Things not going well in Jacksonville. Yes, this has happened before.
The frills are obvious for head coaches in the NFL — frills that go beyond the courtesy Buick and prime parking spot.
Beyond the large salary and whatever level of legacy you may leave behind, best of all must be the comfort of knowing, if all goes to hell in a handbasket, there will likely be a decent landing spot for you.
That, presumably, makes up for this particular down side to the job: Eventually, unless you're a rarity, certain folks will start counting down the days until you begin pondering that landing spot.
Doug Marrone's countdown started this past Sunday afternoon, when his Jacksonville Jaguars, in need of wins and with their high-priced quarterback returning from injury, went belly-up in Indianapolis. The 33-13 loss was the second straight lopsided loss for a team whose 2017 playoff run now seems as ancient as Bronko Nagurski's sophomore season.
It's a shame in one sense, because everyone seems to like Doug. But he's following in the footsteps of several Jaguars coaches who were well liked by all but, unfortunately, the "all" often included the Sunday opposition.
As a service to Doug Marrone, here's a rundown of past Jags coaches and how things fared after they left Duval.
• Tom Coughlin. Record: 68-60 from 1995-2002. The era of "well liked" Jax coaches began after this no-nonsense (and no-sunglasses) coach left and won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants. He returned to Jacksonville, where he runs the football operation. He'll be the one breaking it to Doug Marrone.
• Jack Del Rio. Record: 68-71 from 2003-11. His name may sound like a bourbon-based Caribbean cocktail, but Del Rio had some excellent seasons with the Jags before fading. He went to Denver and was defensive coordinator for three very good Broncos teams from 2012-14 before the Raiders gave him another chance as head coach. He had one good season in three and is now on ESPN's broadcasting team.
• Mel Tucker. Record: 2-3 as interim in 2011. He stayed one more year as defensive coordinator before moving on to the Bears, Alabama (national champs in 2015), Georgia and, beginning this year, Colorado as head coach.
• Mike Mularkey. Record: 2-14 in 2012. No moss grows under this former Gator's cleats. The Jags were his seventh different team when he was named head coach in 2012. After that one tough season, he became the Titans' tight ends coach, then their head coach in 2016-17, and now coaches tight ends again in Atlanta, where he was offensive coordinator from 2008-11.
• Gus Bradley. Record: 14-48 from 2013-16. Everyone loved Gus, whose eternal optimism was tested like few other coaches in history. In fact, upon his departure, of the 171 men who had coached at least 50 NFL games, only one had a worse winning percentage. He was immediately hired by the Chargers and returned to his past comfort zone as a defensive coordinator, where he still serves.
Marrone is 20-24 since 2016 with the Jags, who were his 11th different employer in a coaching career that began as tight ends coach at Cortland State in 1992. He's also coached offensive lines and been an offensive coordinator, as well as the Bills' head coach in 2013-14.
He's 55 and very well connected. He'll be fine, but barring an amazing turnaround, he likely won't be fine in Jacksonville.
Rank & File
The weekly ranking of Florida's seven big-league college football programs, based on results versus expectations, current trends, and yesterday's yuan-versus-yen fluctuation.
1. Florida (9-2): Some smart folks are suggesting Florida is destined for a Cotton Bowl date with Memphis. Not exactly what the Gators were eyeballing a few weeks back. This week: Off.
2. FAU (7-3): The Owls' chances of reaching the Conference-USA title game diminished when Marshall beat capable Louisiana Tech last week. But they're not done yet. This week: at Texas-San Antone.
3. Miami (6-4): Hurricanes return to the Orange Bowl this weekend. OK, the site of the former Orange Bowl, which now houses the Miami Marlins' ballpark. It's a neutral site for two Dade County programs but that's all that's neutral in this one. This week: vs. FIU.
4. UCF (7-3): The Knights had a week off after the loss to Tulsa, which was probably the lowest point for the program since its winless 2015 season. We'll keep harping on it here: The program's near-term future could depend on something decent coming from the twilight of 2019. This week: at Tulane.
5. FSU (6-5): Wrong Willie? Two years ago FSU hired Willie Taggart around the same time neighboring Florida A&M hired Willie Simmons, who turned around the Rattlers in quick fashion – 6-5 last year and 9-1 so far this year. This week: off.
6. FIU (5-5): After the Hurricanes, the Panthers close out the season with Marshall. A return to sub-.500 football is a real possibility. This week: vs. Miami.
7. USF (4-6): The Bulls took Cincinnati to the wire last week, indicating there's some fight left in them. They'll need it again Saturday. This week: Memphis at home.
Miami (2-8) at Cleveland (4-6): Never trust conventional wisdom to an oblong ball. Consider, just a month ago you knew the Dolphins would be winless and Tua Tagovailoa would be the No. 1 pick waiting for them next spring. Yes, there might be another win or two coming, but probably not this week. The pick: Browns 27, Dolphins 16.
Jacksonville (4-6) at Tennessee (5-5): Professional football players are great athletes and there's a pride there, especially individually. No way the Jags' recent death-rattle continues. No way, but will a resurgence of pride be enough? The pick: Titans 28, Jags 24.
Tampa Bay (3-7) at Atlanta (3-7): Jameis Winston was throwing four interceptions and running around on one good leg last Sunday, yet Ryan Griffin has yet to see a snap of NFL action in his six seasons. You gotta figure it's coming. The pick: Falcons 34, Bucs 17.
Reach Ken Willis at firstname.lastname@example.org