JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The fact that Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Marrone found out Sunday that he and his staff will remain in place for the rest of the season did not ease his mind at all.
What’s more important to him than still being employed after owner Shad Khan fired GM Dave Caldwell is figuring out a way, despite a QB carousel and a long list of injuries, to snap a 10-game losing streak. The Jaguars play at Minnesota on Sunday.
“My focus right now is not on all the things that may be going on on the outside, but trying to get the team to win football games and be there for the coaches and the players and do my best job there,” Marrone said Monday.
The Jaguars (1-10) haven’t won since the season opener and have lost 16 of their last 19 games dating back to Nov. 3, 2019. Since the Jaguars’ surprising run to the AFC Championship Game in Marrone’s first season (2017), the Jaguars are 12-31 and have had six different quarterbacks start games.
Khan brought back Marrone, Caldwell and executive VP of football operations Tom Coughlin after a 5-11 mark in 2018. He fired Coughlin in December 2019 but opted to bring Marrone and Caldwell back in 2020 with the directive to clear up the team’s salary-cap issues and locker room culture.
They accomplished both: The Jaguars will have at least $60 million in salary- cap space in 2021 per OverTheCap.com, and the way the team has continued to fight despite the losing streak is a testament to the fact that Marrone hasn’t lost the players.
The victories, however, haven’t followed. Khan fired Caldwell last weekend but Marrone and the coaching staff will remain in place through the end of the season. Whoever is hired as GM will make the call on keeping Marrone or going in another direction, though the latter is what’s expected to happen.
“We all know that, obviously, [we are] struggling to win football games,” Marrone said. “I think we understand that. Obviously it’s a very competitive business. We have an owner that wants a good product for our fans. Wants to win. There’s no mistake about it and we haven’t done it. And I think that when those things happen these type of decisions are going to be made.
“Dave and I had a good relationship. It’s not like we haven’t been through this before, meaning people that have been in the league. It’s obviously unfortunate but it is part of the profession. I spoke to Dave and I wish him and his family the best of luck. We had a good relationship. It’s very difficult.”
The last three months have been, too. The Jaguars upset Indianapolis in the season opener and then lost a close game to Tennessee in Nashville, where they’ve struggled to keep games close over the past six seasons, to create some optimism that the team would be competitive and better than many thought.
That died quickly. The Jaguars lost four of their next five games by double digits and starting quarterback Gardner Minshew revealed a thumb injury he kept hidden for two weeks. Marrone went with rookie sixth-round pick Jake Luton over veteran Mike Glennon and Luton threw for 304 yards in a two-point loss to Houston. Two weeks later, the Jaguars managed just 206 yards overall and Luton threw four interceptions in a 27-3 loss to Pittsburgh and Marrone benched Luton for Glennon.
The Jaguars played last week without their best receiver (DJ Chark), most experienced receiver (Chris Conley), best pass rusher (Josh Allen), starting left guard (Andrew Norwell), four of their top five cornerbacks, and top two strong safeties because of injuries. And yet they still had a chance to tie the game late with a two-point conversion.
Which is why Marrone is feeling more frustration than relief that he has a job at least through Jan. 3.
“When you go out and you’re filling up your car with gas, you’re going to the convenience store, you’re going out to dinner, there’s a sense of you want to hang your head,” Marrone said. “It’s embarrassing. I feel that way at times and the only thing I have to rely on to make sure I can walk around and be a good example is to know that I fought my ass off. That I’ve done everything I possibly can to make sure that I am doing my job to the best of my ability to try to win football games because that’s the only thing at the end of the day.
“I’ve learned this a long time ago: Whatever happens with the results and the records, it is what it is, but at the end of the day you’re going to have to look at yourself in the mirror and you’re going to have to say: ‘Hey, listen, did I give everything I had?’ If you did, that’s it. The results are what they are. But if you don’t, I don’t know how you can ever live with yourself.”
NFL mandatory minicamps 2021 — Derek Carr’s stance, Julio Jones’ debut, Tua Tagovailoa’s rough day and more
From quarterback Derek Carr making a bold statement about his commitment to the Las Vegas Raiders to Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa throwing five interceptions in a heavy rainstorm to wide receiver Julio Jones taking the field in the Tennessee Titans‘ No. 2 uniform, some of the big names in the NFL made waves on Tuesday during NFL mandatory minicamps.
Eighteen NFL teams opened their mandatory three-day minicamps this week. Ten held theirs last week, with four teams electing to cancel. Teams that opted out of mandatory minicamps this week are the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers. The Philadelphia Eagles were the first team to skip theirs when they did so a week ago.
While practices were underway for half the league, much of the talk of Tuesday’s camps included the players who haven’t stepped foot on the field because of ongoing contract negotiations. Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard, New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore and Seattle Seahawks safety Jamal Adams were among the notable players absent from their respective team facilities.
