There is a change of guard within the Jaguars’ organization. An entirely reshaped coaching staff led by head coach Urban Meyer that features a slew of new coaches, both young and old, there will certainly be a lot of differences for Jacksonville, and especially on offense.
Speaking with the media following the announcement of the entire coaching staff, Meyer was very forward on how involved he will be with this year’s offense. While he will not be calling the plays - those responsibilities will certainly fall on offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell -, don’t get it twisted, the Jaguars will operate out of Meyer’s vision.
Last week, Meyer explained that he spent many moons interviewing candidates for his opening at offensive coordinator, even getting advice from his former protege and current Ohio State head coach Ryan Day who has coached under Bevell in the past. Ultimately, Bevell was the best man for the position, a position that is expected to be flexible in how the offense is being run.
“His ability to adapt to my vision of the offense, which is little different maybe than he’s done in the past,” Meyer said one of the best qualities he saw in Bevell. “The flexibility and not rigidness was very important to me because we do have the first pick in the draft and there is a vision I have about the style of offense. I’m certainly not going to call plays, that’s his responsibility, but I have a real clear vision about what I want the offense to look like and he was great.”
The Jaguars do have the first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and if Meyer’s decision to essentially tell Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence to throw at his makeshift Pro Day last week wasn’t a clear indication, the team will likely be selecting him to become their franchise signal-caller.
Bevell isn’t the only coach that will be re-shaping the team’s offense this season, either. The Jaguars hired another former Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator in Brian Schottenheimer, who has worked closely with players such as Russell Wilson, Mark Sanchez (New York Jets) and Sam Bradford (St. Louis Rams).
Meyer mentioned that while Schottenheimer had other opportunities he could have taken, he chose the Jaguars and the direction the team is heading under his guidance.
The quarterback position is certainly at the forefront of these hires, and it's part of the reason why the vision Meyer has for the team’s offense will likely be the most important to keep an eye on moving forward. The NFL is predicated by the strength of a given offense, and Jacksonville will certainly be no different.
“So far, after a week of having them together and being involved in those meetings, if I had to say what’s my favorite thing to do right now, it would be to go sit in those offensive meetings and hear our offensive staff have conversations.”
In speaking with the media, Bevell certainly appeared excited for the opportunity Meyer has given him. While it was unique in the fact that Bevell didn’t have very many if any, circles that revolved around Meyer, he was excited to be in Jacksonville, understanding that brighter days are on the horizon.
While some offensive coordinators might have been deterred by Meyer’s ask to become amendable to what he envisions his offense becoming, it didn’t appear that Bevell fell into that category. No, Bevell had already done that after taking over as the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator, working with a young signal-caller in Wilson.
“It wasn’t something that I had done in the past, the zone run game and the quarterback zone read game, that kind of thing. It was something that myself and [former Seahawks Offensive Line Coach] Tom Cable, when we were there, we began to kind of dive into that,” said Bevell of his past adjustments as a play-caller.
“Some of the things that we started to do with Russell can carry over from the college game to our game. I’m going to be able to help Coach Meyer in that. Coach Meyer’s going to be able to push me in some other directions as well. I think it’s a great partnership with myself and the staff that we have and Coach Meyer to be able to bring whatever we’re going to do as the Jacksonville Jaguars to life.”
While it’s not yet known what sort of offense Meyer will be running in Jacksonville, it should be noted that in the past Meyer’s philosophy has been what he calls a combination of a one-back offense and a shotgun-to-run spread. The play of the quarterback will certainly become a determining factor, too.
Perhaps the Jaguars won’t have a bad quarterback. Perhaps the team will draft Lawrence who has turned the football over just 24 times in three years at Clemson (17 interceptions and seven lost fumbles).
Time will tell, but, for now, the team will be run based on Meyer’s vision, and that vision, at least for now, shines bright.