There's not much good news coming out of the Jacksonville Jaguars' organization these days. The Jaguars finished 3-13 in 2014, missing the playoffs for the seventh straight season. That's the longest postseason drought in team history.
But a recent news item out of Jacksonville should make football fans nationwide proud of the organization.
After hiring Doug Marrone this week as assistant head coach/offensive line coach, the Jaguars now have three offensive line coaches on staff. The team is expecting two -- Marrone and assistant OL coach Luke Butkus -- to work directly with the players. The third, George Yarno, hasn't been with the team since the spring. That's when Yarno took a leave of absence after receiving a cancer diagnosis.
Jacksonville kept Yarno on payroll in 2014 and will do the same in 2015 even though he most likely won't be able to rejoin the team anytime soon. The classy move allows Yarno to keep his salary and medical benefits as he fights the disease. Making the decision all the more commendable, writes ESPN's Mike DiRocco, is the fact that the Jaguars aren't publicizing the decision to retain Yarno.
The team has been quiet about Yarno's condition and the decision to keep him on staff, but in May coach Gus Bradley said this about the longtime assistant:
"He's received some positive news on his treatment options and how we're going to go about attacking it," Bradley said. "He's confident in the treatment plan, felt really good at the initial part of it, and the plan that the doctors have. He's actually excited about it, about getting after this battle.
Yarno has been receiving treatment with his family in Spokane, Wash.
A former NFL offensive lineman himself, the 57-year-old Yarno would be entering his 25th year as an assistant coach and his eighth year coaching in the NFL.