Jack Del Rio is not shy about making coaching staff changes, and after the debacle that is better known as the 2008 season, he went to work and made necessary changes. We all know of the player personnel changes through the 2009 NFL Draft and free agency, so let’s review the coaching staff of the 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars.
Jack Del Rio, Head Coach
Yes, tough-guy Jack Del Rio remains the head coach of the Jags, but has his level of authority and/or roles and responsibilities changed? Everyone knows Del Rio is a defensive-minded coach, but with the departure of Greg Williams, will Del Rio take more of a role in defensive play calling along with new defensive coordinator Mel Tucker?
Dirk Koetter, Offensive Coordinator
Returning for his third season with the Jaguars, Dirk Koetter will look to improve the offensive production of 2008. With a revamped offensive line and free agent acquisition Torry Holt to stretch the field, we should see a return to a run-first offensive scheme that made the Jaguars a threat in the 2007 season.
Prior to his role with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Koetter was a collegiate head coach; first at Boise State (1998-2000) and then Arizona State (2001-2006). He has over 27 years of coaching experience.
Count on Koetter having complete responsibility over the offensive play calling for the 2009 season.
Mel Tucker, Defensive Coordinator
Joining the Jacksonville Jaguars for the 2009 season, Mel Tucker comes to the Jags from the Cleveland Browns. This will be Tucker’s 13th season in coaching, and his fifth in the NFL.
While with the Cleveland Browns, he served as the defensive backs coach for the first three seasons before being promoted to defensive coordinator. During his tenure as defensive coordinator from 2005-2008, the Cleveland Browns defense ranked fifth in the NFL with 73 interceptions while allowing the fourth-fewest completions of 25 yards or more (78).
As previously mentioned, it is purported that Del Rio and Tucker will work closely and share the defensive play calling duties during the 2009 season.
Other new arrivals to the Jacksonville Jaguars:
Russ Purnell, Special Teams Coordinator
A 37-year coaching veteran, Russ Purnell comes to the Jaguars from the Indianapolis Colts where he served on Tony Dungy’s staff from 2002-2008.
Prior to the Colts, Purnell spent three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens from 1999-2001, and it was during this time he worked closely with Jack Del Rio during his stint there.
Coach Purnell has coached several Pro-Bowl players including Adam Vinitieri, Mike Vanderjagt, and Matt Stover.
Johnny Cox, Quality Control/Offensive Coach
Coach Cox comes to the Jaguars from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he served as Defensive Quality Control Coach. Prior to the NFL, he spent his coaching career at the collegiate and high school levels.
Luke Richesson, Strength and Conditioning
Richesson comes from Athletes’ Performance in Phoenix, Arizona, where he spent the last nine years as a Performance Specialist.
Jason George, Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach
George has spent the past 11 seasons at the collegiate level at Fordham and Kansas.
Cory Undlin, Defensive Assistant Coach
Previously with the Cleveland Browns from 2005-2008, Undlin joins the Jaguars in 2009 making this his sixth season in the NFL.
Early signs show a renewed dedication to strength and conditioning, and a return to the physical brand of smash-mouth football the Jacksonville Jaguars were known for. Only time will tell if these changes will make an impact.
One thing is for sure, Coach Del Rio doesn’t have a problem making the necessary changes to make things happen, and is quick to pull the trigger if he is not satisfied.