Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Interim Coach Marrone Should Keep It Simple

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Interim Coach Marrone Should Keep It Simple

Article excerpt

Byline: Hays Carlyon

Doug Marrone has handled his interim role as well as could be expected this week.

He said the right things and set the proper tone after Gus Bradley was fired Sunday night.

His decision to conduct Thursday's walk through in EverBank Field was smart. When a team struggles to win in its own building, it should spend more time getting used to the surroundings. Marrone's idea is one that the next Jaguars coach should employ until the team starts to win consistently in front of its real fans - not the assembled NFL party at London's Wembley Stadium where every jersey in the league can be spotted during the game.

Marrone's first several days won't mean much if the Jaguars (2-12) don't play well Saturday against the Titans (8-6). The Jaguars have lost a franchise-worst nine consecutive games, so the bar is low.

Some ideas Marrone should consider:

DON'T DO THE UNEXPECTED

Too often, interim coaches feel the need to show how aggressive they can be in game management. They gamble and it often costs them.

The message to Marrone is simple. Don't be John Fassel.

The Los Angeles interim coach made some puzzling choices in his debut succeeding fired Jeff Fisher- a 24-3 loss at Seattle on Dec. 15.

He went for it on fourth down needing a yard from Seattle's 7-yard line in the first quarter of a scoreless game. Rams running back Todd Gurley was stuffed for no gain.

The Seahawks led 7-0 in the second quarter when Fassel made another puzzling decision. He called a fake punt after a three-and-out that had netted one yard. On fourth-and-9 from their own 30, Rams punter Johnny Hekker threw an incomplete pass. It would've been short of the first down even if he had completed it.

The Rams defense held Seattle without a yard on the ensuing possession, but the Seahawks still kicked a field goal to go up 10-0.

Fassel has never been a head coach at any level. The 42-year-old was a little too brash.

I doubt Marrone will be that way.

Marrone has coached 32 games in the NFL, going 15-17 with Buffalo from 2013-14. He also coached Syracuse for four years.

The 52-year-old Bronx native reminds me of the stereotypical grizzled New York police chief that you see in movies. …

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