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2018 Jaguars Training Camp: 3 Things To Watch For At The Scrimmage

Demetrius Harvey

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Jun 12, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; A view of the outside of the stadium at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars will be participating in a glorified practice/scrimmage tonight at 6 PM, inside of TIAA Bank Field in front of the fanbase.

So far during training camp, the Jaguars have looked solid all-around. There have been very few “down” practices and they seemingly have gotten better even from last season. Winning the Super Bowl has always been the goal for this squad and that much is evident. So, for now, we will look at the three things to watch for during tonight’s scrimmage in preparation for the 2018 season.

1. Blake Bortles’s progression this season: Blake Bortles will always be in the spotlight for the Jaguars as well as their fans. After signing his three year, $54 million contract extension this offseason, fans hope for improved, consistent play, and I believe so far this training camp they have been rewarded with just that. He has only thrown three interceptions in team drills through seven days of camp.

If the Jaguars QB can continue to impress during the preseason/training camp it could mean a lot for their 2018 projection. If Bortles can continue to make the leaps he should, the Jaguars will be in a great position to compete in the playoffs once again. Look for who Bortles favorties as targets during the “scrimmage” portion of the event, such as rookie receiver D.J. Chark and new tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

2. Rookie impact: Much has been made about the Jaguars’ rookie impact this offseason as well as in training camp. So far, we have seen impressive play from 2nd round draft pick D.J. Chark, 1st round pick Taven Bryan, and a surprise, 7th round pick Leon Jacobs. Look for where Chark lines up, and how much playing time he gets with the starters. So far this training camp he has been able to make impressive grabs, including over All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey. If he continues to play well, we could see him impact the game in more of simply a “field stretcher”.

Leon Jacobs is another rookie to keep a close eye on. For right now he has received most of the starting reps at the SAM linebacker position, filling the void left by Myles Jack as he makes his move to MLB following Posulzney’s retirement.  If he is healthy, he is one of the rookies I would watch very closely. The SAM position battle is likely to be determined during the preseason. Another rookie to keep an eye on besides those three would be punter Logan Cooke. Cooke has taken over the starting punting position from Brad Nortman who the Jaguars cut directly after the draft.

3. Key position battles: Two positions to keep a close eye on during the event besides the SAM linebacker position are depth cornerback and the sixth wide receiver spot. Currently, there are several players competing including Tyler Patmon, who has impressed lately in training camp, 2nd-year player Jalen Myrick and rookies Quenton Meeks and Tre Herndon. Meeks and Herndon has been turning heads, making several impressive interceptions and pass breakups during camp.

The other battle is for the sixth receiver spot. This battle is between Shane Wynn, Jaydon Mickens, Rashad Greene, and undrafted rookie Allen Lazard. Depending on whether or not the Jaguars wish to hold six wide receivers on the active roster, this player could also be the punt returner. Both Mickens and Greene have proven in the past to be very impressive punt returners, however, neither has been consistent enough to ensure a spot on the roster. If Dede Westbrook shows to be a more than competent punt returner the Jaguars could end up keeping only five receivers in Chark, Marqise Lee, Donte Moncrief, Keelan Cole, and Westbrook. Wynn is my dark-horse favorite to win the battle.

In conclusion, the Jaguars will wrap up most of the training camp activities this week heading into preseason with a showing in front of thousands of fans at TIAA Bank Field. There are plenty of storylines to follow, but none more important than Blake Bortles’s progression. Without this, the team could regress from their 10-6 record last year. However, if this offseason is any indication, I wouldn’t worry about that..

Demetrius Harvey is a Locked on Jaguars writer focusing on game breakdowns as well as breaking news. Demetrius is a lifelong Jaguars fan. You can follow him at @Demetrius82 on twitter.

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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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