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Jacksonville Jaguars

2018 Jaguars Training Camp: Observations From Day 7

Zach Goodall

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Jul 26, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark (17) walks on the field during training camp at the Dream Finder Homes practice facility outside of TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars had their last training camp practice before the annual team scrimmage at the Dream Finders Home Practice Complex today, with the preseason on the team’s doorstep.

Quarterback Blake Bortles had an improved day compared to his Day 6 outing, making several impressive tosses as well as several less accurate throws. Like the past several practices, rookie receiver D.J. Chark continued to make his name known all over the field. Linebacker Leon Jacobs and tight end Niles Paul returned to the field after missing yesterday’s workout, with receiver Donte Moncrief on the side of the field for the fifth straight day.

How did the rest of the team perform? Let’s get to the observations.

Bortles bouncs back, despite stat line

All in all, quarterback Blake Bortles had a solid bounce-back performance after his two-interception showing on Wednesday. While his 10-of-23 stat line is far from great, Bortles started to let the ball loose down the field a little more today.

His best throw came in team drills on an outside go-route to receiver Keelan Cole, with Jalen Ramsey in coverage. Bortles let it fly off of his back foot, placing the ball perfectly on the outside for Cole to go up and grab with Ramsey in tight coverage. According to Mike Kaye of First Coast News, Bortles also had a beautiful deep connection on a pass to Dede Westbrook, with Ramsey and safety Barry Church in coverage.

Cody Kessler went 8-12 on the reps I watched. With Tanner Lee throwing another interception, which is almost becoming a day-to-day tradition, Kessler seems locked in as this team’s backip QB.

Chark Week continues

Another day, another impressive showing by rookie receiver D.J. Chark.

After his strong Day 6 practice where he beat Ramsey twice in on-on-one drills on top of two receptions in team, Chark followed up with two more catches in 11 v. 11’s. In the redzone, Kessler targeted Chark on a sharp corner route shy of the goal line, where Chark had to adjust his body and dive to make the reception in coverage. Chark’s ability to adjust to poorly placed passes was a strong suit of his at LSU, and he put that on full display during the rep.

Based on my tracking, I have Chark at 16 receptions through seven days of camp. His strongest routes to date have been the slant (4), post (3), and go (3).

Injury bug is going away

After small injuries took a toll on the team over the past week, most of the team was fully padded and participating on the field today. After the return of defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and receiver Marqise Lee yesterday, tight end Niles Paul (hamstring) and linebacker Leon Jacobs (undisclosed) were full participants in practice today.

WR Donte Moncrief (ankle) worked on the side of the field for the fifth day in a row, and DE Dante Fowler Jr. remains on the PUP list. Otherwise, the 90-man roster appears to be fully healthy as they head into the scrimmage and preseason.

Team tid-bits

-Running back Leonard Fournette is pleased with the growth of the offense from year one to year two in Nate Hackett’s system. He praised their communication thus far in camp during his press conference:

-Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue noted the growth of left tackle Cam Robinson in comparison to the lineman’s rookie camp last year in his press conference. The pass rusher mentioned that Robinson is giving him multiple pass sets rather than the one he repeated through camp in 2017. Ngakoue stated that he is going to “Make [Robinson] the best left tackle in the league”, and that he doesn’t hold back against the second year lineman.

-CB Tyler Patmon got WR Shane Wynn back in team drills today after Wynn beat him twice in a row during one-on-ones yesterday. Patmon made an athletic, leaping pass breeakup on an endzone corner route to the 5-6 receiver in Wynn, on what was a perfectly placed ball. Unlike yesterday however, the winner of the drill didn’t give the loser an ear-full:

-On top of Chark’s impressive camp to date, second year receivers Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook have strung together productive camps. Cole stands at 13 catches, with four on slants, two go’s, two curls, two digs, two screens, and one comeback. For Westbrook, I have him tallied at eight receptions, with four digs, two go’s, and two slants.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars finalize coaching staff after landing offensive coordinator

Demetrius Harvey

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Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars have finalized their 2019 coaching staff. They’ve officially hired their offensive coordinator as well as other staff members. John DeFilippo was the headliner for today as the replacement for Nathaniel Hackett as offensive coordinator.

