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DeFilippo would be a slam-dunk hire for Jaguars offensive coordinator

Zach Goodall

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Credit: The Loop Sports

The first thought for most Jaguars fans after hearing the news of John DeFilippo’s interview as the team’s offensive coordinator was “didn’t that dude just get fired by the Minnesota Vikings because he wouldn’t run the ball?”

Simply put: Yes, that’s exactly why he was fired by the Vikings – and that reasoning makes him the scapegoat in Minnesota. In reality, DeFilippo didn’t get the credit he deserved in the Vikings passing game, and considering the emphasis the Jaguars must put on the passing game and quarterback position this offseason, landing a QB guru and pass-game specialist in DeFilippo would make this potential offensive coordinator hire a slam-dunk.

In 13 games under DeFilippo, the Vikings called passing plays on 66.99% of offensive snaps, which ranked 2nd highest in the league. Compare that to 33.01% of offensive snaps being run plays, coming in 2nd to last across the NFL. However, it’s hard to argue the Vikings had much to hang their hats on in the run game – with Dalvin Cook missing five of the team’s first nine games and a poor offensive line, the team only averaged 4.2 yards per carry as a whole under DeFilippo, which ranked 25th in the league.

When looking at the pass game, well, it’s easy to see where DeFilippo’s genius came into play. Quarterback Kirk Cousins, who the Vikings signed to the first ever free agent multi-year, fully guaranteed deal before the 2018 season, had a historically efficient year under DeFilippo, as seen by the stats in the tweet below:

According to PlayerProfiler.com, Cousins also completed a whopping 75.2% of his play-action passes, despite the clear lack of attention to the run game in order to trick defenses. Oh, and all of these high efficiency numbers come despite Minnesota ranking 29th in the NFL in offensive line pass blocking efficiency, as the Vikings allowed QB pressures on 19.1% of snaps (166 pressures on 666 dropbacks), according to Pro Football Focus.

DeFilippo recognized these factors and was vocal on them. While admitting early in the season that he wanted to run the ball, he wouldn’t try to take away from their passing game efficiency:

“There’s no one that wants to run the ball more than me, and we’re going to try to establish that and continue to grind away on that. But at the same time, there’s a fine line between doing something just to do something and maybe taking some success away from your team.”

There’s incredibly sound logic in that statement, and it falls in line with the reasoning noted above. The pass game was firing on all cylinders, Dalvin Cook was having injury issues to start the year, and even references the amount of pressure Kirk Cousins had to take from an underperforming offensive line.

Prior to Minnesota, DeFilippo as the Philadelphia Eagles QBs coach was key to the development of quarterback Carson Wentz during his MVP-caliber 2017 season (which ended early due to a torn ACL), and rejuvenation of Nick Foles after an up-and-down career, turning to backup QB into the 2018 Super Bowl MVP in Wentz’s absence. This level of production out the two QBs – a combined 3833 yards, 38 touchdowns, and only nine interceptions in 15 games – was a huge part of DeFilippo landing the Vikings offensive coordinator gig.

DeFilippo also squeezed production out of 13 year veteran and career backup quarterback Josh McCown during his one year stint as offensive coordinator in Cleveland in 2015. In eight games before going down with an injury, McCown posted his 2nd most career passing touchdowns in a season with 12, second highest completion percentage of 63.7%, third highest amount of passing yards with 2109, and third highest passer rating of 93.3 – all at the age of 36 years old. Not to mention, the Browns leading receiver that year was 30 year old tight end Gary Barnidge, followed by first year starting wide receiver Travis Benjamin and change-of pace-running back Duke Johnson – not an ideal supporting cast.

While the Jaguars have committed to running the ball with former fourth overall pick Leonard Fournette, despite his on and off the field issues during his first two seasons, they have entered the 2019 offseason with one glaring issue that must their priority to address: The pass game. The quarterback position must be upgraded, the team needs to add another pass-catching playmaker, the offensive line needs to get healthy to provide better protection, and the philosophy must adapt to today’s NFL where passing the ball well wins games.

Assuming the front office can nail down the personnel issues with the offense, DeFilippo has a track record that suggests he can handle the coaching aspects of the modern passing game, and get things firing on all cylinders.

Do it, Jaguars.

