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Jaguars 2018 Position Group Breakdown: Defensive Tackle

Christopher Thornton

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May 22, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackles Calais Campbell (93) and Malik Jackson (97) wait for their turn to run a play during organized team activities at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars finished the 2017-18 NFL season with 55.0 sacks, second best in the NFL, only behind the Pittsburgh Steelers (56.0). One crucial piece for this pass rush for “Sacksonville” was the interior defensive line’s ability to create pressure.

The Jaguars bolstered their defensive line last offseason with the addition of Calais Campbell, who was versatile for the Jaguars last season, being named an All-Pro at both defensive tackle (second-team) and defensive end (first-team). Campbell burst onto the scene for the Jaguars in the first game of the season against the Houston Texans, when he broke the franchise record for sacks in a game (4.0). Campbell would finish his first season with the Jaguars with the team record for sacks in a season (14.5).

As the season progressed, a flaw in the Jaguars defensive line started to become very clear; the interior was getting slashed with run plays down the middle. The Jaguars wasted no time to address the situation before it was too late. Their solution? Trading a fifth-round pick to the Buffalo Bills for former 2011 third overall pick, Marcell Dareus. Dareus was a significant upgrade to the Jaguars nose tackle spot and turned the Jaguars from the worst run defense (138.6 Yds/G) to the best in the league (55.3 Yds/G) following the acquisition of Dareus. In recent interviews with Dareus, he appears to be settling in well in Jacksonville and the Jaguars could be in for some career numbers from the tackle, who seems to be trending back up in his career unlike near the end of his stint in Buffalo.

Projected defensive tackle depth chart

*Note: Italics = projected starter, Underline = Acquired in 2018 FA/Draft*

Nose Tackle: Marcell Dareus, Abry Jones

Defensive Tackle: Malik Jackson, Taven Bryan, Calais Campbell, Eli Ankou

Going into the 2017 season, The Jaguars only carried ten defensive linemen. The split was five defensive ends and five defensive tackles. My guess is they stay very similar to that structure this season as well. The good news for the Jaguars is they have guys like Calais Campbell and Taven Bryan, who will be used all across the defensive line, which gives the Jaguars a little bit of flexibility if an injury were to occur along the line.

A wild card to make the 53-man roster to start the season is UNLV DT Mike Hughes Jr. Hughes Jr. was signed in the initial wave of Jaguars UDFA’s following the 2018 NFL draft. Per Ourlads.com, Hughes is listed as a nose tackle and could make the roster as NT depth, but with the offense likely to be taking more spots than usual, the defense might have to sacrifice a tad bit of depth. Look for Hughes Jr. to be a practice squad candidate if he doesn’t make the Jaguars initial 53-man roster.

All in all, the Jaguars interior defensive line doesn’t seem to be in line for any major shakeups. The biggest addition was when the Jaguars selected former Florida defensive tackle, Taven Bryan, 29th overall in the 2018 NFL draft. Bryan provides versatility across the line and could line up at the big end spot quite a bit this season, which might mean that Campbell could be seeing more time inside this season. Bryan provides insane amounts of burst at the point of attack and should give offensive linemen some trouble this upcoming season.

Grade breakdowns 2017 (Per ProFootballFocus.com)

Malik Jackson- 86.4 OVR/81.7 Rush Def/83.4 Pass Rush

Marcell Dareus- 79.7 OVR/79.1 Rush Def/72.7 Pass Rush

Abry Jones- 77.0 OVR/73.9 Rush Def/72.7 Pass Rush

Eli Ankou- 59.9 OVR/60.0 Rush Def/57.0 Pass Rush

Taven Bryan- N/A

Check out the rest of the Locked on Jaguars position group breakdowns below:

Christopher Thornton Is the Co-host for Locked On Jaguars. Christopher lives in Jacksonville and is currently a season ticket holder for the Jacksonville Jaguars. You can find me on Twitter (@Mistochristopho) and contact me at [email protected]

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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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