The Jaguars have made a coaching change after all. The club has fired offensive coordinator Greg Olson, according to Adam Schefter and and Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Quarterbacks coach Nathaniel Hackett will take over as Jacksonville’s play-caller, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
After Jacksonville lost in an emphatic fashion to the division rival Titans on Thursday night, owner Shad Kahn expressed his displeasure with the club’s performance but did not make a move to relieve head coach Gus Bradley, whom recent reports have indicated is safe through the 2016 campaign. Bradley, too, publicly supported his coaching staff, but did not specifically endorse any individual coach following the loss.
Indeed, Bradley has experienced a “disconnect” with Olson for some time, per Rapoport (Twitter link), who adds that Bradley felt the offensive coordinator had abandoned an emphasis on the rushing attack. The Jaguars currently rank 31st in the NFL with only 72.6 rushing yards per game, and place 29th in Football Outsiders’ rushing DVOA.
Jacksonville’s passing game hasn’t been especially effective either, ranking 28th in DVOA as quarterback Blake Bortles has seemingly regressed in his third NFL season. Through seven games, Bortles has only completed 60% of his passes while posting 12 interceptions and nine touchdowns. And Bortles’ statistics don’t paint the entire picture, as Thursday night’s game was evidence that he can pad his numbers late in losing efforts.
Of course, the man taking over for Olson was previously Bortles’ position coach, so it’s fair to wonder if the young signal-caller will be able to improve over the second half of the season. Hackett, 36, has previously served as the offensive coordinator for both the Bills and Syracuse, but has been with the Jaguars since 2015. According to Caplan (Twitter link), Hackett will likely aim to help Bortles to release the ball in a quicker fashion in an effort to stave off opposing pass rushers.
Olson, 53, had been in his second stint with Jacksonville, having served as the team’s assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach during the 2012 campaign. He’s acted as play-caller for a number of NFL teams, including the Lions, Rams, Buccaneers, and Raiders.
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