A 5–11 season, following a playoff run, tends to be a warning sign that a team is nearing the end of its relevance. Teams can either hang on and hope for one last hurrah, or make a drastic shift to try to nip the problem in the bud before bad habits and losses become a yearly occurrence.
Thankfully, the Jags chose the latter, and after an offseason purge, they are back with a fresh new look.
The most noticeable change comes in the form of one of the coordinators. Gregg Williams, bastion of giving up the big play and defender of all things sloppy, is gone.
Apparently, when the Jags hired defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, the job description stated something like the following: “at absolutely no point should our defensive line be counted upon to either sack the quarterback or to stop the run. Defensive backs should jump at the receivers’ first twitch; odds are, he’s not going to make a double move.”
Gregg Williams fulfilled that requirement and then some. However, the drunken intern who logged into the official Jags’ defensive coordinator online application and mucked it all up eventually fessed up to the changes and was canned (it's handled much like a wiki, you can really add whatever you want).
After management cleared up that mess, they fired Gregg Williams as well as he had coached the Jaguars' defense to some of the worst numbers in head coach, Jack Del Rio's tenure.
Replacing Williams is ex–Cleveland Brown's defensive coordinator, Mel Tucker.
Two, often overlooked positions—the special teams coordinator and the strength and conditioning coach are held by shining, new faces as well.
You will get to meet each of the new guys, but you won't get to haze them. We adhere to a strict, no hazing rule here in Jacksonville.
You'll also get to re–meet the old guys.
After five months of other useless crap getting saved on your brainputers, you've probably forgotten all about the Jaguars (I know I deleted 2008).
The main man, the big enchilada.
The guy we all get to blame if another debacle like 2008 happens (no pressure).
Del Rio is an ex–NFL player and his stare scares the hell out of me.
As he's been the Jacksonville head coach for the past six years, you've probably seen him once or twice.
However, here's some stuff you may or may not know:
He's a "smash–mouth" guy who loves a good defense.
Prior to Jacksonville, he had two NFL stints as defensive coordinator: the Baltimore Ravens (99–01) and the Carolina Panthers (02).
Both defenses posted impressive, and much improved numbers under Del Rio's ever glaring eye. The Panthers improved to the fifth best defense after ranking dead last the season before, and the Ravens began the fearsome "Ravens' D" under Del Rio.
In fact, the Ravens set an NFL record for fewest points allowed in a season.
The OC—Another carry over coach, Koetter's been calling the Jags' offense since 2007. Prior to that he bounced around in college, spreading good records and bowl appearances to wherever he decided to settle in at.
As a collegiate head coach, he led Boise St. to two conference championships, two bowl wins, and a 26–10 record. All before it was cool to talk about Boise St. in football articles.
Can you say "trendsetter?"
Having successfully turned around the Broncos, Koetter focused his sights on Playboy's No. 1 party school, Arizona State. He compiled a 40–34 record in the tougher Pac–10, and led the Sun Devils to four bowl games.
He also turned Arizona St. into the No. 1 offense in the nation in 2005.
No. 1 offense and No. 1 party school, did this guy have it all?
Having accomplished much in a short amount of time, Koetter sought to turn the Jacksonville Jaguars into a high powered offense. In year one, he managed to do just that.
However, the Jags fell on hard times in 2008 and regressed a bit. Look for Koetter to get back to his high octane ways with the 2009 Jags led by super–receiver Torry Holt
He's the ex Ravens ('99–'01)and ex–Colts ('02–'08) Special Teams coordinator. Both teams won Super Bowls.
I don't know, I'm not a stats guy (98 percent chance that was a lie).
Now for some numbers!
Compared to the Jags, the Colts punted 14 fewer times last year. They also landed nine more of those punts inside of the 20, and only had two touchbacks. The Jags had eight touchbacks.
Thus, I conclude, Purnell is a man who does something once and does it right.
This will probably work better than last year's punt four+ times a game and hope for the best strategy.
Honestly, special teams coordinators mean a lot.
Good field position wins games, and these are the guys who teach your team how to get that good field position.
A man with many titles: Assistant Head coach, Tight Ends coach, player's coach, world's strongest man, former player...Mike Tice has been with the Jags for the past three years molding Marcedes Lewis into a threatening tight end and keeping the players off of party boats.
He formerly coached the Minnesota Vikings, then Culpepper got old and Randy Moss left...so the Vikings let Tice go.
Also there was something about Fred Smoot and boats...
The strength coach.
Probably the least known of all the coaches, but one of the most important.
This is the guy who gets your fat, lazy players back in shape in three weeks. His job isn't easy, but if he fails someone probably gets hurt.
The Strength coach is the training camp guy, the rehab guy, the motivator, and the in season conditioner.
When someone gets cramps, this guy looks bad.
This is Richesson's first year as a Strength and Conditioning coach for an NFL team. Prior to this, Richesson worked as a trainer for Athlete's Performance, working with many of the NFL draft picks over the last few years.
Also, this is probably the first time anyone has included him in an article, anywhere.