Better Know a Jaguars Coach pt. 2: Offensive Line Coach Andy Heck

Offensive Line Coach: Andy Heck

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Offensive Line; born January 1, 1967, Fargo, N.D. Tackle Notre Dame 1985-88. Pro tackle Seattle 1989-1993, Chicago 1994-98, Washington 1999-2000. College coach: Virginia 2001-03. Pro coach: Joined Jaguars in 2003

Andy spent his college career at Notre Dame playing tackle under head coach Lou Houltz. Known as a physical and tenacious blocker, he helped anchor an OL that led the Fighting Irish with blocking which allowed for their dominating ground performances.

Notre Dame followed Coach Lou Holtz’s slow but effective formula for winning perfectly: grind it out (250 rushing yards per game) and play great defense (allowed only 12.3 points per game). Tony Rice led Notre Dame in both rushing (700 yards) and passing (1,176 yards) as the Fighting Irish played ball control en route to 32.6 points per game

Sound like a familiar philosophy... That's Jaguars football in a nutshell, pound the rock and play hard defense. You gotta think learning from a guy like Lou Houltz, arguably one of the greatest "old school" style coaches in history, really instills a strong foundation and respect for the game.  Andy has been a rising star of sorts in coaching terms, and don't think other's around the league haven't seen what he's done for the Jaguars OL.

Heck served three seasons on the University of Virginia coaching staff, the first two seasons as a graduate assistant and the final year as tight ends coach. Heck tutored All-America tight end Heath Miller, who set numerous Atlantic Coast Conference records for a tight end in receiving and scoring. An outstanding blocker, Miller was a first round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2005.

If you're keeping score at home... that's only ONE total season of coaching experience... AT ANY LEVEL (including Pee-Wee!) prior to joining Jacksonville. Hello JDR for seeing talent and scooping it up!

The Jags snagged Andy from Virginia where he oversaw the tight-end position. If you think back, you might recall another coach we picked up from Virginia that turned out to be an unmitigated disaster... former Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave. Maybe it was his personnel, but whatever the reason... he presided over an inept offense (formerly). Would Andy turn out to be cut from this same cloth? Let's find out...

    Jaguars guard Vince Manuwai credits the promotion of Andy Heck from offensive assistant to offensive line coach and the arrival of assistant head coach Mike Tice with the line's success so far this season.

    Upon the promotion, Heck emphasized to the offensive line the importance of focusing on its run-block angles, which has resulted in more of a downhill rushing attack.

"That's one thing Andy [Heck] did when he came in this year," Manuwai said. "Everybody has seen the difference. It wasn't pass protection or anything like that he stressed. It was run blocking.

"When we run block, we're just hitting our angles and trying to move people. That way, Fred can see it [the running lane] faster.

Jaguar football Baby...

    Heck took a group that finished 15th in total offense in 2005,with the great Jimmy Smith and their starting quarterback for most of the year, and finished 10th in 2006, including the #3 overall rushing offense. They posted these results despite missing their starting quarterback for ten games and no real deep threat at wide receiver. The Jaguars starting offensive line will likely be made up of Khalif Barnes, Chris Naeole, Brad Meester, Vince Manuwai, and Tony Pashos in '07, and they expect to play a physical style of football that would make any old-school coach and football fanatic proud.

I hate to throw all these quotes at you, but you have to understand what a gem we have in Coach Heck. I absolutely love JDR for his hiring’s. He brought a philosophy to the table, and gathered an exceptional group of coaches with that same mentality to really drive the concept home.

 Credit for our running game goes as much to the OL as it does to the RB and FB. The pervading thought process that seems to be present throughout the media and even some NFL teams, here's lookin' at you AL (Davis), is that a strong RB is the source of a solid rushing attack... I'm sorry, but that's beyond ignorance. It all starts with a philosophy, then one must acquire quality teachers to instill the plan and develop talent, and finally, you watch your players execute the game-plan and philosophy they've been taught. NOW That's Jaguars Football BABY... Good Drafting + Good Coaching + Good Atmosphere = One Hell of a Team.

I love the way the Jags have made their name being an Old School team... I would love it if we NEVER threw the ball... I say run the wishbone out of a 3 TE set EVERY DOWN!

Although that's neither realistic nor is it a feasible route to success, you at least know where I stand in terms of football philosophy. You build upon a solid ground game and strong defense with a passing attack, not vice versa.

I hope you guys like this series; I'll be gone the few days, but more to come soon.

 

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