Jaguars fire DC Mike Caldwell, staff and offensive personnel after late-season collapse, missing playoffs

Jacksonville lost five of its last six games after an 8-3 start

A day after a loss to the Tennessee Titans knocked them out of the playoffs, the Jacksonville Jaguars fired defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell and some of his staff. The team didn't stop there, making cuts among offensive coaching personnel Tuesday as well.

Running backs coach Bernie Parmalee and assistant offensive line coach Todd Washington were let go, per multiple reports. Head coach Doug Pederson addressed those media reports in a statement released by the team Tuesday morning.

“Since our season’s end, I have made the difficult decision to relieve several members of the coaching staff — on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball — of their duties," Pederson wrote. "I want to thank each of these coaches for their tireless efforts these last two seasons. Ultimately, I felt change was necessary to allow our football team to reach the goals for which we are capable.”

The Jaguars announced the dismissal of Caldwell and the "several members of his defensive staff" Monday evening, confirming a report by Fox Sports' Greg Auman. The team didn't specify which staff members were dismissed alongside Caldwell. Caldwell joined the Jaguars alongside Pederson prior to the 2022 season.

The move is part of a defensive overhaul under Pederson after the the Jaguars lost five of their last six games to fall out of the playoff race. Despite the late-season collapse, Jacksonville could have clinched the AFC South with a win against the Titans on Sunday. But they fell to 9-8 and out of the postseason with the 28-20 loss to the last-place team in the division.

It was a stunning collapse after an 8-3 start had Jacksonville in position to compete for the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. But they lost four straight games to the Bengals, Browns, Ravens and Buccaneers to put their postseason in peril prior to Sunday's loss to the Titans.

The Jaguars fired Mike Caldwell on Monday. (James Gilbert/Getty Images)
The Jaguars fired Mike Caldwell on Monday. (James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Jacksonville allowed an average of 29.2 points per game to opponents in those five losses. The Jaguars ranked 22nd in total defense and 17th in scoring defense while allowing 21.8 points per game.

Jacksonville's late-season issues didn't rest strictly on its defense. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence struggled through ankle and shoulder injuries during the playoff push, and Jacksonville's offense suffered. The Jaguars managed seven points in a Week 15 loss to the Ravens and 12 a week later in a loss to the Bucs when Lawrence injured his shoulder. Lawrence threw two costly interceptions Sunday against the Titans.

Caldwell played 11 seasons in the NFL as a linebacker before starting his coaching career as a defensive assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2008. He's also worked for the New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was the inside linebackers coach with the Bucs under then-defensive coordinator and current head coach Todd Bowles when they won the Super Bowl after the 2021 season.