Jags Looking For W's, Not Stats

Jaguars offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter speaks candidly of what he expects from his offensive unit this year, and how he feels his stars can better improve.

Most of you are familiar with the old saying, "the stats don't lie." While this may be true, statistics don't tell the entire story, but the win-loss record always does.

"You are what your record says you are," Miami Dolphins czar Bill Parcells said years ago when he was the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, and although we hear sports cliché's on a near daily basis, this one rings just as true as any.

Jaguars offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter doesn't care much for statistics.

"Coaching comes down to at any level you're frustrated if you don't win," the Jaguars third-year OC said following OTA's last week. "My life doesn't revolve around where we are at in the statistical race. My life revolves around whether we win or lose and so when you're not winning as much as you'd like that's frustrating for everybody—players, coaches, fans, beat writers, everybody—but we're looking for ways to get that right and that's an every day process."

Although there are no awards given out for leading the regular season in passing or rushing, teams which gain more yardage generally score more points, and thus win more football games.

The Jaguars had fairly respectable offensive stats concerning rushing and passing as they were 10th in the league in rushing yards and 19th in passing. The troubling stat is that the team finished just 24th in the NFL with 18.1 points per game, and routinely faltered as the season came to its conclusion.

Dirk Koetter knows that the all-important statistic of points scored needs to improve in 2010.

"It still comes down to scoring points, avoiding turnovers, and making explosive plays," Koetter explained.

The Jaguars had their fair share of explosive plays, as they finished 11th in the league, mainly thanks to the one-man SportsCenter highlight, running back Maurice Jones-Drew completed a Pro Bowl season in which he scored 16 touchdowns, five of which went for longer than 20 yards.

"There are certain players who make coaches look good because a play might be a dive up the middle and Maurice (Jones-Drew) breaks three tackles and gains 12 yards, that's an explosive play," Koetter modestly explained.

Still, last season's version of the Jaguars couldn't avoid turnovers in crunch time as they saw games get out of control both early and late, due to fumbles and interceptions.

Right or wrong, much of the blame falls on the quarterback and that's simply the nature of the position.

"Dave (Garrard) says it himself, Dave has to play better and we have to play better around Dave," Koetter told the media.

The Jaguars started a pair of rookie offensive tackles in 2009 and they certainly felt some growing pains.

"We gave up 44 sacks last year which was in the bottom third of the league. That's way too many but out of the 44 not all of them were Dave's fault," Koetter said, defending his quarterback.

"There's a percentage of them that are Dave's fault. There's a percentage that's the O-line's fault. There's some that are the wideouts faults. There are some that are the running backs fault."

Koetter expects the team to be better on the offensive line, especially with his young tackles moving into Year Two.

"Last year those two rookie tackles, they were hanging on just to learn the vocabulary, just to learn what they're doing. Now, we have two of the most athletic tackles in the league so in the offseason we studied different ways that we could use the tackles in space, tackle pulling plays, tackle screen plays."

With the young players on the Jaguars offense with another year of seasoning, and the quarterback finally dedicating himself to his craft, all signs point to greater production from a fairly mediocre offense.


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