August 10, 2019; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Daniel Ross (93) before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguars sign DT Daniel Ross

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed defensive tackle Daniel Ross on Friday. Terms were not disclosed.

Ross, 28, played in Jacksonville’s final two games last season after being acquired off waivers from the Las Vegas Raiders.

He has 27 tackles, two sacks, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble in 21 career games with the Dallas Cowboys (2017-18), Raiders and Jaguars.

The 6-foot-3, 305-pound Ross was undrafted in 2017 out of Northeast Mississippi Community College.

–Field Level Media

Dec 15, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Tyson Alualu (94) is introduced before playing the Buffalo Bills at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Steelers DT Tyson Alualu staying in Pittsburgh

Defensive tackle Tyson Alualu has decided to forego an offer from the Jacksonville Jaguars and stick with the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to reports.

Terms of the deal were not available.

Alualu, 33, had agreed to a two-year, $6 million deal with the Jaguars earlier in March, but apparently changed his mind after testing positive for COVID-19 and quarantining for 10 days.

He reportedly accepted the Steelers’ original offer, which was slightly lower than Jacksonville’s, according to ESPN.

Alualu, who was drafted 10th overall by the Jaguars in 2010, joined the Steelers as a free agent in 2017 after seven years in Jacksonville.

Starting 10 of 15 games last season, Alualu finished with 38 tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks and a forced fumble.

In 172 career games (109 starts), Alualu has 398 tackles, 46 tackles for loss and 24.5 sacks.

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard (3) against the Seattle Seahawks at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Jags sign QB C.J. Beathard to 2-year, $5M deal

The Jacksonville Jaguars are signing former San Francisco 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard to a two-year, $5 million deal plus incentives, NFL Network reported Wednesday.

A third-round draft pick in 2017, Beathard went 2-10 as a starter with the 49ers and completed 58.6 percent of his passes for 3,469 yards with 18 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He ran for 233 yards and four scores.

Beathard appeared in six games with two starts (1-1 record) last year, passing for 787 yards with six touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 105.7 quarterback rating.

He is likely headed for a backup role with the Jaguars, who are widely expected to draft Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick next month.

Adding Beathard, 27, could signal that Jacksonville and first-year head coach Urban Meyer are planning to trade quarterback Gardner Minshew.

A sixth-round selection in 2019, Minshew is 7-13 as a starter (1-7 last season). He has completed 62.9 percent of his passes for 5,530 yards with 37 TDs and 11 picks.

–Field Level Media

Feb 2, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Former football head coach Urban Meyer on the sidelines of Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Fritz Pollard Alliance criticizes Urban Meyer’s hiring of Chris Doyle

The Fritz Pollard Alliance criticized the Jacksonville Jaguars and new head coach Urban Meyer for hiring Chris Doyle, a former strength coach at the University of Iowa who allegedly made racist and derogatory comments to players, as the Jaguars’ director of sports performance.

Fritz Pollard Alliance executive director Rod Graves called the hire “unacceptable” and said it’s the latest example of the issues minority coaches must overcome to get NFL jobs.

“At a time when the NFL has failed to solve its problem with racial hiring practices, it is simply unacceptable to welcome Chris Doyle into the ranks of NFL coaches,” Graves’ statement read. “Doyle’s departure from the University of Iowa reflected a tenure riddled with poor judgment and mistreatment of Black players. His conduct should be as disqualifying for the NFL as it was for University of Iowa.

“Urban Meyer’s statement, ‘I’ve known Chris for close to 20 years reflects the good ol’ boy network that is precisely the reason there is such a disparity in employment opportunities for Black coaches.”

Comprised of scouts, coaches and front office personnel in the NFL as well as other sports professionals, the Fritz Pollard Alliance is a charitable organization focused on promoting diversity within the NFL.

The Jaguars announced on Thursday the hiring of Doyle, who had served as the Hawkeyes director of strength and conditioning from 1999 until last summer. The two parted ways after several former Hawkeyes went public with the way they were mistreated during their time in Iowa City.

The NFL and the Jaguars have not responded to a request for comment by NFL Network.

Several Black players alleged that Doyle and other coaches used racist language towards them, while a former offensive lineman, who is Caucasian, said Doyle and other coaches made fun of his learning disability.

Doyle claimed he never said anything inappropriate.

“At no time have I ever crossed the line of unethical behavior or bias based upon race,” he wrote on Twitter after the allegations against him surfaced. “I do not make racist comments and I don’t tolerate people who do.”

