Jacksonville Jaguars: Physical Defense, Running Offense
The Jacksonville Jaguars need to do two things to win. Those two things are: play physical defense, and establish a strong rushing offense.
Perhaps there is no better of a coach for a physical defensive playcalling team than Jack Del Rio. Del Rio is a defensive-minded NFL coach that has proved in the past that his style of coaching is both a winning style and a style that other teams want to steal.
By using the term "steal," I am simply referring to the fact that it was the Jaguars who truthfully began using the two running back system consisting of Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew.
Not to say that other teams did not use two running backs, but the Jaguars were the first to use the one-two combo of a bigger back in Taylor and a small, speedy back in Jones-Drew.
Del Rio has a great understanding of physical football, the question is whether or not the Jaguars can play that way with their current roster. Without Taylor, the Jaguars only have one running back that will be able to consistently play at a high level.
Defensively, the Jaguars have a good squad, but the inexperience of some starters may hurt them this season.
Stuffing the run and rushing the passer are the two main elements to Del Rio's physical defense, and hopefully he can mold some of the young talent into great players who fit his defense.
Dirk Koetter: Passing Is His Specialty
Still in his early years in the NFL, the Jaguars offensive coordinator, Dirk Koetter, is a passing specialist.
Koetter knows what it takes to take a good quarterback and make him great.
The problem with the Jaguars is that even though he has the quarterback to turn great, he has yet had the weapons to get him there. David Garrard has proven that he is unbelievably talented, but when your most dangerous weapon to pass to is Matt Jones, you have a bit of a problem.
Heading into this season, the Jaguars are trying to possess a couple more weapons for Garrard to locate. The most important addition has been Torry Holt, who is the most statistically gifted wide receiver to have played for the Jaguars since the departure of Jimmy Smith.
Besides Holt, the weapons consist of Marcedes Lewis, Mike Walker, Dennis Northcutt, Mike Thomas, Jarrett Dillard—in other words, a whole bunch of unproven players that need to step up and become both downfield and short-field threats.
With the rebuilding of the offensive line after a horrible year, the Jaguars can hopefully take some of the pressure off of Garrard and establish the running game that made them so dangerous a couple of years ago.
Mel Tucker: Welcome to the Jaguars
The newest addition to the coaching staff is Mel Tucker.
Mel Tucker comes from a disappointing Cleveland Browns team to a disappointing Jaguars team.
Tucker hasn't shown a dominance as a coach that made him stand out as the replacement to Gregg Williams, but hopefully he can turn around a defense that can't do much worse than last year.
With plenty of young players, Tucker has the advantage of having a very smart defensive-minded head coach in Jack Del Rio. Tucker needs to be able to get this defense to attack the quarterback and create sack opportunities.
Last year showed small sparks of talent from Harvey and Groves, and now it is their turn to step in and earn their money, especially Harvey.
The Jaguars secondary has some question marks, but also has some talent. A struggle for the Jaguars has always been getting beat by opposing receivers. Besides Rashean Mathis, the Jaguars do not have a strong cornerback to help out. Reggie Nelson has plenty to prove after a sophomore slump.
Mike Tice: One of the Best Assistant Coaches in the NFL
Mike Tice is a well-known name on the Jaguars coaching staff.
After coaching the Vikings for five years, Tice joined the Jaguars and has been a great assistant ever since.
Overshadowed by the head coach, Tice, quietly does a great job on the sideline and is an offensive genius—well, sometimes.
This year, Tice has plenty of young players that he needs to get ready to make either immediate impacts, or at least somewhat of a contribution to help an aging David Garrard.
The main young players that will be needed to step in sooner than later include: Rashad Jennings, Mike Walker, Jarrett Dillard, Mike Thomas, Eugene Monroe, Eben Britton, and Chauncey Washington. Not exactly just one or two players. Tice has his work cut out for him.