The Jacksonville Jaguars hired former Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson for the same position on Wednesday. The hiring, naturally, was met with quite a bit of push back from Jaguars fans, because at Olson's last stop he was the play caller for an offense that ranked just one spot above the Jaguars.
While Olson was given a lot of credit for the success of Derek Carr, the fact that Carr had one of the lowest yards per attempt in recent history gave a lot of fans pause on that idea. To be fair to Olson though, Carr was known for taking a lot of the short easy throws in college and some felt Olson tailored his offense to suit Carr in that regard and to help limit the sacks and hits on the quarterback. Through the years, Olson's offenses have generally had a YPA of 6.5 or higher, outside of seasons where three or more quarterbacks started games.
Here is a quick run down of Olson's history as an offensive coordinator in the NFL:
|2007||Rams||Marc Bulger/Gus Frerotte/Brock Berlin||3559||6.2||19||28||16.4|
|2008||Buccaneers||Jeff Garcia/Brian Griese||3785||6.7||17||13||22.6|
|2009||Buccaneers||Byron Leftwich/Josh Johnson/Josh Freeman||3134||6.0||18||29||15.2|
|2011||Buccaneers||Josh Freeman/Josh Johnson||3838||6.5||17||24||17.9|
|2013||Raiders||Matt Flynn/Terrell Pryor/Matt McGloin||3629||7.0||17||20||20.1|
|2014||Raiders||Derek Carr/Matt McGloin/Matt Schaub||3456||5.5||22||16||15.8|
This doesn't really tell us a whole lot, except for the fact that Olson called plays with a lot of bad quarterbacks during his time in the NFL as an offensive coordinator. He had a few seasons where things looked on the up and up and seemed to do an admirable job the past two seasons with the Raiders given what they had at quarterback and with a rookie QB, but overall there seems to be big variance in performances at each stop.
Olson was the quarterbacks coach for the Jaguars in 2012 and with Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne at the quarterback position the team netted 3,419 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, 17 interceptions with a YPA of 6.3 and an average of 15.9 PPG. Coincidentally, that season was the highest the Jaguars passing offense has ranked since 2010 and statistically Gabbert's best season as a pro. There were also noticeable mechanical improvements in Gabbert's game that season.
The few seasons where there was stability at the quarterback position from one season to the next, the Olson-led offenses seemed to do just fine (Rams 2006, Bucs 2010). In his first season as the Rams offensive coordinator, they became the fourth team in NFL history to boast a 4,000 yard passer, 1,500 yard rusher and two 1,000 yard receivers. In 2010, the Bucs were the youngest team in the NFL and had rookie wide receiver Mike WIlliams lead all rookie receivers in every major category and running back LeGarrette Blount lead all rookie running backs in rushing.
It's also worth noting that Olson was the quarterbacks coach at Purdue while a guy named Drew Brees was under his tutelage, that saw Brees be a finalist for the Heisman Trophy two years in a row as well as winning the Maxwell Award in 2010. He was also the offensive coordinator for Jon Kitna at Central Washington.
I'm not really a huge fan of the hire, but Gus Bradley feels there is something there and made mention in an interview that there were some candidates who might have had good offensive concepts, but were limited by things like bad quarterback play in the past and Olson seems to fall under that category. The signal callers he's worked with haven't exactly been a who's who.