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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars well-connected to coordinators-for-hire in DeFilippo, Pettine

Zach Goodall



Jul 28, 2018; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo at Vikings training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars are currently searching for a new offensive coordinator, and after a miserable defensive performance in their 30-9 loss to the Tennessee Titans last Thursday, they might have to look for a new play-caller on defense as well.

While Todd Wash’s defense was arguably the best in the NFL just last year, the unit has taken a step back in box score production this year. After ending the 2017 season with 38 total turnovers and 55 sacks, the Jaguars only have 15 turnovers and 25 sacks. Currently, the defense is on pace to end 2018 with 18 turnovers and 31 sacks. If the Jaguars wish to change things up defensively, Wash would likely be fired on December 31st after the season’s conclusion.

In that case, the Jaguars would have two open coordinator positions to fill this offseason. Considering it’s highly likely Marrone will stick around as the team’s head coach, expect him to utilize his coaching tree to make new hires. Well, his, and EVP of Football Operations Tom Coughlin.

What’s nice is there is some intertwining there, with two flashy names set to be available for hire this coming offseason: Former Minnesota offensive coordinator John DeFilippo and current Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.

DeFilippo was released of his duties in Minnesota following the Vikings’ 21-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night. In his first season with the Vikings, he had the pass game flowing by averaging 269 pass yards per game, ranking 8th in the NFL. QB Kirk Cousins has completed 70.6% of his passes for 3698 yards, 24 touchdowns and only nine interceptions in his first year wearing purple and white.

The same can’t be said about the Vikings’ run game, however. Dalvin Cook missing five games didn’t help, but even with a solid #2 in Latavius Murray filling in the Vikings have averaged a mere 85.4 rush yards per game, good for 30th across the league.

DeFilippo’s firing didn’t appear to be a performance issue and rather was a philosophy issue, which… doesn’t make sense considering the Vikings handed Cousins’ the first multi-year, fully-guaranteed quarterback deal in NFL history. Considering “Flip” had the Vikings’ pass game firing on all cylinders, which is what he specializes with and the Vikings appeared to want by DeFilippo’s hiring and the signing of Cousins, it’s hard to assume DeFilippo was at fault for the Vikings’ struggles. He should be a hot name this offseason for team’s looking for a new play-caller.

Jacksonville will be one of those teams, and they offer a great potential situation for “Flip” to take on. The Jaguars will most likely be selecting a quarterback in the first round as the Blake Bortles experiment is coming to an end, and with DeFilippo’s track record at the quarterback position, it’s hard to imagine he would turn down the idea to groom another. Considering his calling to the pass game, the Jaguars could look to add another mind for a run-game coordinator to pair with DeFilippo, but his lack of expertise with the run game shouldn’t keep them from bringing “Flip” in to fix the pass game.

And what makes this all really interesting is DeFilippo’s connection to the Jaguars staff.

“Flip” served as the New York Giants’ offensive quality control coach from 2005-2006, under then-head coach Tom Coughlin, who as previously mentioned currently serves as the Jaguars EVP of Football Ops. After Coughlin’s firing on New York a couple years back, he drew interest from San Francisco and Philadelphia for their open head coaching gigs. Had he taken one of those jobs, Coughlin would have brought “Flip” with him as his offensive coordinator. Despite Coughlin turning down both jobs, DeFilippo took a job as QB coach in Philly anyway.

Onto the defensive side of the ball, Mike Pettine is likely going to be searching for a new gig this offseason as well. He hasn’t gotten himself fired in Green Bay, as his defense ranks 8th best (up from 23rd in 2017 under Dom Capers) in pass yards allowed with 225 per game. While the run defense numbers aren’t great at 126.2 yards per game (24th), the Packers have accumulated 40 sacks and 19 turnovers, with three rookies starting on defense.

Pettine’s hybrid 4-3/3-4 defense relies on a mix of blitzing and four-man rushes with heavy utilization of man coverage to generate coverage pressure and sacks. Ben Fennell of The Athletic did a fantastic piece covering Pettine’s philosophies before the 2018 season began that you can read here. Pettine is also on record for being more of a players’ coach when it comes to schematics, as he bases his calls on his players’ skillset and reducing confusion in order to keep things simple and technique-based.

Todd Wash has been the polar opposite of that, more known for forcing scheme onto the talent the Jaguars have provided him. Players have even commented on their frustrations with Wash’s scheme in the past, and despite that, the Jaguars still mainly run the same thing: Four-man rush with very, very little blitzing, and often lining up in Cover 3 with a sprinkle of man coverage (mainly off-man). If this stubbornness is still a problem for the Jaguars defense (it is), then Pettine would be a great replacement to change those philosophies.

And, like DeFilippo, Pettine has a strong connection to the Jaguars’ staff as well.

Before taking a head coaching job in Cleveland from 2014-15, Pettine served as the Buffalo Bills’ defensive coordinator… under previously mentioned Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone. That year, although the Bills posted a not-great record of 6-10, their defense was lights out, allowing only 204.4 pass yards per game (4th best in NFL), and recording 35 interceptions and 57 sacks. Buffalo’s defense was regarded as one of the league’s best, and their performance landed Pettine his first head coaching game.

Oh, and although this is connecting the dots and nothing more: Pettine hired DeFilippo as the Browns’ offensive coordinator in 2015.

The Jaguars could very well just keep Wash as the defensive coordinator and promote from within at the offensive coordinator position with current interim O.C. Scott Milanovich. However, with the firing of DeFilippo and Pettine likely going to be avilable for hire with a new head coach heading Green Bay’s way, both have a fantastic track record that will make them hot names for teams searching for coordinators in 2019.

However, their connections to the men in charge in Jacksonville could give the Jaguars an edge over other teams, should the team pursue these options.


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



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



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




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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