Fired Jacksonville Jaguars assistant coach rips team, as he is walking out the door:”The solutions are leaving, and the problems are staying”

Fired Jaguars coach rips team on way out the door: ‘The problems are staying’
from Eric Smithling, with

The Jaguars made numerous coaching staff changes on Monday, and one departing coach isn’t staying silent.

Head coach Doug Pederson announced the day after his team was eliminated from playoff contention that defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell, defensive line coach Brentson Buckner, passing game coordinator/cornerbacks coach Deshea Townsend, inside linebackers coach Tony Gilbert, safeties coach Cody Grimm, senior defensive assistant Bob Sutton and defensive quality control coaches Tee Mitchell and Sean Cullina were all fired.

NFL insider Josina Anderson reported on social media that one coach leaving Jacksonville told her, “The solutions are leaving, and the problems are staying.”

The coach’s assertion implies the Jaguars’ biggest problems are on offense, but the truth is everyone’s hands are dirty in the team’s collapse.

The Jaguars flamed out after an 8-3 start, going 1-5 during the season’s final six weeks, including a loss to the Titans (6-11) in Week 18, missing out on the playoffs after being a heavy favorite to win the AFC South entering the season.

As Anderson noted, the defense wasn’t blameless, dropping from 12th in points allowed per game from Weeks 1-12 to 26th from Weeks 13-18. Meanwhile, the offense was mediocre, too.

They averaged 21.2 points per game during their first 11 games and 20.5 games in their six-game slide to end the season.

Coaches on the hot seat will often use their coordinators as the scapegoat. Just this year, Bills head coach Sean McDermott fired offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey after Week 10, and while the move worked out with the team winning the AFC East, Buffalo’s improvement was mostly due to an improved defense. From Weeks 1-10, the Bills defense ranked 19th in expected points added per play and 23rd in success rate; during Weeks 11-18, they ranked fourth in EPA and 11th in success rate.

A similar story will likely unfold in Jacksonville if Pederson rights the ship. For the Jaguars to take the next step, the offense must reach another level.

Quarterback Trevor Lawerence, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, declined after a promising first year under Pederson. His passer rating, completion percentage and touchdown rate all dropped, while his interception rate increased by 1.1 percentage points.

After Anderson’s post, the Jaguars released a statement by Pederson that noted the firings were “on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.”

NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that running backs coach Bernie Parmelee and assistant offensive line coach Todd Washington were also fired.

The offensive line was the Jags’ biggest weakness, finishing the season 29th in ESPN’s pass-block win-rate rankings and 27th in run-blocking. Jacksonville also ranked 30th in rush yards per carry.

Pederson must hope his changes are enough to return the Jaguars to the postseason next season. Otherwise, he’ll be the problem that needs fixing.