At this time last year, the Jaguars were coming off their sixth-straight losing season and ninth-straight year out of the playoffs.
That meant expectations for head coach Doug Marrone’s first season were tempered, but that’s not the case this time around. The Jaguars went 10-6, won the AFC South and advanced to the conference title game with a roster that’s largely intact as they head into the 2018 season. That has changed the expectations dramatically in Marrone’s second year on the job.
Marrone told Mike Garafolo of NFL Media that one of his messages for the team this offseason was to avoid the “trap of people taking you to where we were at the end of last year.” Marrone said that the first year is “kind of easier” because fewer people are paying attention and wants the Jaguars to know that won’t be the case this time around.
“Last year, you can easily say we might’ve caught a team [by surprise],” Marrone said. “But I don’t think we’re going to catch anybody [this year]. Now, everyone’s gonna know they have to play a good football game and they’ll be ready for us.”
Whether because of complacency or other reasons, NFL history features plenty of teams that were unable to maintain success from one season to the next. Jacksonville’s ability to avoid that fate will be a leading storyline in the AFC this fall.