Offseason Playbook: Jaguars

A look at Jacksonville's philosophy, team needs and a key free-agent move

Originally Published: March 12, 2013
By Gary Horton and Field Yates | ESPN Insider
Blaine GabbertIcon SMIHow long will Blaine Gabbert be the starting quarterback in Jacksonville?

In a new offseason series, Insider takes an in-depth look at NFL teams before free agency begins March 12. What is each team's philosophy on offense and defense, biggest needs and one player who could make for an ideal signing in free agency?

Team philosophies

Offense -- New head coach Gus Bradley has primarily a defensive background and his new offensive coordinator, Jedd Fisch, does not have an extensive background at putting together an offense, so it will be a work in progress. The Jaguars will likely use a fairly short passing game with a lot of slants and safe underneath passes designed to get yards after catch with few exotic sub packages and spread formations. They may use the short passing game to set up the run, and the draw play will be a valuable part of this offense. In the running game they will be a zone-blocking unit up front, but this is a between-the-tackles approach with some two-tight end sets and it will be a methodical running game designed to wear down defenses. Play-action will be important off of that running game commitment and it may lead them to more vertical shots. Expect the Jaguars to really work the middle of the defense in the passing game and install some screen plays to their backs to give quarterback Blaine Gabbert more safe, short passes.

Gary Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.
Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.