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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars 2018 Position Group Breakdown: Linebacker

Ruairi Songer

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After the departure of Paul Posluszny, a young and talented Jaguars LB core will be burdened with unfamiliar responsibilities. Telvin Smith, OLB, will take over the leadership role that Poz left behind.

Smith has quickly progressed into being one of the best LBs in all of the NFL in only four years. In each of those years he recorded 100+ tackles, and a handful of interceptions and forced fumbles. Smith’s sideline-to-sideline defending capabilities make him a nightmare for opposing offenses. While his play on the field should continue at a strong rate, he is also going to have to mentor Blair Brown, Myles Jack, and Donald Payne. Being as passionate and fiery of a player as Smith is, he should have no issue adjusting to this “veteran” style role.

Projected linebacker depth chart

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

LB: Telvin Smith¸ Myles Jack, Donald Payne, Blair Brown, Leon Jacobs

Myles Jack had an impressive 2017 and played well at SAM linebacker, after originally struggling at the MIKE position. Going into his 3rd year as a Jaguar, Jack should be more confident and capable of playing MIKE in place of Poz. Jack recorded 90 tackles and two sacks last year, a huge jump in production from his 24 tackles in 2016. I expect a good year from Jack, but with a hiccup or two due to being moved to the MLB spot.

After many expected Blair Brown to take over MLB or SAM, Donald Payne stole the show at OTAs hopes to continue to do so at training camp. Payne was a Ravens UDFA signing in 2017, but was failed to make the final roster. He was claimed off waivers by the Jags soon after, and he went on to record 13 tackles and played well on special teams. It is difficult to evaluate Payne because he has little real playtime, but he should be an interesting player to watch develop.

Blair Brown had a decent rookie year, but was very limited on playtime. Most of the stories out of training camp so far denote Payne as the front-runner for the newly vacant SAM position. I expect Payne to take this role with Brown as his backup.

Leon Jacobs, rookie out of Wisconsin, is an incredibly gifted athlete and was a contributor to a talented Wisconsin defense in 2017. Jacobs has explosive speed and is ridiculously built (see: this Instagram post), but will have to work on his instinctiveness and ability to diagnose plays. He adds value as a pass rusher due to his quick first step, speed and power. Look for Jacobs to take a possibly take a starting role in 3-4 years.

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

Ruairi Songer is a lifelong Jags fan and Duval native. You can follow him on Twitter (@ruairi_s) for Jags news, Draft information, and off-season updates.

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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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