Welcome to Pro Football Magazine’s new interview series called 4 for 4, where we interview people around the NFL and college football about the latest trending topics. We’ll be interviewing a wide range of people involved in the football world, including beat writers, draft analysts, scouts, front office executives, players, and team personnel.
Why 4 for 4?
Because at PFM, we are big fans of Wendy’s Jr. bacon cheeseburgers. If Wendy’s wants to sponsor us, we won’t say no. But in all seriousness, we’ll ask four, in-depth questions and post those for you in written, audio, or video format.
In our first installment of the series, we had a chat with Jacksonville Jaguars beat writer, Demetrius Harvey (Follow Demetrius on Twitter). Demetrius is one of the most knowledgeable people covering the team that I know, and we thought it would be a great chance to ask him some questions on huge questions revolving around the team, given his expertise.
Without further ado, let’s get into the interview.
What were your thoughts on the decision to go from Gardner Minshew back to Nick Foles?
Demetrius Harvey: The decision for the Jacksonville Jaguars to start Nick Foles ahead of rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew was complicated. The Jaguars got incredible production out of their sixth-round draft pick, and to sit him, it seemed unimaginable. However, I felt as though the team needed to see what they had out of their $88M investment in Foles, thus it made sense to at the very least look. Following the team’s Week 11 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts, the decision to bench Minshew will absolutely be questioned, however it was not necessarily a decision I disagreed with initially. The team was forced — in a way — to play him not only due to their initial investment, but also because Minshew was coming off a horrific game against the Houston Texans in London.
What are the top three things the team needs to address in the offseason?
Demetrius Harvey: The Jaguars top three needs heading into the offseason are mostly on the defensive side of the football. The team has been hampered with injuries at linebacker, however considering their deficiencies as a run-defense, the team needs an upgrade. Defensive tackle is another priority for the same reason as linebacker, the team needs to get bigger up front. Their final most pressing need is likely at tight end. The Jaguars have had a multitude of injuries at the position this season. The entire group has accounted for only 24 receptions for 245 yards and two touchdowns this season.
What would you say has to happen for the coaching staff to not return next season, specifically Doug Marrone?
Demetrius Harvey: This is probably easier to answer if you asked what Doug Marrone can do to remain with the team. The Jaguars would need at win at least four of the final seven games of the season for Marrone and the rest of the coaching staff to remain, although there will likely be some changes regardless. Simply put, there really isn’t much room for error when it comes to the team’s coaching staff. Last season, Jaguars Owner Shad Khan said, “There were far too many long Sundays over the last three-quarters of the season, with today’s loss in Houston being the final example, and that cannot repeat itself in 2019,” so one would imagine the owner would not be pleased with yet another extremely disappointing end to the season.
There’s been whispers about the Jaguars possibly considering a London move eventually. What do you know about that and what are your thoughts?
Demetrius Harvey: The Jaguars are not moving to London anytime soon. That much was said by owner Shad Khan just a few weeks ago shortly following the team’s annual voyage across the pond in Week 9. The Jaguars and their ownership have stated numerous times that they are absolutely committed to Jacksonville and until things change, there is no other reason to believe otherwise. However, there have been whispers of the team moving one extra game over to London, and the owner himself did not rule it out just prior to their international game this season.