Today, the Jaguars announced the coaching hires of former Jaguars running back Denard Robinson and former Jaguars linebacker Tony Gilbert.
Robinson, first reported by ESPN’s Field Yates yesterday, has been added to the coaching staff as an offensive quality control coach working closely with offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. Robinson will assist the team in game planning along with all areas of practice. Gibert will be added as an assistant linebacker coach, working closely with linebackers coach Mark Collins.
“Gilbert played LB in Jacksonville from 2003-06 after being drafted by Arizona in the 2003 draft,” the Jaguars stated in a press release today. “Since he retired in 2010, the former Georgia Bulldog has held various positions coaching in the collegiate ranks, including stints at Georgia, Auburn, East Mississippi Community College, Georgia Military College, John Milledge Academy, North Carolina and UCF.”
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone addressed the two hires today during a video conference call with the local media earlier today, stating that hiring Gilbert has been in the works since early following the 2019 season, however, due to the adverse effects of the coronavirus the schedule wasn’t able to line up, until today.
“I’m a firm believer and, you know, trying to work your way up you know, that’s, that’s what I believe in,” Marrone said when asked about Gilbert. “He started out in junior college and was able to get on at UCF and help them with the linebackers. So, I really felt really good about getting Tony on board here and he’s excited to come and he’s been great.”
Marrone and Gilbert have crossed paths before. While a member of the Georgia Bulldogs staff in 2000, Marrone coached the team’s offensive line. While they were not as antiquated due to Gilbert playing on the opposite side of the football, Marrone remembered having a lot of respect for how hard the linebacker worked, how intelligent he was and the leadership ability he showed. Gilbert also spent time with special teams coach Joe DeCamilis during their first stints with the team.
Established in 1987, the Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching Fellowship was designed to increase the minority coaching pool in the NFL, something the Jaguars will be doing with Robinson during his time as the team’s offensive quality control coach. The fellowship program aims to encourage teams to hire at least two “fellows” with an offensive background.
“I really think that he has a great skill set as far as knowledge of a guy that you know, has played quarterback, running back, receiver, you know, I mean, he can do a lot of different things,” Marrone said of Robinson, “his knowledge of those positions, and, you know, his ability to learn and willing to learn and keep that going up and really put him in a position down the road. So, you know - we feel really fortunate to have him.”
With his background in coaching football at Jacksonville University, a recently defunct football program, Robinson will be able to learn from Gruden along with the rest of the team’s coaching staff.
With Robinson and Gilbert officially under the fold, the team now has three former Jaguars players, including wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell on their coaching staff.
“They’re going to do a great job for our players and our coaches and help us win.”