However, Meyer said his background check into Doyle, as well as their conversations and longtime relationship, convinced him Doyle wouldn’t cause any issues in Jacksonville.

“I vet everyone on our staff and like I said, the relationship goes back close to 20 years and a lot of hard questions asked, a lot of vetting involved with all our staff,” Meyer said. “We did a very good job vetting that one.

“… I met with our staff and I’m going to be very transparent with all the players like I am with everything. I’ll listen closely and learn, and also there’s going to have to be some trust in their head coach that we’re going to give them the very best of the best, and time will tell. … The allegations that took place, I will say (to the players) I vetted him. I know the person for close to 20 years and I can assure them there will be nothing of any sort in the Jaguar facility.”

The University of Iowa placed Doyle on administrative leave on June 6, and the school and Doyle announced on June 14 that his time with the Hawkeyes was over.

Doyle, who was the country’s highest-paid strength coach at $800,000 annually, received 15 months’ salary, in addition to he and his family receiving benefits from Iowa for 15 months, or until he landed another job.

–Field Level Media

Sep 8, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; General view of Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) helmet on the bench prior to the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Kansas City Chiefs at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguars hire ex-Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle

The Jacksonville Jaguars introduced Chris Doyle as their director of sport performance Thursday, eight months after his tumultuous exit from the University of Iowa.

The longtime Hawkeyes strength coach was placed on leave by the school last June after several former players said he contributed to a dysfunctional culture for Black players.

Doyle, 52, and the university agreed to a separation agreement on June 15 that reportedly paid him $1.1 million.

Jaguars coach Urban Meyer said he had no reservations with tabbing the controversial Doyle for the position.

“I’ve known Chris for close to 20 years …” Meyer said during a video press conference. “He was doing sports performance before sports performance became a high priority in college sports. So I’ve known him, I’ve studied him, we’ve had a relationship.

“I’ve vetted him, along with our general manager and owner. I feel great about the hire, about his expertise at that position. So we vetted him thoroughly … I wanted to get the best of the best.”

Pressed about the hire, Meyer repeated the franchise’s vetting of Doyle and said he was “very confident” there would be no issues.

Doyle had been part of Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz’s staff since 1999. He was previously the strength coach at Utah (1998) and Wisconsin (1996-97).

Jacksonville officially introduced the entirety of Meyer’s staff on Thursday, including offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, defensive coordinator Joe Cullen and special teams coordinator Brian Schneider.

–Field Level Media

Dec 13, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone talks on his headset during the second quarter against the Tennessee Titans at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguars fire Marrone

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone was fired Monday after the team finished the 2020 season with a 1-15 record.

The Jaguars went 23-43 in four-plus seasons under Marrone. A coaching change completes a hard reset of the management structure of the franchise that included president of football operations Tom Coughlin and general manager Dave Caldwell.

Jacksonville lost 15 consecutive games to end the season and owns the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft.

“As the search for our general manager continues, now the quest begins to find a head coach who shares my ambition for the Jaguars and our fans, whose loyalty and faith are overdue to be rewarded,” Jaguars owner Shad Khan said.

Marrone finished the 2016 season as the Jaguars’ interim head coach following the ouster of Gus Bradley.

Coughlin was hired in January 2017 along with Marrone. Coughlin was fired in December 2019 but Khan decided to retain Marrone and Caldwell at the end of last season with a clear understanding of expectations.

But the Jaguars continued to purge the roster of top talent, trading away the likes of cornerback Jalen Ramsey (October 2019), cornerback A.J. Bouye and defensive lineman Calais Campbell and releasing former top-10 pick Leonard Fournette.

Jacksonville’s roster needs are many, starting with a franchise-caliber quarterback.

Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence is thought to be the top player in the 2021 draft and could help solve some of the team’s concerns on offense.

–Field Level Media

Sep 15, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone reacts during the second half against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Meyer a target to replace Marrone at Jacksonville

The Jacksonville Jaguars “will likely” fire head coach Doug Marrone after Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts, with former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer his possible replacement, NFL Network reported Saturday.

The potential firing, however, comes with a wait-and-see approach. Reports last year also suggested that Marrone would be fired after the season and that personnel move never came to fruition.

The Jaguars have gone 1-14 this season, far worse than their 6-10 mark of a season ago. In four-plus seasons under the 56-year-old Marrone, Jacksonville is 23-42. He was hired after Week 14 of the 2016 season.

The Jaguars did win the AFC South in 2017, Marrone’s first full season, and won a pair of playoff games before falling 24-20 to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.

