The Jacksonville Jaguars finished the 2015 season with an average offense, statistically. Their 348.8 total yards per game was good for 18th in the league and their 23.5 points per game was good for 14th in the league. Blake Bortles led a top-ten passing attack, averaging 256.8 yards per game, but their rushing attack gained just 92.1 yards per game, sixth-worst in the league.
So, what can the Jaguars do to improve those things? Offensive coordinator Greg Olson has one answer.
"We felt like when we evaluated the end of the season, we thought that one of the things that Blake was pretty comfortable with was our two-minute package," Olson said after Thursday's practice. "And so we’ve incorporated some no-huddle as well as that. Today was our first day to work at it so I think, and really the players in general, there are so many returning starters, they’re much more comfortable in that type of mode. So it’s just something we can use as a changeup or we can jump in and out of."
When the Jaguars struggled in the red zone, or struggled to get some kind of rhythm going, one of the things I wanted to see was the no-huddle offense. After all, it's not like it's a new concept to Blake Bortles. No-huddle plays accounted for 13.41% of Bortles' snaps in his rookie season.
But Greg Olson's reluctance to use the no-huddle was because he knew it wasn't necessarily about volume when it comes to the no-huddle and Bortles. It's about being strategic with when and how it's used.
2014 vs. 2015
The Jaguars used no-huddle plays sparingly in 2015, despite the fact that the Jaguars showed a penchant for it in 2014 under former offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch, according to NFLSavant.com.
|Total Plays||Run Plays||Run Yards||Pass Plays||Pass Yards||Completion||Incompletion||Sack||Pass TD||INT||Penalty|
Fisch used the no-huddle too much and it caused Bortles and the rest of the Jaguars offense to be less-than-efficient with it. Bortles averaged just 5.8 yards per each of his 105 no-huddle pass attempts in 2014. In fact, only Washington (5.7 yards), the San Francisco 49ers (5.6 yards), Minnesota Vikings (5.3 yards) and New York Jets (4.0 yards) had worse no-huddle passing offenses in 2014.
One of the clearest differences Greg Olson brought to the Jaguars was to almost eliminate the no-huddle from Bortles' portfolio. Bortles had just 37 no-huddle pass plays called in 2015, but his efficiency went through the roof -- earning 9.27 yards per no-huddle attempt, good for fourth in the league. Only the Cincinnati Bengals (10.3 yards), Carolina Panthers (9.9 yards), and Arizona Cardinals (9.8 yards) had better passing efficiency.
The trick in 2016 will be to find the sweet spot between Fisch's inefficient volume and Olson's near outlier efficiency. With the offense a year older, a more veteran offensive line, and a seasoned running back in Chris Ivory, why can't the Jaguars run a little more no-huddle while not sacrificing yards per play this year?