O-Line coach Phil Rauscher unsung hero in Jaguars 2022 turnaround
One of the biggest plays in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ stunning win over the Los Angeles Chargers in Super Wild Card Weekend came near the end of the game. The Jags were at the Chargers’ 41-yard line on fourth-and-1 with 1:27 left. The coaching staff originally wanted to make a quarterback play, but it didn’t get the look they wanted, so they called a timeout and instead gave the ball to Travis Etienne. The decision paid off.
Not only did Etienne get the first down but he also racked up 25 yards and got to the Los Angeles 16-yard line, putting kicker Riley Patterson in position to make the game-winning field goal. Head coach Doug Pederson recently had a conversation with Peter King of NBC Sports and made sure to give credit to the man who drew the play, Jaguars offensive line coach Phil Rauscher.
In his latest Good Morning Football column, King talks about the amazing comeback of the Jags. He takes a look at the play Rauscher put together, his role in the win, and names him Coach of the Week.
"This 37-year-old offensive line coach had a big part in the Jags’ win over the Chargers on Saturday night, coach Doug Pederson told me. It was Rauscher who came up with the idea of the three running backs positioned behind Trevor Lawrence on fourth and 18 inches from the Chargers 41-yard line with 1:127 to play. While the Jags took a timeout and decided to switch the call to Rauscher’s play, the Chargers no doubt wondered if the Jags would simply try to wriggle Trevor Lawrence or have him do a dart in the air, scrimmage-style. Brady, to move on. progress for a first down."
Before joining the Jaguars’ coaching staff in 2022, Rauscher held various positions with the Denver Broncos, the Washington Commanders, and the Minnesota Vikings. During the regular season, Jacksonville’s offensive line allowed 27 sacks and led the league in games without a sack with six.
Phil Rauscher has made the most of the Jaguars’ offensive line
Trevor Lawrence has made a big leap in his second year, and the Jaguars’ offensive line deserves praise for giving him optimal protection throughout most of the season. Phil Rauscher also deserves credit for being able to get the most out of his unit.
Right tackle Jawaan Taylor struggled with inconsistency last year but has hit his stride under Rauscher. Similarly, rookie center Luke Fortner was the starter from Day 1 and got progressively better as the season progressed.
Then, there’s sophomore Walker Little who started the season on the bench but has filled in nicely for left tackle Cam Robinson, who is out for the year with a knee injury. Pederson met with the local media Monday and talked about Rauscher’s positive impact on the team.
“I can’t really say enough great things about Phil”, Pederson said. “Prior to me hiring him, I didn’t know much about him. I talked to some people around the league. I didn’t have any personal experience with him but came highly recommended and I knew from the moment met him in the building that he and I were gonna have a great connection. Not only personally in the office but also on the football field as well”.
“The way he coaches these guys. He’s hard on them, he’s demanding on them, but he’s fair and honest and he really gets the most out of them, and on top of that, he’s a great schemer, puts great run plans together, and really does a nice job even in game making adjustments for us when we need them. Again, can’t say enough good things about him”, Pederson.
Pederson has played a huge role in the turnaround the Jaguars have undergone since the end of the 2021 season. His decision to hire Rauscher to coach the offensive line is one of the biggest reasons are set to face the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round of the playoffs.