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Marrone: GM position "will attract many people"

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone watches game action from the sideline while wearing a facemask during an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brett Carlsen)

JACKSONVILLE – Doug Marrone doesn't know his long-term future.

But he does believe the Jaguars' long-term future could be bright – and that the job of directing the organization into that future should be appealing.

Marrone, the Jaguars' head coach since 2017, discussed the issue Monday – one day after longtime General Manager David Caldwell was dismissed following the team's 10th consecutive loss.

"There's a lot of good positioning about it," Marrone said Monday, a day after a 27-25 loss to the Cleveland Browns at TIAA Bank Field. "There's a foundation. There are a couple of things you have to clear up roster-wise, but we knew that going in.

"I think it (the general-manager position) will attract many people. Who wouldn't want to work for someone who will give you all the support you need? I think that's what you want."

Marrone emphasized not only a promising young roster – including a 12-player 2020 draft class – and a favorable salary-cap situation beginning next offseason, but Owner Shad Khan's desire to win.

"Shad has said multiple times, 'Whatever you need,''' Marrone said. "So, from the support standpoint of whatever the team needs or whatever the players need, it's never been an issue. So, I think that's attractive."

Khan in a statement issued Sunday said the Jaguars' football operations needs new leadership and "will have it with a new general manager in 2021." Trent Baalke, hired this past offseason as the Jaguars' director of player personnel after spending 2011-2016 as the San Francisco 49ers' general manager, will serve as the Jaguars' interim general manager.

Khan reportedly informed Marrone he and the coaching staff are secure through the end of the 2020 season.

"My focus right now is not on all the things that are maybe going on on the outside, but trying to get this team to win football games – and being there for the coaches and the players and doing by best job there," Marrone said. "I'm committed to doing what I have to do to try to get this team a win.

"That's my only focus. I'm not one of these guys who's, 'I wonder if this is going to happen or that's going to happen.' I'd be selling everyone short; I'm not going to be that guy and I never have been that guy."

Marrone said he has spoken to Caldwell since his dismissal.

"I wish he and his family the best of luck," Marrone said. "We had a good relationship. It's very difficult."

Marrone added, "We all know we're struggling to win football games. We understand that. Obviously, it's a very competitive business. We have an owner that wants a good product for our fans, wants to win – there's no mistake about it. We haven't done it.

"When those things happen, these types of decisions are going to be made. It's obviously unfortunate, but it is part of the profession."

The Jaguars on Sunday officially were eliminated from the postseason and the loss set a franchise record for longest single season losing streak. Marrone, always candid about knowing winning is needed to keep an NFL head coaching job, was asked his approach in the final five weeks of the season with an uncertain future.

"I'm in a community where I truly love the people here, and we have an owner who want to win," he replied. "I think that's awesome; I really do. He wants to win and there's no mistake about it."

As he has done multiple times this season, Marrone also spoke of motivated by professionalism and simply wanting to do the best job possible whatever the circumstance.

"It's embarrassing; I feel that way at times," he said of the losing streak. "The only thing I have to rely on and make sure I can walk around and be a good example is to know that I fought my ass off – that I've done everything I possibly can – to make sure I am doing my job to the best of my ability to try to win football games.

"The record is what it is. But at the end of the day, you're going to have to look yourself in the mirror and you're going to have to say, 'Hey, listen, did I give everything I had.' If you did, that's it. If you don't, I don't know how you can ever live with yourself."

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