Eagles’ coach gets subtle jab from Marrone

The Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — With a straight face and a shoulder shrug, Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Marrone provided a subtle response to being criticized in Doug Pederson’s new book.

In Pederson’s book released Tuesday, the Philadelphia Eagles coach ripped Marrone’s decision to take a knee at the end of the first half of the AFC championship game. Jacksonville led New England 14-10 with 55 seconds remaining and two timeouts, but Marrone called for Blake Bortles to run out the clock and head to the locker room. According to ESPN Stats and Info, Jacksonville was the first team last season to take a knee with that much time remaining in the first half.

Marrone received several texts about Pederson’s book — “Fearless: How an Underdog Becomes a Champion” — excerpts of which were released earlier this week.

“I got a couple text messages, saying like, ‘Blah, blah blah, blah, blah,'” Marrone said. “And I’m just like, ‘Hey, Doug won a Super Bowl. Doug did a great job of coaching. I’m sure there’s a long line of people that have the same questions or feelings. It’s just what you’re going to do.”

Then Marrone dropped this nugget: He said he read a book written by Mark Manson during the offseason that ended up on The New York Times Best Seller list. The title? “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a (expletive): A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life.”

Marrone never mentioned the title of Manson’s book in his response to a question about Pederson’s book. But his message seemed clear.

Here’s one to bookmark now: The Eagles and Jaguars play Oct. 28 in London, an opportunity for the coaches to discuss their philosophies face to face.

“So those things happen and that’s it,” Marrone said. “But I respect the hell out of him and his team and he won a Super Bowl, so. We lost, and when you lose, you question everything so I don’t have a problem with it.”

In his book, Pederson said he watched the watched the game and was “screaming at the TV in my office” and thinking “you’ve got to be kidding me right now. It made me mad because Jacksonville had New England right where they wanted them.”

The Patriots overcame a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Jacksonville 24-20 and reach the Super Bowl. Pederson said Jacksonville’s cautious approach “fueled me.”

“They could have at least tried for a field goal,” Pederson wrote. “They took it out of their quarterback’s hands, and they didn’t give to their big back Leonard Fournette. I thought, ‘If they lose this game, this is why.’ Sure enough they would go on to lose the game.”

Facing a similar situation in the NFC title game against Minnesota, Pederson and the Eagles managed a field goal late in the first half after getting the ball with 29 seconds remaining. Two weeks later in the Super Bowl, Pederson’s aggression helped the Eagles claim their first Lombardi Trophy.

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