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Jaguars OC Greg Olson deserves credit for improved offense

Under Jedd Fisch, the Jaguars offense was near the bottom of the league in almost every statistical category. Greg Olson has improved that by 50 more yards and one additional touchdown per game in less than a season.

Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

When the Jacksonville Jaguars hired Greg Olson to be their offensive coordinator back in January, the news was met with shall we say… not much enthusiasm.

Olson had been a coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars previously, back during the Blaine Gabbert era when he was the team’s quarterbacks coach. There wasn’t much to be enthusiastic about with Olson, given his past with the Jaguars, but he was coming off a nice season with rookie quarterback Derek Carr. That being said, when the hire was announced 70 percent of Big Cat Country readers were not happy about it.

We weren’t sure what we’d get with Olson, as his offense seemed to be molded around the pieces he had in his previous stops as an offensive coordinator. When we took a look back at his offenses, not much was really the same about them because Olson was a bit of a chameleon in what his offensive scheme was. One thing we know now however, after Week 12, is that Olson seemed to be the perfect fit for the Jaguars.

2013 2014 2015
Pass YPG 234.4 215.7 272.8
Rush YPG 78.8 102.1 94.8
PPG 15.4 15.6 22.9
Sacks Per Game 3.1 4.4 3.0

In the first two years of the new regime, the Jaguars employed Jedd Fisch as their offensive coordinator with a zone-blocking scheme and a quick pass offense that revolved around getting the ball out quickly, precision short-passing and bubble screens. Lots and lots of bubble screens. That seemed to fit the likes of Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert at the time, but when the Jaguars drafted Blake Bortles, many wondered how the offense would change, because all of those things were things Bortles was not good at.

Fisch ended up getting fired, because it didn’t work. At all. The Jaguars offense in 2014 was atrocious.

Enter Greg Olson, the chameleon, and suddenly the Jaguars have an explosive offense. Sure, he gets the benefit of a lot of these younger players having been bled in the NFL for a season and are in the middle of their development, but Olson has put them in positions to succeed. No longer are the Jaguars operating a quick passing game with bubble screens, but instead they lean towards Bortles strengths. The offense rolls and moves the pocket. The offense attacks the intermediate area of the field and they’re aggressive down the field. All things that Bortles is good at.

And it works. Weird.

There are nits we can pick about the Jaguars offense, but overall I think it’s turned out significantly better than anyone expected when he was initially hired.