The Jaguars trio at the top of their football operation made news earlier in the day by cutting RB Chris Ivory. Shad Khan one upped them on the news front by extending all of their contracts through 2021. It's hard to argue with the decision -- the Jaguars are coming off their best season since the late 1990's. The roster is stacked with talent and appears ready to contend for multiple seasons.
All three men are deserving of the display of confidence that a contract extension signifies. There were questions on how things would work heading into 2017. With a head man like Tom Coughlin, who's been a coach his entire career, what would the relationship be like between Coughlin and head coach Doug Marrone? Would Dave Caldwell feel displaced by having a new boss? Well, if the results from 2017 are any indication things went smoothly for the new triumvirate.
Since becoming the Jaguars first ever Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin has helped changed the culture. Where in the past the Jaguars were always looking to improve and build towards the future, the climate has now shifted - it's win at all costs. Coughlin helped attract AJ Bouye, Barry Church, and most importantly Calais Campbell in free agency last season. He elected to take two players with his first and second picks in the draft that ended up being starters and both Leonard Fournette and Cam Robinson appear ready to be starters and leaders on offense for the foreseeable future. Much of the nucleus that lead the Jaguars to the AFC title contest in 2017 can be directly linked to Coughlin's presence. Tom is now ready to follow up his spectacular rookie season as EVP with an even better sophomore campaign.
Doug Marrone has done yeoman's work since becoming the Jaguars head coach. Including his two games as interim head coach at the end of 2016 Marrone has amassed a record of 13-8 (including the playoffs). It took him just 21 games as head coach to get within one win of Gus Bradley as a Jaguars head coach -- Bradley's tenure lasted nearly four seasons and 62 games. He got the most out of an offensive line in 2017 that was far from elite in terms of talent. He also got more out of Blake Bortles than Gus Bradley ever did. Marrone may have had a few blunders throughout the season, but what head coach doesn't mess up a couple times during the year? Marrone has been the perfect mouth piece on the field and in practice for Tom Coughlin's tough, no nonsense program.
Of the three men at the top of the Jaguars football program, Dave Caldwell has had the most mixed results. His entire 2013 draft class is no longer with the team. His entire 2015 free agent class is also gone. He's had plenty of misses to be sure. But as a first time GM that is to be expected. He's grown into his job and become one of the best decision makers in the league over the last few years. Even before Coughlin's arrival in Jacksonville Dave Caldwell was able to add talents such as Jalen Ramsey, Yannick Ngakoue, Dante Fowler Jr., Malik Jackson, Allen Robinson, Cam Robinson, Telvin Smith, Tashaun Gipson, and Myles Jack. His draft and free agent classes have been amongst the best in football over the past three years and there's no reason to expect that trend to change.
On and off the field the Jaguars are set up for success in the near future. The roster is loaded with young, explosive talent and the football operation is headed by three of the best in the business.
Are you happy to see the Jaguars triumvirate at the top get extended through 2021?
Let us know in the comments below.
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