What hiring John DiFilippo means for the Jacksonville Jaguars
By David Levin
The Jacksonville Jaguars have a new offensive coordinator in John DiFilippo and possibly a new philosophy in how the team will look next season.
Finally, Jacksonville Jaguars fans have an answer. After a search for a new offensive coordinator that saw candidates leave for other pastures, the front office hired John DiFilippo to fill the role that has been vacant since the team fired Nathaniel Hackett.
It was a hire that head coach Doug Marrone told the media on Wednesday was an exciting, challenging process.
"“You’re only as good as your entire staff,” Marrone said. “Every successful team that I was a part of as an assistant – be it college or the NFL – we had a hell of a staff,” he said."
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The Jaguars had to bring in someone who could change the culture of the offense, someone who could put together a game plan that induces scoring opportunities and gives the inept unit a shot of adrenaline. After Darrell Bevell, Todd Monken and Mike McCoy came to TIAA Bank Field for interviews and Gary Kubiak took a job with Minnesota before his scheduled interview in North Florida, it will be DiFilippo who will be asked to work magic with what he has in front of him.
Since no one knows how the Jaguars will attack free agency, DiFillippo will be asked find balance between a passing game that was nonexistent and a running game desieged by injuries this season.
"“Everyone is crucial,” Marrone said. “One person is not going to drive the whole thing when you’re putting people together on offense and putting people together on defense.”"
While the defense finished fifth overall this past season and second against the pass, the offense had its moments of self-destruction in 2018. DiFilippo walks into a situation where the team may part ways with Blake Bortles and seek a starter through free agency, the NFL Draft or trade. The rumors of quarterbacks headed to Jacksonville include Joe Flacco, Nick Foles and Tyrod Taylor.
He does have ties to Executive Vice-President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin, having served as New York the New York Giants offensive quality control coach from 2005-2006. He is also linked to Foles, having served as the Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach in 2016 and 2017.
"As John Oehser of Jaguars.com explained, “DeFilippo, offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns in 2015 and the Minnesota Vikings through much of the 2018 season, was one of four offensive staff changes announced Wednesday.”"
The Jaguars hold the seventh pick in the NFL Draft and could use that selection on a quarterback. Dwayne Haskins is the top-ranked prospect coming out this season with a host of other signal callers expected to be drafted in the first two rounds.