Head coach Doug Marrone has been busy this offseason re-building his Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staff. Eight coaches are either joining the staff or being promoted to a new spot this season. There are changes on both sides of the ball.
The biggest addition, of course, is offensive coordinator John DeFilippo signing on with the Jaguars. Jacksonville interviewed many candidates for the open OC position and found its guy with DeFilippo.
DeFilippo, who most recently held the offensive coordinator position with the Minnesota Vikings, replaces Nathaniel Hackett who was fired in late November following a loss to the Buffalo Bills. Similarly, DeFilippo was fired by the Vikings prior to the season’s end. He has also spent time as the Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator and as the quarterbacks coach for the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles during the 2017 season, amongst other coaching stops.
For more on what we can expect on DeFilippo, check here.
There are more new faces on the offensive staff, though, and the importance of position coaches shouldn’t be overlooked. The Jaguars have hired George Warhop as offensive line coach, and Terry Robiskie as running backs coach, while John Donovan will make the move to assistant running backs coach.
Warhop was most recently the offensive line coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2014-2018. He has more than 35 years of coaching experience between the college and pro ranks, and has served as an NFL offensive line coach since 1996. He replaces Pat Flaherty, who was let go at season’s end.
This is an interesting hire as a running backs coach, as Robiskie has mainly worked as a wide receivers coach throughout his long NFL coaching career. However, he has coached running backs in the distant past, and also played that position at LSU (just like a certain current Jaguars running back) and in the NFL for the Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins. He also had a couple of stints as offensive coordinator with the Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns and (at the time) Los Angeles Raiders. He steps in for Tyrone Wheatley, who was also fired after Week 17.
Donovan was on staff as an offensive assistant the past three years, and receives the promotion to assistant running backs coach. Prior to his stint in Jacksonville, he coached several years in the NCAA with Villanova, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Vanderbilt and Penn State.
On the defensive side of the coin, the Jaguars have added/promoted four new coaches. Jason Rebrovich takes over the defensive line, and David Merritt will work with him as assistant defensive line coach. Tim Walton was hired as secondary/cornerbacks coach and Joe Danna as secondary/safeties coach.
Rebrovich was on staff as assistant defensive line coach the past two seasons, and comes in for Marion Hobby via promotion. There is still plenty of talent to work with along the defensive line, however, the Jaguars have some decisions to make with that personnel group this offseason, as the franchise has a lot of money tied up with the group — expect some cap casualties there this offseason. Prior to Jacksonville, Rebrovich worked with Marrone previously at both Syracuse and with the Buffalo Bills.
Merritt, who has more than 20 years of NFL coaching experience, will work closely with Rebrovich. He most recently served as defensive backs coach for the Arizona Cardinals in 2018. He also spent 14 years with the New York Giants, and worked on Tom Coughlin’s staff for several seasons. He has worked mainly as a defensive backs coach, and has spent time coaching linebackers as well, so the move to defensive line is intriguing.
With the firing of Perry Fewell as defensive backs coach it looks like the Jaguars are breaking the secondary responsibilities into two different groups — cornerbacks (Walton) and safeties (Danna). Danna served as the assistant secondary coach the past two seasons, helping oversee one of the NFL’s best passing defenses. He previously coached DBs for the New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons and Miami Dolphins. Walton is a 22-year coaching veteran who comes over from the New York Giants. He’s had previous stints as the secondary coach with the Detroit Lions, and was also the defensive coordinator for the (at the time) St. Louis Rams. He has coached in the college ranks as well.
Holdovers from last year’s staff include:
- Defensive coordinator Todd Wash
- Special teams coaches Joe DeCamillis and Mike Mallory
- Wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell
- Tight ends coach Ron Middleton
- Assistant offensive line coach Tony Sparano Jr.
- Offensive-Research assistant Eric Price
- Linebackers coach Mark Collins
- Assistant linebackers coach Mike Rutenberg
Doug Marrone on his 2019 coaching staff, via Jaguars.com:
“You’re only as good as your entire staff,” Marrone said. “Every successful team that I was a part of as an assistant – be it college or the NFL – we had a hell of a staff.”
“Everyone is crucial,” Marrone said. “One person is not going to drive the whole thing when you’re putting people together on offense and putting people together on defense.”