Teams already have been going through organized team activities, but this marks the first time that many veterans will take the field since the end of the 2020 NFL season. That includes some players who joined new teams this offseason, including prized free agents and edge rushers Matt Judon (Patriots) and Yannick Ngakoue (Raiders).
Here are some snapshots, many from ESPN’s NFL Nation reporters who are on the scene at this week’s activities, from Tuesday’s minicamps:
Top news of the day
Carr says he has no desire to leave Raiders
Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr re-asserted his desire to remain with the team that drafted him in the second round in 2014. “I’d probably quit football if I had to play for somebody else,” Carr said.
Derek Carr explains why he has no interest in playing for a franchise other than the Raiders.
Howard not at Dolphins camp over ‘unique’ situation
Xavien Howard, who hasn’t shown up to any portion of the Dolphins’ voluntary offseason program this year, was not in attendance for minicamp meetings Tuesday, and he’s officially a holdout as he seeks a new contract. Coach Brian Flores noted the cornerback’s situation is “unique” in regard to his contract because Howard feels like he has outplayed the five-year, $75.25 million extension he signed in May 2019.
Dolphins coach Brian Flores discusses the team’s desire to keep Xavien Howard amid a contract dispute.
Packers’ Rodgers jokes about ‘quiet offseason’
Aaron Rodgers, who has dominated the NFL headlines this spring because of his dissatisfaction with Green Bay, showed his sense of humor during a promotional video in advance of the July 6 golf match featuring Rodgers and PGA Tour star Bryson DeChambeau against Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson.
Adam Schefter says Green Bay’s front office isn’t doing itself any favors when it comes to keeping Aaron Rodgers.
More NFL headlines:
Julio Jones footwork drill with WR coach Rob Moore. Nice grab at the end. pic.twitter.com/SnLSPThdT6
— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) June 15, 2021
Cam Newton with a little hop in his step upon arrival. pic.twitter.com/y37cfPjGKr
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) June 15, 2021
Joe Burrow News Conference https://t.co/Ve1fqIbpv6
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) June 15, 2021
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) June 15, 2021
Day 1 of minicamp is in the books after this play by the first team in the red zone. Chad Beebe make a catch in the corner of the end zone; think Mackensie Alexander was supposed to be on him. pic.twitter.com/Q9HNDbyIjx
— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) June 15, 2021
I got you!! 😂 https://t.co/jlh7Zwe7nb
— Joe Haden (@joehaden23) June 15, 2021
we missed this pic.twitter.com/1q4J8FDpg4
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) June 15, 2021
Off & running at Day 1️⃣ of minicamp! pic.twitter.com/bcVONrlpsI
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) June 15, 2021
Day 1 of Dolphins mandatory minicamp. Tua Tagovailoa going through some warmup reps. pic.twitter.com/31nTB9DXY3
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) June 15, 2021
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) June 15, 2021
— Marcel Louis-Jacques (@Marcel_LJ) June 15, 2021
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) June 15, 2021
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) June 15, 2021
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) June 15, 2021
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) June 15, 2021
Quotes of the day
“I played with Julio [Jones], Mohamed Sanu, since Day 1, those guys, I feel like I’ve been moving toward that way of I can do it by myself. Obviously I’m not by myself, we have other players who are really good, but I feel like I’ve been ready and I just needed an opportunity to get in those positions.”
Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley
“I was surprised. … You never like to see things like that.”
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce on Le’Veon Bell’s comments about coach Andy Reid
“I wore 9 in college my senior and junior year. I’m one of 10 children, so I got 9 siblings – every time I go out there, I represent them. I like 9; that’s one of the reasons I rock it. And 99 was taken, so I chose to use the new rule.”
Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon on his jersey number
“You don’t feel like yourself, even when you pass the symptoms. There’s a certain level or feeling you have when you’re ready, and COVID made it a little harder to get to that good feeling.”
Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell has had no post-COVID issues the past couple of months
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) June 15, 2021
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) June 15, 2021
Here to 𝗛 𝗨 𝗦 𝗧 𝗟 𝗘. pic.twitter.com/2GuxKobTs3
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) June 15, 2021
Just the beginning 🔥 pic.twitter.com/FuwE7uoKBH
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) June 15, 2021
Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers jokes about his ‘quiet offseason’ in interview for July 6 golf match
Through everything that has happened surrounding Aaron Rodgers this offseason, one thing is clear: He still understands sarcasm.
The reigning MVP, who has dominated the NFL headlines this spring because of his dissatisfaction with the Green Bay Packers, showed his sense of humor Tuesday during a promotional video in advance of the July 6 golf match featuring Rodgers and PGA Tour star Bryson DeChambeau against Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson.
TNT’s Brian Anderson, who hosted the video conference, set up Rodgers with this: “You’ve really kept a low profile this offseason, I’ve hardly seen your name at all and you haven’t hosted any TV shows or been involved in any kind of controversy or anything. It’s been a nice, peaceful offseason for you, it sounds like.”
