Quarterback Decision Can Wait

If the Jaguars are beaten during Doug Marrone’s tenure was the Head Coach, it won’t be for lack of preparation. Marrone has proved to be a planner and thinker, methodical and unhurried when it comes to making decisions. That’s the path he’s taken this week as he goes about selecting a starting quarterback. While he hasn’t decided as of Tuesday, he does have a plan.

“I do. I do,” he said after practice. “I’m just trying to find the best time. I’m just going to go back, watch today’s film, think about it, make sure it’s the right plan for our team and then I’ll come to a point where I’ll talk to them about it.”

Both quarterbacks know they probably won’t know what the plan is for this week until Wednesday night. They’ll both play with the first team and their performance against the Panthers will go a long way to helping Marrone make a decision.

“I’m really looking to see the game,” Doug explained. “I think no one really hurt themselves as far as the practice goes, which I pretty much expected. Now it’s a matter of what happens in this game and afterwards. Like I said before, a lot of times I don’t like to make quick decisions.”

And he has that kind of luxury two games into the preseason. He knows there are a lot of factors that will determine who the starting quarterback will be. Certainly the stats and offensive production will play a big role. But he’s emphasized that he’s looking for the right player to “lead this offense” which has a lot of implications. One is not who might handle it best, going to the bench.

“I kind of look at it the other way. I try to look at it to see which guy is going to go out there and take it. I’m just trying to figure out who is going to be that guy in that position that can lead our team. Who best gives us an opportunity to win?”

After such a poor showing against Tampa Bay, much was made of how difficult camp has been and how the Jaguars looked like a tired, slow team. It’s not a concern for this coaching staff, thinking that getting the players used to a hard grind is a great prep for the regular season.

“My philosophy has always been when camp starts, ‘Hey, listen, there’s really not a lot of light at the end of the tunnel. You just kind of wake up and go,” Marrone said from the experience of a player, assistant and head coach.

“The second preseason game, in my mind, which I told the players, is when you push them like that; it’s really how you’re going to feel at some point during the season,” he added. ‘You’re going to feel tired. You’re going to feel the sweat. ‘Hey, how do you, as a team, get together and be able to push yourself and go? I also think that.”

If you’re a believer in “old-school mentality” when it comes to football, Marrone is the embodiment of that. He relates to the players I a modern way but no question he believes that putting in the work, disciplined and purposeful, is what eventually pays off.

“If you start off hard, then you can manage it, whether you have to go harder or you can back off, whatever the words. I don’t ever like to use the words ‘back off.’ For me, it’s just, this is what was planned and what we’re doing.”