John DeFilippo already working to change the Jaguars offense
By David Levin
As John DiFilippo prepares for his first season and the offensive coordinator of the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team’s game plan may get better by adding a few components.
One thing that became abundantly clear when listening to new Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator John DeFilippo is this team is going to be different. He also told the media in attendance on Thursday morning this would not be the offense he helped run in Philadelphia when he was quarterbacks coach or the one he installed in Minnesota last season.
This team will run its own style on offense, which should be different to some degree from the one the team implemented or tried to implement last season.
Having Nick Foles on board as the Jaguars new quarterback should make the transition from his last stops in the NFL a bit smoother. It should also make the Jaguars a better passing team and a bit more unpredictable.
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"“He’s [Foles] been great for everybody. He’s been great for the coaches. He’s been great for the players. He’s been great for me. He’s been great in the meetings. He’s not afraid to speak up and say, ‘Hey, this is the way I see a route run. This is the way I see this pass thrown. This is the way I see this formation lined up.’ He’s been awesome that way, just getting everyone on the same page,” DeFilippo said.“As a coach, you install it, but then when those guys go in the locker room and they spend time with each other, if they have a question, a lot of times they are more comfortable going to ask him than a coach, at times. I think Nick, being a guy that is a studious guy who really understands the plan and what we’re trying to accomplish, is really good at that.”"
Foles comes to the Jaguars having to learn the system to create chemistry and a bond with his teammates and become the leader from Day 1. That’s something that has been apparent since he has walked in the building. He is the guy everyone is counting on. He is the one the locker room must put its trust in. As DeFilippo mentioned he was part of the process that brought the former Super Bowl MVP here to North Florida.
"“You know, I was part of the process and the process was from ownership down to me and Scott Milanovich, our quarterbacks coach, on seeing who the best fit was for our football team,” DeFilippo explained. “Obviously, I had a little bit of insider information having coached Nick and gone through a lot of things with Nick. I was a part of the process. It wasn’t one of those things where I was standing on a table or recruiting or anything like that, but I was definitely involved in the process.”"
One of the things DeFilippo expressed as well, was the use of the tight end and how the team will try different things on offense now that there is no true fullback on the roster. He also will work to give the running backs on the roster more touches in passing situations and to find a third down back.
"“We brought some guys in from other places, and we’ve drafted a young man [Ryquell Armstead]. Everyone is going to get a shot to be that third down back,” he added. To your point about catching the football, we’re getting those guys out there early. I don’t want to say we’re force feeding it, but we’re forcing those guys to get out of their comfort zone a little bit more then maybe what they are used to…to get them used to seeing if they can do those jobs.”"
DeFilippo, Foles and the front office will be linked together as they restart the engine they thought would run on all cylinders following a 10-6 season in 2017 and a trip to the AFC Title game. Things did not progress like anticipated and like DeFilippo mentioned, injuries did play a part in the demise of this franchise last season. Everything is now new and the team begins a different path.
And for the organization, it’s a chance to write a different chapter with a better ending. DeFilippo will have his name all over this potential Pulitzer if it goes well. The parts are there. He and the coaching staff must make it work.