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Jaguars Draft Questions with Former NFL GM Phil Savage

Christopher Thornton

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When talking with former NFL GM Phil Savage, he mentioned a few names when asked about players who could fall and be a good fit for the Jaguars at 29.

One of the first players he said was QB Lamar Jackson, however, he led with the thought process that if you’re an NFL team and don’t possess a top five or ten quarterback in the league, there is usually an interest, even if it a little bit, at the quarterback position. He mentioned his athleticism and how it could help him in the NFL.

He then followed the Jackson comment by stating that current Jaguars quarterback. Blake Bortles is an NFL starting caliber quarterback, so take that how you will.

Nov 25, 2017; Lexington, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs the ball against the Kentucky Wildcats in the first half at Commonwealth Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The next name Savage mentioned is addressing the LB spot and suggested a great candidate fill that gap is former Alabama LB Rashaan Evans. He talked about Evans’ speed and tackling ability and his ability to read the play and make the tackle.

Adding Evans would allow Myles Jack to firmly take over the MLB job and maybe allow the Jaguars to play a base 4-3 defense more compared to the Nickel defense they primarily ran during the 2017-18 season. Evans is easily a day 1 starter and arguably one of the best prospects in this draft and if he were able to fall to the Jaguars at 29 (or possibly even trade up for him) would be a huge boost for the defense.

Addressing the same positional group, Savage mentioned Boise State linebacker, Leighton Vander Esch. He said Vander Esch is built like an outside linebacker but can play inside well. He mentioned Vander-Esch is a linebacker “with some speed.”

One of the final positions that was discussed but by far the least talked about area is the wide receiver position. He mentioned the 32 teams probably have 32 different rankings for this WR class. He mentioned the names Calvin Ridley, D.J Moore, and Christian Kirk as guys who could go to Jacksonville but also mentioned that wide receivers are “A dime a dozen.”

Another topic discussed was UTEP offensive guard Will Hernandez. The Jaguars added All-Pro LG Andrew Norwell this offseason which means the LG spot is locked up for some time.

However, Will Hernandez is a mauling left guard in the run game, coming in at 6’2 348 pounds. Phil was asked whether he feels Hernandez could compete at the same level being moved possibly from LG to RG. Phil responded with “Some guys have a tough time going from a left stance, especially if they have done it for a long time, to going to a right-handed stance.”

He added that he believes Hernandez could make the switch and perform at a high level still but would likely “take a few weeks” to adjust from a left-handed stance over to a right-handed stance.

Nov 18, 2017; El Paso, TX, USA; UTEP Miners guard Will Hernandez (76) before facing the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at Sun Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports

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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