Jaguars: Was hiring Jay Gruden as O.C. the right move?

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 30: Head coach Jay Gruden of the Washington Redskins looks on prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at FedExField on December 30, 2018 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 30: Head coach Jay Gruden of the Washington Redskins looks on prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at FedExField on December 30, 2018 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

Was bringing in Jay Gruden to be the Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator the right move for the organization, the players and the coaching staff?

When the Jacksonville Jaguars announced that Jay Gruden has been hired as the team’s new offensive coordinator, the move can just over one week after the team and John DeFilippo parted ways.

That’s old news. What is new is the idea that the Jaguars may change an offensive style that was part of their run through the 2017 playoffs, but has proven to have flaws the past two seasons. Gruden, who spent time as an offensive coordinator in Cincinnati before taking the head coaching position with the Washington Redskins five-plus seasons ago, brings a degree of excitement to this franchise that hasn’t been felt since – well – the 2017 season and an AFC South division title.

Head coach Doug Marrone told that Gruden’s coaching experience did play a role in making the decision to bring him in to fix the fractured offense. While the Jaguars were a middle-of-the-pack team throwing and running with the football, that isn’t good enough, especially when the defense was bleeding like a broken dam at different points last season.

"“Time is not on our side. We’ve had two poor seasons and we’ve got to turn this thing around quickly. You don’t want some of the growing pains that at times go with a young coordinator. Not to say a young coordinator couldn’t be great, but I look for people who have dealt with a lot of different dynamics,” Marrone said.“It’s important to have had experience managing. That’s one of the toughest things as a first-time head coach, first-time coordinators: how you’re managing that room, how you’re managing people. To answer your question … yes. I was looking for some people with experience.”"

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You cannot get more specific than that.

You already know my take on this hire, as I have discussed it in my last story here on Black and Teal. But what do our other writers think about the move? Check out what they have to say.

Jess Overby – The hiring of Jon Gruden as offensive coordinator may or may not work out. The success of the Jaguars over the next few years won’t depend on the coordinator but will depend greatly on how well they improve the offense, and specifically on whether they can find and/or develop enough offensive weapons.

The Jaguars have been woefully inadequate in the receiving corps for over a decade. The wide receivers have consistently been at or among the top of the league in drops and there hasn’t been a Jaguars receiver in the top 25 in receiving during the time either. They also haven’t had a tight end threat in some time.

Gruden had a lot of success as an offensive coordinator in Cincinnati with a young Carson Palmer along with a young A.J. Green. Green was the important piece…a true number one receiver who opposing teams had to game plan for and he still made all the catches and dominated games. Neither Nick Foles nor Gardner Minshew is the quarterback Palmer was at the time Gruden was offensive coordinator, and no receiver since Jimmy Smith can be compared to Green.

Make no mistake, Gruden is a good hire. But he’s in an entirely different situation than he had in Cincinnati. Here’s hoping the Jaguars can get multiple offensive weapons, and the Gruden can have the success he had in Cincy.

Kathy Clark – Jay Gruden is officially the Jaguars offensive coordinator. I am familiar with him since his days with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and then with Arena football. He was very successful as an Arena football coach. His teams were fun and exciting.

He moved on to work with Andy Dalton and the Bengals and did a good job there as well. He went to Washington after that with minimal success. I won’t hold that against him since no one does well in Washington. He is a solid hire and I think he will mesh very well with Marrone and defensive coordinator Todd Wash.

If they work as a team I think this will go from a solid hire to a great hire because Gruden has the tools to be successful.

Lorenzino Estrada – I believe Jay Gruden is a very solid offensive coordinator hire for the Jaguars. Gruden’s playbook will provide plenty of opportunities for quarterback Gardner Minshew to use his legs with the play-action, as well as taking shots downfield. Leonard Fournette will also be a vital part of the offense, as the Jaguars should still be a run-first team.

With the weapons Jacksonville has in Minshew, Fournette, DJ Chark and Dede Westbrook, the team should be a fun one to watch in 2020. But with free agency and the draft in the near future, look for the team to add more offensive talent in order to help with Gruden’s new scheme.

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