Greg Olson is a step forward for the Jacksonville Jaguars at offensive coordinator. He’ll be replacing the overmatched Jedd Fisch who led the offense to below mediocre levels over two years. Now the Jaguars are bringing in a coach with many more years of NFL experience and a lot of support from the Jaguars brass and veterans.
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Olson comes off as a solid, if unexciting hire for the Jaguars. He spent a stint with the team as the quarterbacks coach in 2012, helping Blaine Gabbert progress (as much as we can say that) despite his obvious handicaps. The Jags are hoping his quarterback whispering isn’t over and
in the latter half of the past season.
His experience helping quarterbacks and his experience as an offensive coordinator in the league are good for the Jaguars. But, as we have discussed before, he isn’t exactly a great offensive coordinator and has only had one of his teams rank in the top 10 during his time calling the shots. He isn’t being brought in to be an innovative mind, however. He’s being brought in because he is respected at what he does: developing young players.
It is obvious that GM Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley both respect and want Olson to be in Jacksonville. They, after all, hired him a few days ago. They had a multitude of candidates available and believe he can be the guy to get Bortles over the hump in his second year and also spur more consistent play from the stellar draft class of a year ago. NFL insider Jay Glazer thinks that Olson will fit in perfectly with Gus Bradley and the Jaguars organization.
So, there are votes of confidence across the higher level, including analysts and the Jaguars brass.
But what about the players?
Ultimately, it will be Olson’s job to inspire the players to believe in their talents, believe in his system, and to believe that the team is taking a step forward. Fortunately for Olson, he’s already been in Jacksonville before and while there aren’t a lot of players left from his time there in 2012 he has gained buy in where it counts. Former Pro Bowl tight end Marcedes Lewis is one of the few veteran players the Jaguars have on offense and he believes in Olson. From the Jags website, “Lewis said Olson is a high-level leader, and a high-level coach.” He has worked with him before and knows him personally – which certainly affects the way he views the coach – but, more importantly, he has also interacted with a host of other coaches in the league and knows that Olson is one of the better ones (let’s keep in mind who Lewis has worked with at some points too).
"If the guys don’t respect you or respect what you’re trying to sell, it’s not going to work. We can go out there and run the plays, but if you’re not convicted, how is it going to work?” – Marcedes Lewis on inspiring coordinators"
Hopefully with some buy in from the most veteran offensive player the Jags have, Olson will be able to hit the ground running and the young guys will immediately follow his lead, wherever it takes the organization.