Greg Olson is joining the Jacksonville Jaguars as their offensive coordinator following the departure of Jedd Fisch.
For many of us, the announcement that Olson would be orchestrating the offense was a bit of a disappointment. It was anti-climactic at a minimum. There were so many good names available on the offensive side of the ball this offseason and the Jaguars ended up bringing in a bit of a retread in Olson.
Now, the case can be made that Olson is well respected among coaching circles and by players and that he has done some solid work with young quarterbacks before, but the production in the numbers just isn’t there. It’s perfectly possible that we on the internet aren’t as clued in to what makes Olson a good coach, but it’s tough to see Olson coming out as a top choice for the Jaguars (though, as he was hired, he was obviously a top choice at one point).
I was reading an article by Conor Orr at NFL.com in which he highlights the fact that the Jacksonville Jaguars is becoming a place where players want to be. He also quotes head coach Gus Bradley as noting, “I think we’re seeing signs of that, of the interest level (from free agents). But I also saw it from the coaches, you know the pool of coaches that were available and their perception of Jacksonville now interviewing was maybe a little different than when I first got hired.” While I certainly believe that is true and I hope it continues, was Greg Olson really the offensive coordinator the Jaguars desperately wanted to reel in this offseason? Was he the big catch – the Julius Thomas of the coaching circles that the team recruited heavily and managed to land. This could re-frame the entire approach to hiring an offensive coordinator over the past few months.
At this point I’m inclined to think it goes beyond Greg Olson. The Jaguars also brought in former head coach Doug Marrone to run the offensive line and former offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to coach the quarterbacks. I like the “brain trust” approach of bringing in guys with plenty of experience and I think it will work well overall. You’ve got to think that there was something in the Jaguars’ culture that appealed to Marrone and Hackett and Olson.
But could the Jaguars have done better?
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