The Jaguars are on the verge of landing the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, and the potential hiring of Meyer would be interesting timing. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence has been predicted as the No. 1 overall selection, although Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields could be Jacksonville’s desired pick.

Fields was recruited to Ohio State by Meyer. Ohio State and Fields defeated Clemson and Lawrence 49-28 in Friday’s CFP Semifinal and will face Alabama in the championship game on Jan. 11 at Miami Gardens, Fla.

Meyer, 56, went 83-9 in his seven years at Ohio State, leaving after the 2018 season for health reasons. Ryan Day took over as head coach of the Buckeyes. Day is also considered “a potential target” of the Jaguars if Meyer elects to stay retired, NFL Network reported.

Meyer was 187-32 overall going back to 2001 with head coaching jobs at Bowling Green (2001-02), Utah (2003-04), Florida (2005-10) and Ohio State (2012-18).

–Field Level Media

Dec 27, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17) calls an audible at the line of scrimmage against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 28-24. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Rivers, Colts hope to extend season vs. Jaguars

Could Sunday be the last hurrah for veteran quarterback Philip Rivers?

Addressing the uncertain nature beyond the host Indianapolis Colts’ Week 17 game against the skidding Jacksonville Jaguars, Rivers acknowledged the thought crossed his mind.

With the Colts (10-5) needing a victory against the Jaguars (1-14) plus a loss from either the Cleveland Browns (10-5), Baltimore Ravens (10-5), Miami Dolphins (10-5) or Tennessee Titans (10-5) to make the AFC playoffs, Indianapolis’ postseason prospects aren’t the only “What if” swirling around town.

“I guess it’s probably healthy to have that thought because, shoot, you’re not guaranteed anything moving forward,” Rivers said. “But to think it could be the last game, the last game I ever play, certainly. I don’t intend it will be, I don’t hope that it is, but you have to acknowledge it is a possibility.”

Rivers, 39, signed a one-year contract with the Colts in the offseason following a 16-season career with the Chargers franchise. Still, coach Frank Reich admitted this season he could see the Colts bringing Rivers back, were he interested.

Behind Rivers’ 23 touchdowns and 68.2 completion percentage against just 10 interceptions — half his total from 2019 — the Colts rank eighth in the NFL in passing yards per game (259.3) and ninth in scoring at 28.2 points per game.

Rivers will aim to stay upright Sunday with a shuffled offensive line. The Colts, who are coming off a 28-24 loss at Pittsburgh in Week 16, announced Wednesday that left tackle Anthony Castonzo (knee) will be out for the remainder of the season.

Jacksonville earned its lone win of 2020 with a 27-20 home victory against the Colts in the season opener. Rivers was 36 of 46 for 363 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, outshined by Jaguars counterpart Gardner Minshew II, who had one incompletion in 20 attempts while passing for173 yards and three touchdowns.

Jaguars rookie running back James Robinson rushed for 62 yards on 16 carries in his NFL debut en route to a 1,070-yard, seven-touchdown season that ultimately was cut short. After missing Jacksonville’s Week 16 home loss to Chicago with a left ankle injury that hampered him the previous week, the Jaguars announced Wednesday that Robinson would be shut down for the remainder of the season.

Robinson fell just 35 yards shy of breaking the league rushing record for an undrafted rookie.

“I could never, ever say enough about that guy, how hard he’s tried,” Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said. “He wants to come back. He wants to play.”

The same could be said for a healthy Minshew, but Marrone has confirmed that veteran Mike Glennon will start under center in the season finale, completing a quarterback carousel that saw Minshew, rookie Jake Luton and Glennon split starts after Minshew started the first seven games.

Glennon was 24-for-37 for 211 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in a 41-17 loss to the Bears, and he figures to have a depleted core of weapons against the Colts. Marrone said wide receiver Collin Johnson (hamstring) would be out Sunday, while fellow wideout D.J. Chark (shin) didn’t practice Wednesday.

–Field Level Media

Dec 27, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Dare Ogunbowale (33) runs the ball against Chicago Bears linebacker Trevis Gipson (99) during the first half at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Trubisky puts Bears in playoff position with romp over Jacksonville

Mitchell Trubisky passed for 265 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for another score, and David Montgomery rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown as the visiting Chicago Bears defeated the reeling Jacksonville Jaguars 41-17 on Sunday to move into sole possession of the final NFC wild card spot.

Chicago (8-7) won its third straight game on the heels of a six-game losing streak, while the Jaguars (1-14) suffered their 14th consecutive defeat.

The Bears entered the afternoon with a boost after the team they were chasing in the playoff race, the Arizona Cardinals, lost on Saturday evening.

