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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars 2018 Position Group Breakdown: Offensive Line

Zach Goodall

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May 22, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars offensive guard Andrew Norwell (68) guards against defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (left) during organized team activities at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars finished with the NFL’s best rushing attack in 2017, averaging 141.4 yards per game and scoring 18 rushing touchdowns.

What makes these stats crazy is that the Jaguars offensive line, in terms of run blocking, wasn’t great in 2017, despite allowing only 24 sacks in pass protection. It saw improvement from years past as right tackle Jermey Parnell had a very solid bounce-back season after bring injury-riddled in 2016, and when healthy, rookie left tackle Cam Robinson played like a veteran at the position. Plus, Brandon Linder continued to look like one of the best centers in the league.

However, both guard spots underperformed last year, despite success being found in the run game. Patrick Omameh was never more than average and missed several games later in the year due to injury, and A.J. Cann continued his inconsistent level of play that has been seen in the past. The Jaguars ranked 22nd in adjusted line yards (measuring offensive line value on run plays) with 4.01 ALY/rush when targeting the interior last year, despite ranking 4th in carries to the interior among rushing offenses in 2017 (per FootballOutsiders.com)

The Jaguars approached the offseason with offensive guard at the top of their free agency to-do list, bringing in former Carolina Panthers guard Andrew Norwell on the largest iOL contract in NFL history: Five years, $66.5 million. On top of signing Norwell, the Jaguars used their fourth round pick on NC State offensive tackle Will Richardson. In the long term, Richardson will likely replace Parnell when he decides to hang up the cleats or is cut by the team, but he could immediately compete at the right guard spot with Cann.

Projected offensive line depth chart

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

Left Tackle: Cam Robinson, Josh Wells

Left Guard: Andrew Norwell, K.C. McDermott

Center: Brandon Linder, Tyler Shatley

Right Guard: Will Richardson, A.J. Cann

Right Tackle: Jermey Parnell

I’d figure the team will carry either nine of ten offensive lineman on the roster, so I opted with the lesser due to the potential of six receivers due to special teams contributors. While the left/right tackle and center positions carry incumbent starters, Norwell takes over at left guard position as he played there during his four years in Carolina and Richardson could very well beat out A.J. Cann at the right guard position.

As for depth, Tyler Shatley is likely a lock to make the roster. He started four games at center and right guard last year when Brandon Linder and A.J. Cann sat out with injuries and played very well, allowing only one sack in all four starts (per Ryan Day of BigCatCountry.com.

K.C. McDermott is my wild card of the current lesser-known depth OL on the Jaguars roster: The former Miami Hurricane signed as an undrafted free agent with the Jaguars last month. He fits the Jaguars apparent size thresholds (if the projected depth chart above holds true, the Jaguars entire offensive line will stand at 6-6, and weigh at least 306 lbs) at 6-6, 311 lbs, and according to Lance Zierlein’s scouting report at NFL.com, he possesses strong hands and enough bend and length to play along the interior at the NFL level.

On paper, the Jaguars are seemingly set at both tackle spots, left guard and center. Right guard is the position along the OL to watch when training camp comes around, as it will likely be one of the team’s most important position battles this offseason.

The Jaguars rushing offense ranked at the top of the league last year, and if the team’s offensive line sees the dramatic improvement along the interior that it’s hoping to, they should have no struggle finishing near, if not at, the top of the NFL in 2018. In terms of pass protection, it almost begs to ask: Could the Jaguars finish the 2018 season with less than 20 sacks allowed? That would be quite the feat, but the potential is there for this offensive line to be one of the best all-around lines in the league.

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

 

Zach Goodall covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for the Locked On Jaguars podcast and website. Follow him on Twitter @zach_goodall.

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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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