Doug Marrone named Jaguars' interim coach; Gus Bradley praises owner, GM

ByMichael DiRocco ESPN logo
Tuesday, December 20, 2016

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars named Doug Marrone as their interim head coach Monday, less than 24 hours after firing Gus Bradley with two games left in the season.

Marrone had been Jacksonville's assistant head coach/offensive line coach since January 2015. He joined the team after two seasons as the head coach in Buffalo, where he guided the Bills to a 15-17 record before opting out of his contract because of uncertainty over possible organizational changes.

Marrone coached the Bills to a 9-7 record in 2014, which to date is their only winning record since 2004.

Bradley hired Marrone in 2015 to replace offensive line coach George Yarno, who left the team after being diagnosed with cancer. Marrone interviewed with five teams that had head-coaching vacancies after the 2015 season, but was not offered a job.

Marrone also has been a head coach on the collegiate level, going 25-25 at Syracuse from 2009 to 2012.

Bradley was fired Sunday after Jacksonville suffered its ninth straight loss, a 21-20 defeat to the Houston Texans. The Jaguars went 14-48 in parts of four seasons under Bradley.

It's unclear at this point if Marrone will be considered as a permanent replacement for Bradley. If the Jaguars look outside the organization, Bradley hopes that anyone interested will give him a call. He has a lot to tell them about owner Shad Khan, general manager Dave Caldwell and the rest of the organization.

"I hope they do, because it'll be a long conversation and it'll be a very, very positive conversation," Bradley said Monday at meeting with local media at the Marriott at TPC Sawgrass. "I'm telling you, this organization, with this ownership and this front office and support staff, is unbelievable. It's easy for me to say when I'm hired and I'm a part of it, but I just got let go yesterday."

Bradley said he still considers Khan a friend and called him "phenomenal." He also said that while the Jaguars are in the midst of the most disappointing season in franchise history, he believes the next head coach is set up for success because of Khan, Caldwell and the amount of talent in the locker room.

"I think you're coming into a situation where this is a hungry, chip-on-the-shoulder team, so if a coach was looking at this you'd say, [it's a] pretty good situation," Bradley said.

The Jaguars are now 2-12 in a season in which they were expected to compete for the AFC South title. The Jaguars have not won a game at EverBank Field since Dec. 13, 2015.

"The record, what took place, I take full responsibility for it," Bradley said. "I have no excuses. I have no misgivings. ... I understand the NFL is a business and it's results-orientated and we didn't get it done.

"As far as being given the opportunity, [Khan] provided everything that we needed and so did Dave."

Some players took the news of Bradley's firing pretty hard and made their feelings known on social media. Nose tackle Roy Miller was one of those, and he said again Monday morning that he wasn't happy.

"I think everybody knows the head coach always gets the blame, but he's not the only one that made mistakes," Miller said. "In the end that's where we're at. Everyone is trying to find a reason, an excuse. We've been trying to do that all year. It pisses me off because as a player you have a lot of responsibility. You hate to see the head man take it all."

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