a 6th round flier – not handed anything.

  4. Fournette needs to keep his mouth shut.
    What a great way to destroy the genuine camaraderie of your locker room,….
    throw your current QB under the wheels of the bus.
    I’d get rid of him. He hasn’t come close to what was expected. Get something for him on draft day,… and get your locker room right.

  5. jasons81 says: Sorry but a career average 4.0 YPC is not top 5 RB.
    You’re splitting hairs – Fournette was 2019’s 6th leading rusher (7th if you inc. QB Lamar).

  6. therealraider says:
    April 18, 2020 at 2:08 pm
    Cam Newton and Jameis Winston’s careers may both be over.


    Not so fast buddy, QB’s will get injured during the course of the season and backups aren’t guaranteed either, these guys will end up on someone’s roster!

  7. Well, here comes the draft day trade. The Jacksonville Jaguars trade Leonard Fournette to (insert team name here) for a bucket of golf balls. Fournette is a cancer in that locker room and Jacksonville has shown it is not afraid to remove locker room tumors no matter how talented.

  8. Fournette is a better than average RB, I don’t think he a top 5. He had some much potential coming out of LSU. For a variety of reason, he failed to live up to that potential. For a couple of seasons, his mouth and attitude, have overshadow his ability. At some his talent needs to show up on the field. Until then, he needs to keep his mouth closed. Don’t be a distraction.

    I have my doubts about Cam Newton. His style of play make him questionable in my mind. Can he hold up? What’s his mindset? Too many questions for me for me to take a chance on Cam. As for Winston, everybody knows his strengths and weaknesses. Depending on my QB’s situation, I would take a chance on Winston.

  9. Fournette is the 4th leg of that 4-legged locker room dysfunction. The first two, Coughlin and Ramsey (good luck, LA), are gone and Ngakoue is going this week. So long, Leonard. Hopefully you’ll get more than 4.0 yards away from the stadium before you’re stopped.

    Minshew strikes me as the kind of guy who will, at most, just shrug his shoulders at this and rally the team behind him.

  10. Everyone needs to ease up on Leonard. It’s not easy for one person to be the GM, Head Coach, Player’s Agent and an average RB all at the same time.

  11. When your most talented players turn into “cancers” and want to play somewhere (anywhere) else, you know there’s a problem.
    Texans’ fans are starting to realize that as well.

  12. “rodgerstonelson says:
    April 18, 2020 at 1:05 pm
    Marrone needs to go. He has a top 5 Rb and no clue how to use him.”

    You’re confusing Fournette with Fred Taylor or MJD. He’s above average but not a top 5 running back by a long shot. You don’t want a slightly above average runningback with a top 5 draft pick. You want a league leader who is all pro year in and out. The 3.9 average the last few years makes one cringe when thinking about his effectiveness once he begins losing the little amount of speed in a few years. Sub 3.5 avg, 3.0 avg?

    He needs to worry about his game before worrying about the qb situation in Jacksonville.

    Career-666 games 2,631 yards 4.0 avg. 17 tds 134 rec.

  13. I’d trade Fournette for a 2nd or 3rd round pick, or whatever I could get for him.

  14. streetyson says:
    April 18, 2020 at 2:28 pm
    jasons81 says: Sorry but a career average 4.0 YPC is not top 5 RB.
    You’re splitting hairs – Fournette was 2019’s 6th leading rusher (7th if you inc. QB Lamar).


    The comment was average yards not total yards. Give a guy 500 carries who has a 3 yards per rush average will still be in the top ten with 1500 yards.

    Is he durable ,yes , are there better backs with better eyes ,feet and higher average per carry that gives his team a better chance to win? Plenty

  15. Fournette was on the field last year carrying that offense. He knows Minshew stinks. Every interview that Minshew had last year was mostly about his mustache and the way he dresses. His 15 minutes are up. Go hold the clip board now.

  16. Players just need to shut up and do their jobs, this game was soooo much better when players were seen and not heard!

  17. streetyson says:
    April 18, 2020 at 2:28 pm
    jasons81 says: Sorry but a career average 4.0 YPC is not top 5 RB.
    You’re splitting hairs – Fournette was 2019’s 6th leading rusher (7th if you inc. QB Lamar).

    You’re splitting hairs, 6th is still not top 5!

    And where was he in 2018? On the bench hurt for 8 games, besides a HC/GM can’t listen to input from 53 players, it doesn’t work that way and the sooner the players figure that out the better! The players are responsible for 1 person the HC/GM has a whole team to worry about.

  18. ancient-mariner says:
    April 18, 2020 at 3:13 pm
    Minshew should lobby for a better RB.

    Fournette is a better RB than Minshew is QB. And I don’t think Fournette is that good.

  19. Please, please . . .please! Let’s not ignore the harsh reality here boys . . . Jags have a Great White Hope QB and the Southern fanbase is of-course in his corner, surprise, surprise, surprise, and now you’ve got a Black player advocating for a controversial character, Cam to come in and take the helm, this plays out in league where Black QBs are begrudgingly accepted, and it’s taken 50 years to get here, the league and fan base fighting it all the way, kickin’ n’ screamin’ – Many of the fat-cat owners are King Trump’s buddies, you know the illegit Prez backed by the Klan and Nazis . . . Cam is “uppity” does not know his place too colorful and flamboyant(too Black) for far too many good ol boy fans….. but he’s undeniably much better than the Great White Hope!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.