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

NFLPA seemingly responds to Jaguars, Coughlin about the word ‘voluntary’

Demetrius Harvey

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May 26, 2017; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin (center) looks on during organized team activities at Everbank Field. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars today issued their annual state of the franchise address to fans and media alike. During the press conference, Tom Coughlin addressed the audience regarding the status of the football team. During his speech, Coughlin spoke about the player’s attendance to voluntary offseason workouts which began on Monday. Only two players were missing from the workouts — Jalen Ramsey and Telvin Smith –, and Coughlin’s message was clear when he stated: “We’re very close to 100 percent attendance – and quite frankly, all our players should be here.”

One statement which stood out by Coughlin was made directly afterward “Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish and insensitive to the real values of the team. The hard work that many try to avoid is the major building block for the development of an outstanding football team.” This statement creates a sort of cloudy vision of what exactly voluntary means which is why the NFLPA decided to issue their own statement on what voluntary means to them:

Listen. Everyone would love if the Jaguars had 100% attendance at these sort of voluntary workouts. There is no doubt that great strides can be made in all facets of the offseason, however, there is a reason why these workouts have been made voluntary. NFL players have been overworked, and collectively bargained with the NFL in an effort to limit the workload over the offseason in order to produce a better product on the field in the fall.

Whether or not Jalen Ramsey or Telvin Smith show up for the few-week period of voluntary workouts should have no impact. Both athletes have proven themselves over the years plenty of times. Jalen Ramsey works out with his father in Tennesee every offseason. This has no changed, nor do I expect it to anytime soon.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville Jaguars official 2019 NFL Schedule revealed

Demetrius Harvey

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Dec 31, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Fireworks are shot over the stadium after game between the Texas A&M Aggies and the North Carolina State Wolfpack at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has released all 32 teams’ schedules ahead of the 2019 NFL season. We can finally get a closer look at when the Jaguars will play each opponent. The Jaguars have one prime time game this upcoming season on  Thursday Night Football at home against the Titans (week 3). The Jaguars open up against the Kansas City Chiefs at home. The Jaguars lost to the Chiefs last season 30-14.

Earlier today the Jaguars announced they will be playing in London on November 2nd against the Houston Texans. Last season the Jaguars played in London on October 28th.

As for the Jaguars bye week, it will once again come directly after the Jaguars London journey which is to be expected as they have had a similar schedule the past two seasons. The bye week will occur during week 10 after their matchup against the Texans in London.

The Jaguars will be closing out the season at home for the first time since 2011. They play the Indianapolis Colts.

Jaguars 2019 NFL Schedule:

Week 1: vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 1:00 p.m., CBS, Sunday, September 8

Week 2: @ Houston Texans, 1:00 p.m., CBS, Sunday, September 15

Week 3: vs. Tennessee Titans, 8:20 p.m., NFL Network, Thursday, September 19

Week 4: @ Denver Broncos, 4:25 p.m., CBS, Sunday, September 29

Week 5: @ Carolina Panthers, 1:00 p.m., CBS, Sunday, October 6

Week 6: vs. New Orleans Saints, 1:00 p.m., CBS, Sunday, October 13

Week 7: @ Cincinnati Bengals, 1:00 p.m., CBS, Sunday, October 20

Week 8: vs. New York Jets, 1:00 p.m., CBS, Sunday, October 27

Week 9: vs. Houston Texans (London), 9:30 a.m., NFL Network, Sunday, November 3

Week 10: BYE

Week 11: @ Indianapolis Colts, 1:00 p.m., CBS, Sunday, November 17

Week 12: @ Tennessee Titans, 4:05 p.m., CBS, Sunday, November 24

Week 13: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1:00 p.m., FOX, Sunday, December 1

Week 14: vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m., FOX, Sunday, December 8

Week 15: @ Oakland Raiders, 4:05 p.m., CBS, Sunday, December 15

Week 16: @ Atlanta Falcons, 1:00 p.m., FOX, Sunday, December 22

Week 17: vs. Indianapolis Colts, 1:00 p.m., CBS, Sunday, December 29

*All times are in EST

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Jacksonville Jaguars

REPORT: Jaguars claim former Cowboys guard Parker Ehinger

Zach Goodall

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Credit: DallasCowboys.com

According to Field Yates of ESPN, the Jacksonville Jaguars have added former Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Parker Ehinger off of waivers.

Ehinger spent the 2018 season with the Cowboys following two with the Kansas City Chiefs. The former 4th round pick in 2016 was traded to Dallas last preseason, but spent the majority of the season on injured reserve with a knee injury suffered in practice. He also tore his ACL, MCL, and meniscus as a rookie in 2016.

The 6-6, 310 lb guard has played in six career games, starting in five.

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