Greg Olson was arguably the least exciting hire by the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason. When grading the offseason we often overlook coaching additions and while guys like Doug Marrone and Nathaniel Hackett are great to have on board, Olson was less inspiring.
Olson has had a handful of quality offenses under his tutelage. The 2006 St. Louis Rams are his best example of quality work, turning in an incredibly prolific passing attack that also managed to not turn the ball over too much. You could argue his quality work with Marc Bulger under center has propelled the rest of his career, because almost every stop since then has had only moderate success at best and some of the worst statistical outings at worst. He hasn’t had an offense finish above 20th in total yards since 2010.
Will that change with the Jaguars?
That’s the big gamble that general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley are hoping comes out in their favor. There isn’t really a lot of positive track record on Olson’s resume and yet each year he takes over the coaching staff wonders, “Which Greg Olson will we get?” Will it be the Greg Olson that masterfully orchestrated an offense in 2006 or will it be the Greg Olson that has seemed lost, overwhelmed by his own job in recent years?
I sincerely hope it’s the former for the Jaguars, but based on what I’ve seen statistically and on the field, I’m betting it’s closer to the latter.
The unknown variables here are whether Marrone and Hackett can somehow help elevate Olson into being a better offensive coordinator. They have been OCs in the past and could help improve their respective units (offensive line and quarterbacks) and bolster the work that Olson is trying to achieve. This offensive brain trust, if you will, could prove effective as a whole, despite the “bust potential” of its offensive coordinator.
We won’t know how it all shakes out until we see the product on the field this season (and beyond) but those mediocre outings in the past have me holding my breath. I have to believe that Gus Bradley and the rest of the front office can find a way to succeed with Greg Olson at the helm of the offense.
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