JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jacksonville’s success last season gave owner Shad Khan hope for the future and increased faith in the team’s leadership.
Khan gave two-year extensions to coach Doug Marrone, executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin and general manager Dave Caldwell on Friday. All three had two years remaining on their deals, which now will run through the 2021 season.
“The decision to extend the contracts of Tom, Dave and Doug isn’t so much a reward for last season, which no doubt was impressive, as it is to recognize their importance to our football team this coming season and for years to follow,” Khan said in a statement. “We’re past celebrating the accomplishments of our division title and playoff run, and now it’s time to take the next step.
“We need the right leadership firmly in place to make that happen, and it’s good to know we’ll have that with Tom, Dave and Doug secure in their roles with the Jacksonville Jaguars.”
The Jaguars won the AFC South for the first time in franchise history, made the playoffs for the first time in a decade and advanced to the AFC title game for the first time since 2000.
Khan hired Coughlin and Marrone in January 2017. Coughlin returned to the franchise he helped build from a trailer in the early 1990s and gave him full control over all football matters. That meant fewer decisions for Caldwell.
But Khan credits Caldwell for drafting and assembling much of the roster that turn a laughingstock into a contender, earning the team’s first home playoff game since 2000.
Jacksonville won thanks mostly to one of the league’s best defenses. Caldwell drafted many of those defenders, including All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey, pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue and linebackers Telvin Smith and Myles Jack. Coughlin, Caldwell and Marrone also landed the best free-agent class in franchise history by signing defensive end Calais Campbell, cornerback A.J. Bouye and safety Barry Church.
The defense nearly led the Jaguars to the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history. They held a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter at New England before Tom Brady and the Patriots scored twice late and won 24-20.
“The success we had last season was due to the efforts of many people, but Doug and Dave certainly played key leadership roles in guiding our team,” Coughlin said in a statement. “They set the tone and managed the process on a daily basis, and we look forward to building on that process throughout this offseason and the coming season.”
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