Jacksonville Jaguars: Doug Marrone critical for success


Jacksonville Jaguars offensive line coach Doug Marrone gets a lot of love from me these days.

I loved the hire when it was announced this offseason and I think he may have a bigger hand in success for the Jaguars than pretty much any other offseason addition. He’s just the offensive line coach, but that was a key area for growth this offseason and the Jacksonville Jaguars couldn’t have found anyone better to do it.

He’s had a couple of top-five offenses during his time as offensive coordinator with the New Orleans Saints, he had a top-two rushing offense with the 6-10 Buffalo Bills in 2013, and his head coaching gig at Syracuse had plenty of positive offensive moments as well.

So when we talk about Marrone being an important addition to the Jacksonville Jaguars, it’s because he has a track record of motivating teams to achieve offensive success. Sometimes, like with the Bills and Syracuse, it doesn’t always translate to wins. Fortunately for Marrone, the win/loss record doesn’t fall on him. That falls to Gus Bradley.

All that Marrone must do is improve that offensive line, especially with the Jagaurs’ emphasis on the running game going forward.

With three key new additions all with the chance to start at left guard, center, and right tackle, Marrone will have plenty of talent on his offensive line to craft it as he wishes. It could be like the dominant run blocking group from 2008 with a +120 grade from Pro Football Focus or, more likely, we’ll see a positive trend. The Jaguars were graded -32 and -28.8 in pass protection and run blocking in 2014, respectively. For 2013, the Jags were -17 in pass protection and a league-worst -80 in run blocking (almost twice as bad as the next-worst New York Jets) according to PFF.

Recovering from that recent abysmal history is going to be hard. It’s critical for Blake Bortles to have steady blocking in front of him. It’s critical for T.J. Yeldon to have holes opening in front of him. Doug Marrone’s job is critical to success for the Jacksonville Jaguars offense.

If Marrone can’t do his job, he’s not worth keeping around. I think he can get it done and I think that we’ll see positive impacts from his coaching during his first year crafting the new-look offensive line. No matter where the PFF grades shake out, it will be important to see how much time Bortles will have in the pocket and how big those holes are for Yeldon to sneak through.

Next: T.J. Yeldon provides the solution at running back

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