Jaguars’ Marrone fired for 1st time in 3 decades as coach after 15th straight loss

The Jacksonville Jaguars fired coach Doug Marrone on Monday, a little more than 12 hours after ending the season with a 15th consecutive loss.

It was a move many thought owner Shad Khan should have made at the end of the 2019 season. But Khan gave Marrone another chance to make Jacksonville a playoff contender for the second time in four years.

Marrone came up well short of the owner’s expectations, making Khan’s decision easy and expected. It was the first time Marrone has been fired in three decades of coaching.

“I am committed and determined to deliver winning football to the City of Jacksonville,” Khan said in a statement. “Realizing that goal requires a fresh start throughout our football operations.

“I’ll always appreciate Doug’s passion, grit and class, and I’m confident he will enjoy success in the next chapter of his career. As the search for our new general manager continues, now the quest begins to find a head coach who shares my ambition for the Jacksonville Jaguars and our fans, whose loyalty and faith are overdue to be rewarded.”

The Jaguars (1-15) cancelled Marrone’s season-ending news conference scheduled for Monday and planned to make Khan available on a conference call.

Marrone went 24-43 in four seasons in Jacksonville, falling a few plays shy of the franchise’s first Super Bowl in 2017 and then miring near the bottom of the league since. The Jaguars dropped 21 of Marrone’s final 24 games, including 15 by double digits.

It’s unclear whether Khan will hire a general manager or a coach first. He already interviewed former Houston executive Rick Smith, current ESPN analyst Louis Riddick and former New York Giants GM Jerry Reese for the GM position. Three-time national champion Urban Meyer is considered a leading coaching candidate if he decides to leave Fox Sports and return to the sidelines. Meyer won college football titles at Florida (2006, ’08) and Ohio State (2014).

Jets fire head coach Gase after 2 seasons

The New York Jets have fired coach Adam Gase, ending a frustrating and disappointing tenure after just two loss-filled seasons.

Hired by the Jets in January 2019, Gase went 9-23 with New York, including an 0-13 start that was the worst in franchise history — overshadowing even the 1996 squad that went 0-8 on the way to a 1-15 finish, and is generally recognized as the team’s worst.

The move was announced by the team a few hours after New York lost 28-14 at New England on Sunday to end the season 2-14 — the second-worst record in franchise history.

The 42-year-old Gase came to New York with high hopes in the organization that he would be the perfect fit to help quarterback Sam Darnold take the next step in his development and boost the Jets’ offence.

Eagles’ Pederson defends QB decision in loss

The Philadelphia Eagles chose to give a third-string quarterback playing time in a game with playoff implications for other teams.

Head coach Doug Pederson benched Jalen Hurts for Nate Sudfeld in the fourth quarter of a 20-14 loss to Washington on Sunday night. The victory gave Washington (7-9) the NFC East title. The New York Giants (6-10) would’ve won the division crown if Philadelphia (4-11-1) had won.

The decision didn’t go over well with Giants players posting their reaction on Twitter. Sudfeld hadn’t thrown a pass since 2018 and was picked on his second attempt. He also lost a fumble.

“Yes, I was coaching to win,” Pederson said. “Yes, that was my decision solely. Nate has been here four years and I felt he deserved an opportunity to get some snaps.”

The loss gave the Eagles the sixth pick in the NFL draft. A victory would’ve dropped them to the ninth spot.

Hurts, who took over for Carson Wentz last month, finished 7 of 20 for 72 yards with one interception. His passer rating of 25.4 was the lowest by an Eagles starting quarterback since Nick Foles posted a 9.3 rating in the final regular season game in 2017.

The Eagles missed the playoffs for the first time since Pederson’s first season in 2016.

Panthers reportedly start GM search

The Carolina Panthers have begun their search for a new general manager.

A person familiar with the situation says the Panthers have requested permission to talk to Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio, Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen and Browns vide president of player personnel Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. The team is also expected to interview former Giants general manager Jerry Reese.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on Monday on condition of anonymity because the team has not made its search public.

The Panthers are looking for a replacement for longtime GM Marty Hurney, who was fired last month.

Carolina finished the season 5-11, failing to make the playoffs for the third straight season.

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