Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

Balance is the goal


Dirk Koetter wanted to provide some clarity.

Koetter, the Jaguars' offensive coordinator, spoke to the media shortly before practice on Thursday, and said the reality of the Jaguars' game planning runs a bit contrary to what many may believe.

The Jaguars ran far more than they passed two weeks ago in a loss at Carolina. This past week against the New Orleans Saints, they reversed that, passing far more than they ran – and far more than many who have watched the offense in recent years expected.

The reason, Koetter said, wasn't a desire to swing wildly from one approach to another. Rather, it had everything to do with circumstance.

"I want to clear up that thing about the game plans," Koetter said Thursday as the Jaguars (1-3) prepared to play the Cincinnati Bengals (2-2) at EverBank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.

"We had a 50-50 game plan for Carolina, kind of like we always do. Starting in the second quarter, we got drenched. In the first quarter of that Carolina game, we were backed up inside our own five on our first two possession. We never got field position, then the deluge came.

"It wasn't like they were that much different. The weather dictated that Carolina game was the way it was."

Koetter, in his fourth season with the Jaguars, said the Jaguars' ideal offensive philosophy always is to be balanced on first and second down.

Koetter on Thursday also addressed the performance of rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert against New Orleans Sunday. Gabbert completed 12 of 24 passes for 165 yards and a touchdown in the first half before completing 4 of 18 passes for 31 yards with an interception in the second.

Koetter said Gabbert's footwork and fundamentals diminished in the second half.

"Blaine has done a really nice job," Koetter said. "Blaine has demonstrated he can do the proper footwork. You're a rookie quarterback. You have a lot of stuff spinning in your head. It's pouring in Carolina. Then, in the second half (against New Orleans), what happens when a guy gets knocked around a couple of times? What happens when he's pressing a little bit, behind two scores?

"The precision of his footwork was not where it needs to be in the second half."

Koetter said when that happens, it has a far-reaching effect within the offense.

"Say the quarterback is supposed to be on a five-step drop," Koetter said. "Your routes are designed to be open when the quarterback takes five in the 10-to-12-yard area. If Blaine's taking a seven-step drop on a five-step pattern, that makes him a fraction late. Or a fraction early.

"If your footwork is off one or two baby steps, those fractions of seconds – with defenses how they are – it makes a big difference."

Koetter said while Gabbert has been in the NFL just over two months, he sees a bright future the player the Jaguars selected No. 10 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft.

"Blaine's working at it hard," Koetter said. "I'm hugely impressed with Blaine's talent and his ability to see the field, but he's a rookie going into his third game. There will be some growing pains, but the future is bright as far as that position."

Koetter also declined to single out the wide receiver group as a reason for the offensive struggles. The Jaguars are averaging 9.75 points per game, and other than Mike Thomas, no Jaguars wide receiver has more than seven receptions for 92 yards this season.

"I'm concerned with our offense in general," he said. "We have to perform better as an offense. To single out any group in there and say they share any more of the blame than anyone else, that would not be fair.

"Have the receivers had some miscues? Yeah, but so has everybody else."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content