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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars Should Pursue Former Steelers RB Coach James Saxon

Demetrius Harvey

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars are currently in search of not only an offensive coordinator but also several other positional coaches, including a new running backs coach. Former Jaguars Running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley was fired at the end of December not long after the Jaguars final regular season game.  Although not all of the Jaguars running game struggles can be attributed to the coach, some of it can be as several Jaguars running backs had very little success.

This leads us to the search for a coach with the qualifications to manage a group which currently includes at least Leonard Fournette, Carlos Hyde, newly-signed Thomas Rawls and potentially a rookie. One of the men best suited and qualified for this job has to be former Steelers RB Coach James Saxon. Saxon was recently fired by the Steelers shortly after this season. His accolades speak for themselves. He was the running backs coach of several very successful backs including Le’Veon Bell and James Conner in Pittsburgh.

Connor, this past season accounted for 973 rushing yards, 497 receiving yards, and 13 total touchdowns. He also was able to net a 4.5 YPC average. This is the type of production the Jaguars have not seen from a running back since perhaps Maurice Jones-Drew.

Bell of course, also had plenty of success under Saxon accumulating  5,336 total rushing yards, 2,660 total receiving yards, and 42 total touchdowns in just five seasons. Easily making Bell one of the most successful running backs in the NFL currently.

Prior to joining the Steelers Saxon coached the Vikings and Adrian Peterson, the Dolphins with Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown, and the Chiefs with Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson. Quite an impressive group if you ask me. If the Jaguars want to get the coaching staff in order and on the right track it would behoove them to search far and wide for the successful, and established coaches such as Saxon.

Saxon hasn’t interviewed for any teams since he was let go in Pittsburgh, but the firing was ouzzling considering his accolades. Reports have surfaced that Steelers players were “dumbfounded” by the move.

The only connection I could find for Saxon and anyone on the Jaguars coaching staff, however, was via the late Tony Sparano during his tenure with the Miami Dolphins. Currently, the Jaguars have Tony Sparano Jr. (his son) on the coaching staff as an Assistant Offensive Line Coach. Regardless, all of this is subject to change and if the Jaguars want to get better they might have to bring in not some not-so-familiar faces.

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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