Jaguars hire Marrone as assistant head coach, offensive line coach

Former Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone interviewed with Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley last week.  

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Spor/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars announced Wednesday that they have hired Doug Marrone, who was the head coach of the Buffalo Bills the past two seasons, as an assistant head coach and offensive line coach.

Marrone, 50, will replace George Yarno, who was not with the Jaguars during the 2014 season because he was undergoing cancer treatment. Luke Butkus filled in for Yarno on an interim basis and oversaw a line which gave up an NFL-high 71 sacks.

Marrone, who had a 15-17 record with the Bills before stepping down Dec. 31, interviewed with the Jaguars last week. At the time, it was thought he was a candidate for the vacant offensive coordinator position created by the firing of Jedd Fisch rather than Yarno’s job.

Greg Roman, another one of those who were interviewed, has since been hired by the Bills as their offensive coordinator.

Head coach Gus Bradley and his staff are currently in Mobile, Alabama coaching the Senior Bowl for the second year in a row.

The Jaguars started two rookies on their line in guard Brandon Linder and center Luke Bowanko. Tackle Luke Joeckel, their first-round pick and the second player drafted overall in 2013, missed most of his rookie season with a fractured ankle and was moved from right to left tackle in order to play alongside guard Zane Beadles, their most noteworthy free-agent signing.

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Two days after the season ended, general manager Dave Caldwell sought to downplay the franchise-record number of sacks allowed by citing that the Jaguars improved to 21st in the league in rushing yardage, up 10 spots from the year before.

"We all look at the sacks and the sacks we gave up," Caldwell said. "But we did a pretty good job running the ball later in the year."

The Jaguars finished 31st out of 32 NFL teams in total offense each of the last two seasons under Fisch and were 31st in passing offense in a year where rookie quarterback Blake Bortles started the final 13 games.

Marrone was the head coach at Syracuse for four years before being hired by the Bills. They went 9-7 in his final year there, the franchise’s first winning season since 2004.

You can follow Ken Hornack on Twitter @HornackFSFla or email him at khornack32176@gmail.com.