Communication the key

Marrone-Caldwell Presser-02

JACKSONVILLE – Doug Marrone made his feelings clear.

"I know in my heart I can take this team to better roads and can do a better job," the Jaguars' head coach said Tuesday.

As he and General Manager Dave Caldwell see it, traveling those roads – improving on back-to-back double-digit-loss seasons – starts with improved communication and other organizational changes. They were major topics Tuesday when Caldwell and Marrone met with the media hours after Owner Shad Khan announced both will return in their roles in 2020.

The most obvious change became official early Tuesday, when Khan in a statement said Caldwell and Marrone will report directly to ownership. Caldwell and Marrone during the past three seasons reported to Tom Coughlin, who was relieved of his duties as Executive Vice President of Football Operations on December 18,

"The biggest thing is regardless of what the past was, moving forward I'm going to have a direct line to Shad – sort of like I did earlier," said Caldwell, the Jaguars' general manager since 2013. "This structure here will allow us to communicate directly with the owner and be able to put our plan forward in a collaborated effort."

Marrone on Tuesday said the organization will be evaluated – with potential changes – in any area that directly contacts football.

"If it was as easy as saying, 'Let's take one area and this is the only area, this is the only issue…' when you perform like that as a football team that falls on everyone," Marrone said. "And everyone has to be accountable for that.

"When you're looking and talking about, 'How does that change?' It comes from everywhere."

When Marrone was asked what will be done to improve next season, he discussed at length the need to look beyond personnel and scheme.

"There's a lot more to it – meaning availability of players, training of players, acquisition of players, schematics that we're doing coaching wise," Marrone said.

Marrone midway through the availability emphasized increased communication between coaching and personnel.

"What we've talked about doing is making sure it's not just the individuals able to communicate directly with each other," Marrone said. "We're talking about taking our coaching staff with our coaching staff with our scouting staff and really putting it in a true, true partnership where we're meeting, talking and doing that and coming to decisions.

"When we do that, things become clearer on exactly what the vision is that we want."

Marrone said his responsibility on that front will be to make clear the philosophy of how the Jaguars want to play defensively offensively and on special teams – and to communicate that clearly to scouting "and really come to focus as one."

"My experience with that is 97 percent of the time you're going to be able to come up with a decision that's best for the organization," Marrone said. "On those times we may be different on it, Dave and I have the ability to try to work it out and if not, we have the ability to bring it to Shad."

Caldwell agreed, "My feeling at the places I've been that have had success … when you have thoughtful processes in place with the coaches, scouts and ownership … you generally make better decisions.

"I'm not saying that's the way it was in the past, but some of the ideas that Shad, Tony [Khan], myself and Doug have come up with our coaching staff and our personal staff – and how we're going to go about this in February, March and April, I think it's something where everybody in the organization's going to be on the same page and everybody's going to be moving forward."

Marrone said conversations with the Khans and Caldwell in recent weeks focused on self-evaluation in many areas – coaching, on-field schematics (offense, defense and special teams), penalties, personnel, training, treatment and other elements of the support staff. Marrone said he would discuss some of these areas more publicly as the offseason progresses.

"Those are things that obviously we have not done a very good job of these past two years that we have to work together to get done," he said. "I talked to everyone about those plans, and we're actually going ahead and moving forward right now to get those things in place. …

"There are points I have laid out to Shad and Tony and obviously Dave of where I think we need to go to do a better job of that and have an opportunity to get this thing where we all want it."

Marrone added, "I have a clear vision of the type of communication I want with our players with different heads of the organization – meaning the people who are touching them. We can do a better job there and create a better environment. …

"There are a lot of things that are going to be looked at, and there are a lot of things I know I can get done with some of the changes that are going to be made to do a better job for the players and the coaches."

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