The Jaguars also announced the remainder of their staff. As we covered in the past couple of weeks they have hired several position coaches, including Terry Robiskie as running backs coach, George Warhop as the offensive line coach, and Tim Walton as the secondary coach.

The rest of the staff was a mystery until today. The Jaguars announced they will be promoting assistant defensive line coach Jason Rebrovich to defensive line coach, and they have hired David Merritt as their assistant defensive line coach. Merritt spent the past season as the Arizona Cardinals defensive backs coach. Joe Danna will be promoted as well and will be coaching the safeties. Danna has been on the Jaguars staff as an assistant secondary coach since 2017. John Donovan, another assistant coach for the Jaguars, will be promoted to assistant running backs coach.

It is worth noting in today’s presser Marrone stated Tim Walton will coach the cornerbacks, and Joe Danna will coach the safeties. “I thought we could get more out of our coaches and players if we split the secondary,” Marrone said. This is worth noting as Walton actually held a similar role with the Giants for the past couple of seasons.

Scott Milanovich will remain on staff as the quarterbacks coach. Milanovich was the play-caller for the final five weeks of the season. Milanovich has been with the Jaguars as a QB coach since 2017.

There were no other major coaching changes on the Jaguars roster as the rest of the staff will stay intact.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars will retain quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich

Zach Goodall

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Nov 26, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars will retain Scott Milanovich as their quarterbacks coach, according to head coach Doug Marrone.

Milanovich filled in as interim offensive coordinator after Nate Hackett was fired midseason, but the offense saw no improvement with the QB coach calling plays. However, the team appears confident that the former Grey Cup-winning CFL head coach can handle the responsibilities of quarterbacks coach, a position Milanovich has held since Doug Marrone was named head coach in 2017.

The team hired John DeFilippo as their offensive coordinator earlier today. You can read why he was a fantastic hire here. Marrone mentioned during his press conference today that Milanovich and DeFilippo have a previous relationship in Maryland.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars to hire John DeFilippo as offensive coordinator, per report

Zach Goodall

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Credit: 247Sports.com

The Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to hire John DeFilippo as their offensive coordinator, per report.

DeFilippo was the Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator during the 2018 season, but was fired during Week 15, apparently due to a conflict of play-calling interests with head coach Mike Zimmer, who wanted to focus more on the run game than DeFilippo’s strengths with the pass game.

However, despite a lack of calling the run, Vikings quarterback had a historic season as a passer when it came to efficiency, being the first QB in NFL history to throw for 4000+ yards, 30+ touchdowns, 10 or fewer interceptions, and complete at least 70% of his passes. Much of this can be credited to DeFilippo’s influence in the passing game.

Previous to Minnesota, DeFilippo was the Philadelphia Eagles QBs coach during their 2017-18 Super Bowl run, where he was key to the development of Carson Wentz and rejuvenation of Nick Foles’ career after Wentz tore his ACL. He also served as offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns in 2015, where then-36 year old Josh McCown posted the second most touchdown passes of his 13 year career with 12 in eight games, along with 2109 passing yards, a 63.7 completion percentage, and only four interceptions.

DeFilippo’s first NFL coaching job came in 2005 as an offensive quality control coach under then New York Giants head coach and current EVP of Football Operations for the Jaguars, Tom Coughlin. So there’s a definite connection to the team in ths hire.

At the end of the day, the Jaguars number one priority this offseason has to be, and will be, fixing their passing game woes. Quarterback Blake Bortles needs to be replaced, and the team’s next signal caller must be groomed into a successful QB. DeFilippo has proven with Cousins, Foles/Wentz, as well as Josh McCown in Cleveland during the 2015 season, that he’s capable of doing just that.

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