With veteran quarterback Mike Glennon, a former Bear, starting over Gardner Minshew after a competition earlier in the week, Jacksonville stayed with Chicago in the early going. The Jaguars drew to within 10-10 on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Glennon to DJ Chark to cap a 10-play, 70-yard drive with 8:21 remaining in the second quarter.

Chicago responded with 31 consecutive points after that to seize control, topping 30 points for the fourth consecutive week. The Bears outgained the Jaguars 391-279.

Placekicker Cairo Santos started the run with a 40-yard field goal with as time expired in the second quarter to give the Bears a 13-10 lead.

The Bears seized control with three third-quarter touchdowns.

Trubisky opened the spurt with a 6-yard scoring run with 9:14 remaining before Montgomery scored from the same distance out with 3:17 left in the third. Just 47 seconds later, following a Roquan Smith interception of Glennon, the Bears scored again as Trubisky found Jimmy Graham for a 22-yard touchdown pass with 2:30 remaining.

Trubisky finished 24-for-35 with two touchdowns and one interception. Allen Robinson had 10 receptions for 103 yards.

Glennon was 24-for-37 for 211 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Dare Ogunbuwale led the Jacksonville ground game with 14 rushes for 71 yards, while Chark had four catches for 62 yards and a touchdown.

Montgomery finished just shy of his fourth 100-yard rushing game in five weeks but the Bears remained effective on the ground, running for 128 yards.

–Field Level Media

Dec 20, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Chicago Bears offensive lineman Alex Bars (64) congratulates kicker Cairo Santos (2) after a field goal in the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Bears eyeing playoffs, Jags eyeing QB Lawrence?

Winning successive games on the heels of a six-game skid that seemingly sullied a 5-1 start, the Chicago Bears remain in reach of their 2020 vision of making the NFC playoffs.

Entering a Week 16 visit to the reeling Jacksonville Jaguars, losers of 13 games in a row, the Bears are one game behind the Arizona Cardinals for the final NFC wild card spot.

“We’re excited,” Chicago quarterback Mitchell Trubisky said. “I mean, this is what you play for.”

After navigating offensive struggles for much of the season, the Bears (7-7) have found a resurgence behind a jelling combination on the line that has allowed Trubisky room to operate and created space for running back David Montgomery.

Injuries and inconsistency on the offensive line led coach Matt Nagy to employ six different lineups in the first 10 games. However, in the four games since the Bears have started the combo of Charles Leno at left tackle, Cody Whitehair at left guard, Sam Mustipher at center, Alex Bars at right guard and Germain Ifedi at right tackle, Montgomery has eclipsed 100 yards three times.

The Bears’ highest output in the first 10 games was Montgomery’s 89 yards in Week 8.

“When you watch tape, you see these linemen,” Nagy said. “They’re running to the ball, they’re picking guys up off the ground, they’re celebrating. … So it starts right there and it starts with the belief, and trust then filters down to or moves on to David at running back, to CP (Cordarrelle Patterson) at running back, to Mitchell at quarterback.”

Jacksonville (1-13) has been outscored 71-24 in its past two games while facing AFC playoff contenders Tennessee and Baltimore. In Week 15, the Ravens controlled the line of scrimmage — and most other facets of the game — in building a 26-0 halftime lead en route to a 40-14 home victory.

While Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew passed for 226 yards and two touchdowns, he had only 58 yards through the air in the first half. Meanwhile, the Jaguars offensive line allowed five sacks and running back James Robinson, who is battling ankle issues, rushed for only 35 yards, his second-lowest output of 2020.

“I mean, we were getting one or two yards in the play-action game. We weren’t able to make plays,” Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone said. “Either not pulling the trigger, or not being in good position, or pressure coming — it gets to you. It’s a lot of things. When you don’t play that well … it’s not one thing, it’s everything.”

Marrone said Minshew and veteran Mike Glennon, a former Bear, would compete this week for the starting job, adding some intrigue.

After the New York Jets upset the Los Angeles Rams in Week 15 for their first victory of the season, the Jaguars suddenly gained an inside edge for the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, a selection that likely would bring Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence to Jacksonville. The Jaguars have the strength-of-schedule tiebreaker on the Jets.

Nevertheless, Marrone said the Jaguars remain focused on ending the losing streak.

“No one has advised me anything different than to go out there and win,” he said. “I understand, I guess, from a standpoint of I was young growing up, you know, and I had a favorite team and was excited to see where they were going to pick.”

–Field Level Media