Rodgers’ reply was both deadpan and dripping with irony.
“It’s been one of those quiet offseasons you dream about, where you can kind of just go through your process on your own, quietly,” Rodgers said. “And that’s all you can ask for as an older player in the league and someone who’s been around for a long time and just enjoys that time to yourself, just relax, to not be bothered, to not have any obligations or anything going on.
“I think that’s what this offseason has been about. It’s been about really enjoying my time and spending it where I want to spend it, not feeling like I have to go anywhere but still be an NFL player at the same time. It’s been great.”
Rodgers skipped his only actual obligation, the Packers’ mandatory minicamp last week, and is subject to fines of $93,085. He also missed the entire offseason program, thereby forfeiting his $500,000 workout bonus.
The Packers have publicly maintained their desire to have Rodgers back for “2021 and beyond,” as team president Mark Murphy put it earlier this offseason, but it’s unclear whether Rodgers will report for training camp next month or will hold out and try to force a trade. Since the news of Rodgers’ unhappiness with the Packers broke on the afternoon of this year’s draft, the Packers have insisted they will not trade him.
Earlier this month, Murphy wrote that the situation has divided the Packers’ fan base and added that the less said publicly about the situation, the better. However, Murphy didn’t heed his own advice last week when, during a speaking engagement, he referred to Rodgers as “a complicated fella,” saying he was echoing how former Packers general manager Ted Thompson once described him.
It’s unclear whether the T-shirt Rodgers wore for Tuesday’s videoconference, which read “I’m offended,” was in response to Murphy’s comment.
Carolina Panthers WR Robby Anderson says he sees new ‘glow’ in QB Sam Darnold
“When I walked in the building I could see a new energy out of him, like a glow, charisma that I didn’t really see in New York,” said Anderson, who played with Darnold in 2018-19. “I can definitely see the difference in him so far.”
Anderson was the only Carolina player not seen by media for any of the voluntary portions of on-the-field offseason workouts.
So Tuesday, the first of a three-day mandatory camp, was the first time Anderson had a chance to work with Darnold since the Jets’ 2019 finale against Buffalo when they connected three times for 18 yards.
“You know when a person can see like a glow, energy, their aura?” Anderson said. “I could kind of see that when I walked in the building.”
Anderson was Darnold’s favorite target with the Jets. He had 102 catches for 1,431 yards and 11 touchdowns during their time together.
Stopping short of making a prediction, Anderson expects better things for them in Joe Brady’s system at Carolina, where in 2020 Anderson had a career-best 95 catches for 1,096 yards and three touchdowns.
“The New York system was a little more complex, had a lot of nuances that was more difficult for everybody, not just him, not just me,” Anderson said. “This system is a little more graspable.”
New Carolina edge rusher Haason Reddick hasn’t played with Darnold before, but he likes what he has seen.
“Sam’s completing passes,” said Reddick, an offseason free-agent signing from Arizona. “It looks like he’s playing intelligent football.”
Coach Matt Rhule just wants Darnold, who struggled with consistency with the Jets, completing only 59.8% of his passes and going 13-25 as the starter, to continue playing “good” football in practice.
“I don’t want him to have great days right now … just steady progress to make good days roll into great days,” he said of the quarterback Carolina traded for before the draft.
Anderson, who should help Darnold’s growth because of their past chemistry, didn’t go into detail on why he stayed in South Florida throughout the voluntary portions of OTAs.
“I’m to the point of my career where I know how to get myself ready,” he said. “So it wasn’t nothing against the team or nothing like that. I feel I capitalized on this time. The work I was putting in with my trainer, I was on a good program.
“I didn’t want to step away from that.”
Rhule said it was great to have Anderson back even though Anderson wasn’t in all the team drills.
“Robby is a guy that brings energy to the practice field,” he said. “He’s in great shape. You can tell he’s been working hard. We had a goal of like three to four reps in a team drills. I’m not going to over-rep anybody.”
Soccer7 days ago
Chelsea tipped for Harry Kane transfer swoop despite 'fitting' Man City criteria
Soccer5 days ago
Jadon Sancho wages: How much star will earn if 'five-year Man Utd contract' is signed
Soccer7 days ago
Chelsea 'make bid for Achraf Hakimi' and could include two stars in swap deal
Soccer7 days ago
Man Utd discover Jadon Sancho transfer deadline as Borussia Dortmund repeat 2020 demand
Soccer7 days ago
Real Madrid star Raphael Varane 'wants to try something new' in Man Utd transfer boost
MLB7 days ago
Chris Sale certain he’ll be back to help Boston Red Sox before end of season
Soccer7 days ago
Everton on alert as Crystal Palace end talks with Nuno Espirito Santo after fresh concerns
Cricket5 days ago
Recent Match Report – Gloucs vs Glamorgan South Group 2021