We are continuing out Black&Teal look at the ’10 Jaguars roster. In my opinion, the most exciting group in the offense is the tight ends. I believe this group will be the secret, most effective offensive weapon of the 2010 season. Although there are some concerns, I always have concerns, I will break down the players and coaches of this position and show yo why I think very highly about the TEs for the new season! – Zoltan Paksa
I will start, in Part I, with the coaches.
Reason Number. 1: Dirk Koetter
The Jaguars offensive coordinator holds the key on this one. Last season, a lot of the coaches who were very close to head coach Jack Del Rio had a lot of influence about how the offense should be look like. That has all changed now! Tight end coach Mike Tice left for Chicago as the coach of the offensive line. Kennedy Pola the RB coach went to Tennessee to take over the same job. The inside reporters (such as Michael C Wright or Gene Frenette of the Florida Times Union) suggested the change was a very good thing; because with these moves; Dirk Koetter will run the offense the way he wants. And why is that important for the tight ends? Because Koetter likes t involve the tight ends in the plays. Sometimes he even puts 2 TEs in the formation. So in a “Koetter only” offense; we can expect much more important roles for the TEs. Which is a very; very good thing; for the following reason…
Reason Number. 2: Enter Rob Boras!
The Jaguars hired Rob Boras to replace MIke Tice, ROb was with the Chicago Bears in the last 5 seasons. This was a very very good choice for a coach and let me show you why. Rob Boras joined the Bears in 2004; and for the first time in his 18 football coaching career he was hired to coach TEs. (Before that he was a head coach for one year, and an offensive coordinator for five years at UNLV-). In his first 2 years Chicago’s the number one TE was Desmond Clark. In that period he put up not so fantastic numbers for the Bears offense (48 catch; 513 yards; 3 TDs in 2 years); but let remind everyone that when the Bears were dominant in the middle of the decade; they were a defensive minded team! Then in the Bears big year; which ended in Super bowl XLI- Clark recorded 43 catch; 626 yards; 6 TDs. He was more productive then in the previous 2 years. Super Bowl 41 was the first sign that something changed at the tigh end position.
The next addition was the draft of Greg Olsen in the first round of the 2007 draft. Olsen and Clark slowly became the go to guys of that offense. Olsen recorded in his rookie year 39 catch 391 yards and 2 TDs; while Clark had 44 catch 545 yards and 4 TDs. I think these are really good numbers; but they did even better next year. In 2008, Olsen and Clark accounted for 95 receptions, the most catches in a single season for a Bears tight end unit in team history. The 95 receptions were the fifth-most in the NFL among tight end units.
In addition, the duo recorded 300-plus receiving yards each for the second consecutive season, only the second tight end duo in franchise history to accomplish the feat. Both tight ends, in the same season, had over 300 yards receiving. In addition, the 2 TEs scored 6 TDs (Olsen 5; Clark 1). Let’s not forget, the Bears QB was Kyle Orton that time; who is with all the respect not considered as an elite QB… And check this out in 2009; The Bears’ 2009 tight ends led the NFL in touchdown receptions with 13 (Greg Olsen, 8; Kellen Davis, 3; Desmond Clark, 2). Olsen led the Bears in 2009 with 60 receptions for 612 yards and eight touchdowns. The eight touchdowns tied for the fourth-most in the NFL among tight ends. These stats shows me that Boras improved every year the group he coached. Even during a bad season for the Bears, like last year, this unit produced fantastic numbers.