Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Greg Olson rarely has strong seasons statistically, but his 2015 year was one of his best ever.
You could almost hear the grumblings as soon as Greg Olson was announced as the offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars before the 2015 season. Articles quickly went to the internet about whether Olson was even a top choice by the Jags, whether he would be a bust, or that he was “well-traveled” and only decent at developing quarterbacks.
The best that Greg Olson could point to before his time with the Jaguars was his 2006 season with the St. Louis Rams, when Marc Bulger led his team to an 8-8 season with the fourth best passing attack and sixth best offense overall.
Since 2006, it was mostly downhill for the well-traveled offensive coordinator. No offense led by Olson ranked above 19th in total yards from 2007-2014. In fact, his 2014 Oakland Raiders finished with the worst offense in yardage and the 30th ranked offense in scoring.
…that’s not exactly inspiring when it’s clear that your team’s offense needs a jolt.
But Olson’s reputation as the quarterback whisperer was certainly well earned, because he turned Blake Bortles into one of the best in the business during the 2015 campaign.
He’s one of the best young quarterbacks in league history, in fact.
If you had told people before the 2015 season that Greg Olson would turn the statistically worst quarterback of 2014 into one of the highest scoring quarterbacks in just his second season, you likely would have gotten a lot of laughs. It isn’t that Olson isn’t a good quarterback guru, but nobody thought he could be that good. Even Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell didn’t think Bortles would be as good as he is this early.
Yet in just year two we’ve seen Bortles make massive strides in Greg Olson’s offense. There’s certainly room for improvement, but he really put together some impressive plays on a consistent basis and the offense felt fresh, which is something rarely said about Greg Olson offenses.
Perhaps most importantly for Olson is the fact that he posted his second-best offensive showing in his career, ranking behind that 2006 Rams squad. The 2015 Jacksonville Jaguars ranked 18th in total offense and were 10th in passing yards. Those two marks are only behind the Rams.
Most importantly, Olson also posted the best scoring offense through the air of his career, with the Jaguars ranking third in the NFL.
Not bad for a guy who wasn’t welcomed into town with a ticker tape parade.
Hats off to Olson for proving many of us wrong (myself included) with the work he put together. I would not have believed it if someone had predicted the Jags could go from one of the worst passing units to one of the best in just one season. That’s impressive stuff.
He’s definitely worthy of being called the best coordinator hire of the offseason.