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Jaguars begin OTAs looking for an identity on offense

Super Bowl LII - Philadelphia Eagles - Practice Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

When the Jaguars take the field on Tuesday for the first session of ten scheduled OTA practices, the focus of contract extensions for Yannick Ngakoue and Jalen Ramsey, as well as the whereabouts of Telvin Smith, will for the time being subside and be replaced by the analyzing of where the team’s offense is headed under new quarterback Nick Foles and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.

Despite the popular perceptions about the offense over the past few years, the Jaguars never have been able to establish a true identity as an offensive unit in a league where a team’s offensive identity is everything. Injuries to key players and the lack of a quarterback being able to play with any consistency have undoubtedly hampered that effort. Now with Foles’ penchant for accuracy and full understanding of DeFilippo’s offense from their time in Philadelphia, all eyes will be on what changes in philosophy and more importantly efficiency the team can expect to see for 2019.

Foles is known for being most efficient in a pass first, shotgun/pistol heavy offense and DeFilippo was let go from his stint as offensive coordinator with the Vikings last year because of his reluctance to move away from the passing game at times. Many fans and local media have speculated that the team is not necessarily built to run in a high volume passing offense. In the opinion of many observers, the team is lacking a consistent vertical threat at receiver, there is no established tight end threat as yet (though rookie Josh Oliver may be that guy), and Leonard Fournette is more downhill in style than the “air back” type that Foles has flourished with.

Many of these observations have been based on what we know of the personnel from having Blake Bortles and Cody Kessler at quarterback and an Arena League-caliber offensive line last season. Now the time has come to see if the real Jaguars offense stands up, and if the money spent on Foles not only elevates the quarterback position, but allows for the other pieces around him to operate like a modern era NFL offense.

We begin to get answers this week.