By CJ Carlson
The Jacksonville Jaguars were supposed to be Super Bowl contenders this year. After a season that saw them overperform and win a playoff game, Trevor Lawrence and company were supposed to take that next step with Calvin Ridley joining the ranks. Unfortunately, they lost five of their last six games to end the year, falling out of the playoff picture and losing the division. Since their year is done, staff changes have been made, and apparently, not the right ones.
Head coach Doug Pederson stated in his final press conference of the year that defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell, defensive line coach Brentson Buckner, inside linebackers coach Tony Gilbert, passing game coordinator/cornerbacks coach Deshea Townsend, defensive assistant Bob Sutton, defensive quality control coaches Tee Mitchell and Sean Cullina, and safeties coach Cody Grimm would all be fired.
Yes, that’s certainly a drastic overhaul of the coaching staff after another winning season, albeit disappointing. The thing about the firings were that they weren’t taken very well by some of the men that were let go.
Jacksonville Jaguars Facing Criticism
One coach that was fired from Jacksonville had this to say, “The solutions are leaving, and the problems are staying.” On the surface, you might not know what he’s referring to. However, a closer look shows a very clear picture. After all, each of the coaches I named that were fired were on the defensive side of the ball, and clearly, they feel as though the offense has just as much dirt on their hands than they do.
Granted, the defense was 26th in points allowed down the final stretch of the season, it still doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. For example, they averaged just 20.5 points per game in the last six games during their rough streak. Which was lower than how they began the year in the first 10 games.
Obviously, Lawrence wasn’t going anywhere. Jacksonville invested too much in him to just toss him to the side and put the blame upon his shoulders. The real disappointment from management really felt like it was on Pederson. Many reports had him in the hot seat this season, especially if they miss the playoffs. It feels like the firings were a way to hold onto his job for a little longer, even if the general manager wanted to part ways with him anyways.
I should note that some offensive staff members were let go also, just not as many. Running backs coach Bernie Parmelee and assistant offensive line coach Todd Washington were fired in addition to those aforementioned names. This isn’t much of a surprise though with their run game finishing 30th in rush yards per carry. They were also 29th in pass-block win-rate and 27th in run block win rate. Change had to be made after this season, let’s see if the right ones were taken.