Jaguars keep replaced coach with cancer under contract so he can keep insurance
With the addition of Doug Marrone to the Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staff — the former Bills head coach was named assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tuesday — the team now has a glut of men charged with coaching the offensive line.
Along with Marrone, the Jaguars also have Luke Butkus, who coached the O-line in 2014, remaining on the staff as an assistant offensive line coach. Not only that, the Jags also intend to keep George Yarno under contract, even though he has been replaced on the staff and despite the fact he hasn’t been with the team since last spring.
Why? Because in a move that demonstrates immense class and organizational integrity, the Jags intend to keep Yarno on the coaching staff for the foreseeable future as he is undergoing treatment for cancer and the team does not want his health insurance benefits to lapse.
Yarno also will keep drawing his salary from the Jaguars, and as NFL Nation’s Michael DiRocco reports, the reason not many people have heard about the team’s generous gesture is because the organization have chosen not to publicize it in respect to Yarno’s wishes that his battle with cancer remain a private one.
Jags head Gus Bradley and general manager David Caldwell declined to comment on how the team is keeping Yarno on staff in respect of his privacy. DiRocco also reports that source told him that Jaguars owner Shad Khan “enthusiastically” endorsed keeping Yarno under contract.
Obviously, cancer treatments are incredibly costly and without the health insurance provided to Yarno through his employment with the Jaguars, he likely would have to go on disability. In a way, Yarno’s story and the class demonstrated by the Jaguars organization is a bit like how the Cincinnati Bengals kept Devon Still on the practice squad so he could maintain the health insurance coverage needed to treat his four-year-old daughter Leah’s pediatric cancer treatments.
In any event, the Jaguars organization deserves a lot of praise for ensuring one of their own doesn’t have to go through such a traumatic and frightening experience as battling cancer without its support.