Jaguars Offense Evolving
When Jack Del Rio came aboard back in 2003, he vowed to move away from "three yards and a cloud of dust." Unfortunately back then, the team's best player was their running back in Fred Taylor and the personnel dictated a "ground and pound" type of game.
"Your offensive philosophy is somewhat dictated by your personnel," Jaguars offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said.
Gone are the Kyle Brady's and Fred Taylor's which has caused the Jaguars to move away from those double-tight sets and predictable running plays as they've acquired more weapons in the passing game.
"Personnel-wise we've evolved from a big back, two big tight end offense to the way our personnel is being directed a little bit more towards three-wide receiver or a one tight end and one pass catching tight end in Zach Miller or Ernest Wilford in that second tight end position," Koetter added.
Boras Trying to Put His Stamp On Immediately
Gone are long-time assistant coaches Mike Tice and Kennedy Pola, and arriving in their place are former Bears assistant Rob Boras and former Titans running backs coach and Browns great, Ernest Byner.
Byner will obviously try to keep the touchdown train which is Maurice Jones-Drew rolling, while Boras comes with a completely different philosophy for the tight end position.
"Rob Boras, coming from Chicago, where they drafted Greg Olsen number one, has given us some really good insights on how to use that pass catching tight end where we now have a guy like Zach Miller or Ernest Wilford, instead of a guy like Rich Angulo," Koetter explained.
Expect to see the Jaguars involve the tight ends much more in the passing game this season, which was something that Dirk Koetter's offenses resembled greatly during his tenure as the head coach of Arizona State University.
Another reason why they likely will involve tight ends more is the fact that the wide receivers are largely unproven. Instead of having designated number one, number two and so on roles for the wideouts, the Jaguars will likely feature their number one in Mike Sims-Walker, and a host of other targets who each can be a go-to option from week to week.
Garrard Working Hard
In the two seasons since his miracle 2007 campaign, Jaguars quarterback David Garrard has been mediocre at best, and a guy who has proven himself to be less than clutch. In fact, the Jaguars have received just 12 victories from the starting quarterback since he signed his contract extension which has paid him roughly $30 million thus far.
Not exactly much bang for the buck.
After being called out in the offseason by Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver for a lack of work ethic, Garrard has taken to film study in the hopes to make himself a better football player.
"It starts with him (Garrard) and his preparation," Dirk Koetter said. "He's been doing an excellent job of that in the offseason spending extra time in the film room, taking on as much of a leadership role as he can, having a quarterback school."
It's great news for the Jags that Garrard is finally dedicating himself, but is it too little too late? He's going to be 32 years old and still has trouble reading defenses.
The glass half-full optimist will point to a greater work ethic as a very good thing.
The glass half-empty pessimist will say that he got comfortable after getting money, and is finally working hard after being faced with the possibility of the proverbial cash well running dry.
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of JagNation.com, a member of the Pro Football Writers of America, and also the co-host of CB Sports Radio on ESPN 1420 in St. Augustine, FL. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on twitter @nflcharlie
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