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Unpacking the presser: Ngakoue "No. 1 priority"

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) stretches during warm ups prior to an NFL football against the Los Angeles Chargerson Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. The Chargers won 45-10.(Perry Knotts via AP)
Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) stretches during warm ups prior to an NFL football against the Los Angeles Chargerson Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. The Chargers won 45-10.(Perry Knotts via AP)

JACKSONVILLE – David Caldwell and Doug Marrone spoke to the media Tuesday.

They did so at a 3 p.m. news conference at TIAA Bank Field. The availability came hours after Jaguars Owner Shad Khan announced the duo will return in 2020, with Caldwell returning for an eighth season as general manager and Marrone returning for a fourth season as head coach.

Here's a look at the highlights:

*Perhaps the newsiest detail of Tuesday's availability concerned defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, whose four-year rookie contract expired after the 2019 season and who therefore is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the start of the 2020 League Year in March. Ngakoue and the Jaguars discussed a long-term deal last offseason, with Ngakoue holding out early in training camp when the sides couldn't agree. "You guys all know in this room how both Doug and I feel about Yannick," Caldwell said. "He's a tremendous player and even a better person. I would say that's Priority No. 1, to make sure that he comes back to Jacksonville and that he's a Jacksonville Jaguar. Hopefully, we can get that done where he's here for a long period of time." Ngakoue, a Pro Bowl selection following the 2017 season, registered eight sacks this past season.

*Caldwell and Marrone both discussed quarterback Gardner Minshew II, who finished his 2019 rookie season as the starter after entering it as the backup to veteran free-agent signee Nick Foles. "I give Gardner a ton of credit for what he did, where he came from, how he handled his business," Caldwell said of Minshew, a sixth-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. "He won more games than any other rookie quarterback. … I think he did a really nice job. As far as the plans moving forward, there's a lot of self-evaluation and that will be a decision made by Coach Marrone and his staff in collaboration with Shad on that. I don't think any decision has been made as to what that's going to look like, but we feel good about Gardner and moving forward with him." Marrone said he felt comfortable with both Foles and Minshew. "I think it's something we have to use in our favor," Marrone said. "We've got to do a heck of a job getting both guys ready."

*Caldwell called the process of adequately filling roster holes this offseason "challenging," adding he believes there are fewer roster issues than when he took over as general manager in 2013. "That's nothing we haven't faced before," Caldwell said. "We've done it before in '16 and '17 and when we first got here, we had a lot of holes to fill. We didn't have nearly as many to fill as we did in '13 and '14." Caldwell noted the Jaguars' added draft capital – an extra first-round selection in each of the next two NFL Drafts and an additional fifth-round selection this season. Caldwell also said he expects to be in a good salary-cap situation to be active in free agency this offseason. "We can help the coaching staff by making better decisions on the guys we bring in for them – and also really supporting our players that we have here," Caldwell said. "I think that will help the coaching staff."…

*Marrone said he will evaluate the coaching staff in the coming weeks. "The part about being a good leader is being able to make sure you have people in the right position and you can get the most out of them in that position – with their strengths," Marrone said. Marrone said coaches are off until January 13. …

*The lightest moment of the availability came when a reporter's phone sounded, with Marrone laughing and saying: "That's a $500 fine." Former Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin was dismissed on December 18 shortly after the NFL Players Association in a memo to players criticized the Jaguars' organization over what it considered excessive fining. The NFLPA revealed the team under Coughlin fined former defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. more than $700,000 for a series of what an arbitrator determined were un-fine-able incidents. When media members laughed at the "$500-fine" comment, Marrone added with a laugh: "Yeah, we reduced it." Marrone said he planned to talk with NFLPA officials in the coming weeks and that he believes the NFLPA sees the Jaguars "in a positive light." Caldwell said the Jaguars have not had an issue signing free agents in the recent past, adding "I don't think that's going to change." …

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