What's Doug Marrone's 2-point chart like? Don't ask the players

Doug Marrone went for two against the Jets last season, when the Jaguars were ahead by 19 points with 25 seconds remaining in the game. Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars play host to the New York Jets this week, which means a certain 2-point conversion is a hot topic again.

It’s the one Jaguars coach Doug Marrone called at the end of last season's 31-12 victory over the Jets at TIAA Bank Field. Up 19 points with 25 seconds to play following T.J. Yeldon's 1-yard touchdown run, Marrone opted for a 2-point attempt instead of sending out kicker Josh Lambo.

It was a decision that generated some controversy, mainly because of Marrone’s alleged hard feelings toward the Jets because they opted to hire Todd Bowles instead of him in 2015. However, Marrone’s reasoning for the 2-point try was pretty simple: Several players on the PAT team were banged up, and the chart said he should go for two.

Ah, the chart.

For those unfamiliar -- that, apparently, includes a significant number of Jaguars players -- the chart lists the scenarios when it’s better for a team to try a PAT versus a 2-point conversion. It takes into consideration the score margin and amount of time remaining and allows coaches to make quick decisions based on the situation. Former Eagles and Rams coach Dick Vermeil is generally credited with developing the chart while he was the offensive coordinator at UCLA in the 1970s.

You now know more about the 2-point conversion chart than several Jaguars players -- non-quarterbacks, anyway.

Although Gardner Minshew and Josh Dobbs knew about the chart, neither had ever seen one. Still, that puts them way ahead of some of their teammates. Attempted interviews about the chart went like this:

Receiver Chris Conley (in his fifth season)

Q: Have you ever seen the 2-point conversion chart?

A: Like, percentages of 2-point conversions?

Q: No, the chart that tells you when you should kick or go for two points.

A: That sounds like that’s above my pay grade.

Receiver Keelan Cole (third season)

Q: Have you ever seen the 2-point conversion chart?

A: What chart?

Q: When you should kick or go for two.

A: I just thought if you had the balls, you went for the two, and if you didn’t, you didn’t. You went for the tie. I thought it was just, like, a pride thing. I didn’t really know that he had a chart for it. I mean, it makes sense. They’ve got statistics for everything. I didn’t think that was a statistic, only like if you make it or not, like there’s a chance for this to make it or not. I didn’t know it was more than that. It makes sense, though.

Receiver Marqise Lee (sixth season)

Q: Have you ever seen the 2-point conversion chart?

A: What do you mean?

Q: It’s a chart that tells you when you should kick or go for two points.

A: Where am I supposed to see that?

Q: I thought it might be in the playbook.

A: I’ve never seen a 2-point conversion chart. I know we’ve got plays for the 2-point conversion, but I don’t know exactly when they decide on when we’re supposed to do it.

Kicker Josh Lambo (fifth season)

Q: Have you ever seen the 2-point conversion chart?

A: Oh, God, no. Why would I be involved in that?

Q: Well, you’re the kicker, so I figured ...

A: What player makes the playcalls?

Q: But it directly involves you.

A: I try to be as oblivious to football as possible. When they tell me to go out there and kick the ball, that’s what I do.

Maybe it’s naive, but with the amount of information thrown at players in organized team activities, minicamp, training camp and the weekly game plan, it seemed logical to assume that players had at some point seen one of those charts. (Besides, if you Google it, you'll find plenty of them). Marrone, however, said it’s not surprising because most of the time, coaches and players operate on a need-to-know basis, and the chart isn't something the players need to worry about each week.

“Pretty much no one’s chart is different [from another team’s] -- I can tell you that,” Marrone said. “It’s just a matter of what your philosophy is. I always tell the media early in the season what my philosophy is [on going for two points], and then I tell the players. I don’t think they’re going to memorize that chart.”

Here’s Marrone’s philosophy: He doesn’t even consider going for two points until late in the third quarter. He doesn’t really look at the chart, either. It’s up in the coaches’ booth, and he’ll check in to see what it recommends.

He’s also getting information from his staff about what the opponent might do based on the situation. That way he won’t get caught off-guard.

“Like, ‘Hey, listen, if we score next or if they score next or whatever happens, hey, be alert -- they may go for two. Hey, be alert -- we want to go for two,’” Marrone said. “You kind of get that stuff out way before the actual situation occurs. Meaning [it’s not] all of a sudden you’re going down and you score, and then you look at the chart and see [what to do]. That’s not how it works.”

That means Marrone knew earlier in the drive that he was going to go for two points when Yeldon scored that late touchdown against the Jets. He says there was no animosity toward the franchise with which he spent four seasons as the offensive line coach (2002-05), and Jets players and coaches said after the game that they had no problem with it, either.

“You know what? Step on their throats. That’s what I’d want us to do,” Jets receiver Quincy Enunwa said at the time. “You know what, man? It’s football. Where’s the class in football? At the end of the day, we try to be warriors and have all this war mentality. If that’s how we want to be, we can’t be upset when somebody does that. We want to be this macho stuff. They did it, and that’s what they did.

“If I were a head coach and I wanted to make a statement for [not] only this team but the rest of the teams we’re playing, I’m going to let guys know we’re going to step on your throat. That’s what he did.”

Because that’s what the chart said.