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Why Doug Marrone is the most important hire for the Jaguars in 2015

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While everyone's focus is on the Jaguars offensive coordinator hire, the hiring of Doug Marrone as offensive line coach is more important to the team's success in 2015.

Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Much has been made about the Jacksonville Jaguars hiring Greg Olson as the new offensive coordinator, and while his resume isn't the best he has shown a penchant to be adaptable, his hiring is actually the least important one the Jaguars have made this offseason. The more important hire for the Jaguars was made before Olson, in that of new offensive line coach Doug Marrone.

Marrone joined the Jaguars after exercising an opt-out clause in his contract as the head coach of the Buffalo Bills that pays him his salary for 2015, even though he resigned from the position. While there is a lot of hooplah surrounding that decision, in my opinion he left a job he was likely to get fired from in 2015 anyway, so it's largely irrelevant.

What is relevant however is Marrone's track record with offensive lines. He was the head coach of the Bills and reportedly was hands on with their line, but I'm not sure how much credit/blame to place on him, but the Bills finished 15th (39) and 4th (48) in sacks allowed while he was the head coach, giving up 30 in 2012 to rank 23rd prior to his arrival.

With the Bills there was some flux and move on the offensive line as in each season the only sustained starters were Cordy Glenn, Eric Wood and Kraig Urbik (though he flipped guard spots in 2014). The Bills lost Andy Levitre in free agency and kicked Erik Pears to guard last season to start rookie Seantrel Henderson. It was a mixed bag, to say the least.

During Marrone's time with the New York Jets as the offensive line coach (2002-2005) the team gave up more than 31 sacks just once, in 2005, when the Jets had a merry go-round of starting quarterbacks with four different players starting multiple games.

While Marrone was the offensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints (2006-2008), the team never gave up more than 23 sacks in a season, including two seasons of allowing less than 20 sacks despite throwing the ball more than most teams in the league. While Marrone was with the Saints, the team saw left tackle Jamaal Brown named to the Pro Bowl multiple times and helped develop John Stinchcomb into one of the better right tackles in the league. The year prior to Marrone and Sean Payton's arrival, the Saints gave up 41 sacks.

The most vital thing for the Jaguars success going forward is the development and improvement of the team's offensive line, especially the young players who are believed to be the foundation of it going forward in Luke Joeckel, Luke Bowanko and Brandon Linder. The team, and no offense to Luke Butkus, operated without an offensive line coach for the season because of the situation with George Yarno.

With so much youth and raw talent on the line, the Jaguars need a coach who can develop the players and get them in the right direction, which seems to be something Marrone has a penchant for doing. While Seantrel Henderson still has his issue and areas to improve, he was viewed in the draft as a lost cause and ended up starting 16 games for the Bills as a rookie and showed he could be a cornerstone there if his improvement continues.

If the Jaguars can get some consistent play from their offensive line, as a unit in 2015, the offense could make a considerable jump regardless of who the offensive coordinator is. As mentioned, the unit has a lot of talent in some of the individual players and at times they played well individually, but they need someone who can help them put all of that together as a unit.

If Marrone can push the line in that direction for 2015, his stay with the Jaguars could be a short one and that's a good thing.

(Because it means the line is good.)