Jaguars' pending rebuilding project won't be a quick fix
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville's pending rebuild won't be a quick fix. The Jaguars have holes everywhere, a reality that's become clear during the team's five-game losing streak.
Second-year receiver DJ Chark and rookie defensive end Josh Allen are two of the team's best players, but there's little around them. Jacksonville has made little, if any, headway in signing standout defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, and running back Leonard Fournette doesn't look like a long-term option despite topping the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the second time in three seasons.
Quarterback seemed like a bright spot two months ago, with rookie Gardner Minshew making plays and veteran Nick Foles working his way back from a broken left collarbone. But both have shown so many flaws in recent weeks that there's growing belief Jacksonville will address the position again with one of its two first-round draft picks in 2020.
The Jaguars (4-9) have numerous other needs, too. The list includes offensive line, receiver, tight end, defensive tackle, linebacker, cornerback and safety. Yes, pretty much the entire team.
The lack of talent is an indictment of 73-year-old personnel chief Tom Coughlin. The recent results are equally damning for coach Doug Marrone, whose team has dropped 19 of its last 25 games.
"We're not playing with a lot of confidence," Marrone said Monday, a day after getting drubbed 45-10 by the Los Angeles Chargers. "We've got to coach with better confidence and play with better confidence, and that's my responsibility. It's obviously disappointing. There's a lot of words that can describe how we feel."
Jacksonville has been outscored 174-57 during its current five-game skid, and the 117-point differential over that stretch is by far the worst in the league.
The Jaguars play at Oakland (6-7) on Sunday, the final football game in the Oakland Coliseum.
Marrone remains in charge for at least another week despite back-to-back embarrassments at home to non-playoff contenders, Tampa Bay (6-7) and the Chargers (5-8). Both games were essentially over by halftime.
The Chargers scored on seven of their first eight possessions and finished with a season-high 525 yards.
"You'll never hear me say that talent is an issue for poor performance," Marrone said. "If you sit around and you start saying, 'Well, it's a lack of this or injuries or talent,' what it does is it doesn't pull you in the proper direction for my position. My position has to be standing up, telling guys what's going on, giving insight into things, pushing the coaches, pushing the players."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.