JACKSONVILLE – Doug Marrone isn't remotely interim anymore.
Marrone, who served as the Jaguars' interim head coach for the final two games this past season, spoke on Thursday morning for the first time since assuming the role on a permanent basis.
And Marrone left no doubt:
He is ready for his role, and understands the objective.
"It's a results-oriented business and the business is winning," Marrone said during a Thursday morning press conference in the US Assure Club West at EverBank Field to introduce him and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin in their new roles.
Coughlin called his and Marrone's knowledge of one another "extensive," and said he and Marrone had similar visions for the Jaguars.
"I think there's no doubt the idea of giving great effort, returning good, physical football to the game, being a smart team, a disciplined team, a team that doesn't turn the ball over, doesn't beat themselves – that's what Doug and I have discussed, and [General Manager] Dave [Caldwell]," Coughlin said.
Marrone, who took the head job on an interim basis following the December 18 dismissal of former Head Coach Gus Bradley, was among several head-coaching candidates interviewed by Khan, Jaguars President Mark Lamping and Caldwell in recent weeks.
Though Coughlin did not sit in on those interviews, Khan said Marrone was one of two names Coughlin offered as head-coaching fits when offered the executive vice-president position Monday.
"He gave me, probably the two best choices for him," Khan said. "Doug was one of those, and I think by that time we had decided it was Doug. I wanted to make sure that everybody could work together and they were elated and delighted."
Khan called Marrone's promotion to permanent head coach "deserving."
"We interviewed numerous highly-quality candidates, candidates who one day will return to the NFL as head coaches or get their first opportunity as a head coach," Khan said. "They were all fantastic and we interviewed Doug who went through the same process as everyone else. In the end, with respect to all the other candidates, it wasn't close. Our choice was Doug Marrone. …
"The environment Doug will create will emphasize accountability, discipline, conditioning, commitment and above all, results … winning."
Marrone, who previously was the head coach at Syracuse University from 2010-2013 and with the Buffalo Bills in 2014 and 2015, served as the Jaguars' assistant head coach-offense/offensive line coach from the start of the 2015 season and through the first 14 games of the 2016 season.
"The two things we wanted were experience and somebody that had a history of turning around a culture," Jaguars general manager David Caldwell said of Marrone, who went 25-25 with Syracuse and 15-17 with Buffalo. "What Doug did in Syracuse and what he did in Buffalo, inheriting cultures where teams had not been successful, and then turning those programs around to be very successful, those were two keys components for our search and what we were looking for in a head coach."
Marrone served as interim head coach in Weeks 16 and 17 this past season. The Jaguars beat playoff-contending Tennessee, 38-17, at EverBank Field in Week 16 before losing a 17-0 lead in a 24-20 loss at Indianapolis in the regular-season finale.
"I didn't want to come in here and make major adjustments in the last two weeks, so we just made some subtle adjustments to start laying the foundation down for the team," Marrone said. "Not that I knew that I would be here, but just some things that would probably help when they come back – whoever the next coach was going to be."
Marrone during an appearance on Jaguars.com Live shortly after the press conference said several players had told him after the season they hoped he got the job. He joked that he told them, "be careful what you wish for," and during the press conference he made it a point to send a message to Jaguars players that the future culture would be about "high expectation … a high standard for our players and our coaches and what they should be doing."
Marrone said though he was unable to implement his entire approach in two weeks as interim head coach, he did make some changes that he believed beneficial at the time. The Jaguars turned in two of their better performance of the season in his two games as coach.
"I think that our players, when we made those changes, were outstanding with it," Marrone said. "I do believe they know what our expectations are."
Marrone he and Khan talked through many issues during the interview process.
"It's very difficult to sit here and say, 'Philosophy this, philosophy that,''' Marrone said. "I think really the message, at the end of the day, was doing everything we possibly can, getting better each and every day and making sure we win. Really, that's probably the bottom line.
"I believe, I always have, that this is a high performance, results-oriented business and the business that we're in is winning. I said that quite a bit and I also said a lot with making sure we don't confuse effort with results."
Marrone also during his press conference spoke directly to Jaguars fans, saying, "I've been here two years and I've seen the pride in this city. I've seen the passion they have for this team. And I want you to know that I feel the pain and I know how difficult it's been. But make no mistake about it, the people of Jacksonville deserve a winner. We will put the right people in place to get that done. That's why I'm here."
Marrone said his nature is to focus on the present, so he hadn't anticipated when or if he might get a second NFL head-coaching opportunity. He did, however, speak of what it meant to work for Coughlin.
Coughlin, who played collegiately at Syracuse, said the two began speaking when Marrone was the head coach there – and that Marrone visited Coughlin when Coughlin was coaching the New York Giants.
Marrone, for his part, told a different story. He said when he first wanted to get into coaching in the early 1990s, Coughlin was coaching Boston College in a bowl game in Florida. He said he knew Coughlin was difficult to reach, but he got Coughlin's hotel room number and called the room one evening around 10 p.m.
"I remember calling coach, saying 'Coach Coughlin, my name is Doug Marrone. I'm a Syracuse University graduate. I've played in the league, and I would like an opportunity to be a graduate assistant,''' Marrone said. "I knew I was in trouble right away. First, I'm guessing, that Coach was [thinking] who the hell gave out this number? How did this guy call?' He said 'Send your resume in, and we'll see where we go from there' and the phone hung up.
"This is about 24 years ago I think. I told coach … 24 years, I'm finally working for you now."