Monday afternoon, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Jacksonville Jaguars were planning to remove the “interim” tag from Doug Marrone and make him the team’s permanent head coach. Moments later, Ringer deputy editor Mallory Rubin wrote the following sentence in our NFL Slack channel:
“Doug Marrone did great things at Syracuse.”
Friends, I’d heard the expression “damning with faint praise” before, but I’d never really understood it, felt one with it, until “Doug Marrone did great things at Syracuse” flashed on my computer screen. The Jaguars are chest-deep in a swamp of irrelevant mediocrity and have been since the turn of the century, so I guess their plan is to tint their uniforms gold, play a bunch of games in London, and bore their way to the playoffs? Because the most boring thing to do is to promote the interim coach — that is, the guy who was just lying around when you fired the last coach — particularly if he’s a retread, and particularly if he’s Doug Marrone, who was a human cloaking device when he coached the Bills.
I remember a news story in 2013 about how the Bills hired the Syracuse guy to replace Chan Gailey (who was an even-less-inspiring hire than Marrone), then two years later Rex Ryan showed up. In between, I dunno, they moved Buffalo to Mars or something? I don’t remember a single specific detail of Marrone’s tenure in Buffalo. Did the Canadians put the city to siege and cut off all communication? Marrone is going to make the Jaguars, a team that’s already a leaguewide joke starving for attention as they toil away in the Memphis of Florida, even more boring than they were already. And as if that weren’t uninspiring enough, Schefter also reported that the Jaguars are bringing in America’s Stern Grandfather, Tom Coughlin, as executive vice president of football operations.
Boring as the change in management is, it does open the door for some Doug Marrone and Tom Coughlin puns — nine of them, in fact; one for each consecutive year the Jaguars have missed the playoffs.
- The Jaguars couldn’t be less relevant if they’d been Marroned on a desert island.
- If David Byrne of Talking Heads were a Jaguars fan, he’d probably say “We’re on Marrone to nowhere.”
- Maybe Marrone could have success with a team that hadn’t Doug itself such a big hole.
- Speaking of Hole, maybe Jacksonville’s new bass defense will be Melissa Auf der Maurrone.
- That defense had better be good, or else the Jaguars will find themselves Coughlin up whatever leads they’re able to scratch out next year.
- Blake Bortles isn’t very good — it makes sense to call Marrone plays if you don’t trust your quarterback.
- No matter who Jacksonville plays on Opening Day next year, I’d bet the Jaguars would be at least a seven-point under-Doug.
- The Jaguars could be the most universally reviled thing to come out of North Florida since Creed, the post-grunge band famous for songs like “Higher” and “Marrone Prison.”
- Jaguars owner Shad Khan really has nobody to blame but himself. He might look back on this and say, “I Doug Marrone grave and climbed into my Coughlin.”
And so on. Enjoy the puns, until the Jaguars hire another boring retread after two 5–11 seasons.