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Bradley likes offensive staff's experience


JACKSONVILLE – As Gus Bradley sees it, the offensive staff is pretty much in place.

The identity of the Jaguars' offense itself?

That's still being determined.

Bradley, entering his third season as the Jaguars' head coach, spent much the last month reshaping the offensive coaching staff, dismissing offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch and hiring four new assistant coaches to work with an offense that ranked 31st in the NFL last season:

*Offensive coordinator Greg Olson, the Oakland Raiders' offensive coordinator the past two seasons and the Jaguars' quarterbacks coach in 2012.

*Assistant head coach-offense/offensive line coach Doug Marrone, the Buffalo Bills' head coach the past two seasons.

*Quarterbacks coach Nathaniel Hackett, the Bills' offensive coordinator the past two seasons.

*Running backs coach Kelly Skipper, the Raiders' running backs coach the past six seasons.

The four spoke to the Jacksonville media for the first time Thursday, with Bradley saying the group's  experience became appealing as the interview/hiring process continued.

"It kind of happened that way," Bradley said shortly before noon at EverBank Field Thursday. "As I started to interview guys and put it together, it was very intriguing. I think you need idea guys. You want that and you want guys to be stimulated."

Bradley also announced that Frank Scelfo, the quarterbacks coach the past two seasons, will remain on staff with the title of senior offensive assistant. Wide receivers coach Jerry Sullivan and tight ends coach Ron Middleton also will remain on staff.

Olson has been an NFL coordinator eight seasons, with Hackett and Marrone also having five previous NFL seasons of coordinator experience. Skipper has been an NFL assistant eight seasons, with the four coaches added to the staff last month holding a total of 35 years of experience.

"I'm a big believer in experience, especially when you're working with a young group of players," Olson said.

Bradley said while there was a challenge at first adding three former coordinators to the staff – Olson, Marrone and Hackett – "as I was going through the process, it started to come together real well."

"I think when you have different ideas it's really good, but can you work together to come up with one idea?" Bradley said. "That was important for me in the interview process: 'I know you guys have good information and good ideas … can we make this work together?' That's where my time was spent and I felt very strongly about that."

As for how the offense will look on the field, Olson said that remains to be seen.

The Jaguars' offense ran a zone-blocking scheme under Fisch and offensive line coach George Yarno the past two seasons, and Bradley said upon parting ways with Fisch two days after the season that the primary reason for the departing was philosophical differences. Those differences centered on how best to develop a young offense that featured not only rookie quarterback Blake Bortles, but two rookie starting offensive linemen – center Luke Bowanko and guard Brandon Linder – and rookie wide receivers Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee.

Bradley said he likes that the four coaches hired this past month are "developmental coaches," and mentioned specifically Olson's work last season with Raiders rookie quarterback Derek Carr.

"You want guys who are flexible, adaptable, versatile and who are willing to adjust based on the personnel that you have," Bradley said. "I think that's what we have in Olly (Olson)."

Olson on Thursday said the staff has begun reviewing last season, studying and determining best how to utilize personnel, but said that process is very much ongoing.

"We've been grinding," Olson said, adding, "We're still in that evaluation phase. We're still identifying what those strengths are going to be. We'll be in line with what Gus believes."

Bradley said ideally he would like an offense that establishes the run, then builds the passing game off of that, but reiterated what he said upon hiring Olson and Marrone that the Jaguars' offense won't be an exact replica of any existing offenses.

"It's really early in the process," he said. "We're not going to run the Raiders, Bills or what we did last year. We're trying to figure out what best fits our personnel. We're in the beginning stages of that."

Added Bradley, "It's important that we build repetition. We have to get our players to where they can repeat things over and over again so they get better and feel comfortable. We missed some opportunities last year. There are some areas we can improve on."

Also on Thursday:

*Bradley discussed Scelfo's new title, saying, "It's a position in the NFL where you take a guy with a wealth of experience and utilize his traits to watch the whole offense and bring new ideas." Bradley also added that Scelfo will work looking ahead to future opponents. …

*The Jaguars announced that defensive line coach Todd Wash now has the added title of defensive line coach/run-game coordinator. "Todd has done a great job for us the last couple of years," Bradley said. "He's really been doing this the past two years." …

*Bradley addressed Marrone's title of "assistant head coach-offense," saying that in addition to being the offensive line coach Marrone will be "someone I can draw from and draw from his experiences."

*Hackett said he likes what he has seen early from quarterback Blake Bortles, and is encouraged by Bortles planning to gather the team's wide receivers in California next month. Olson said Bortles' work in California also will involve time spent with not only Titans backup Jordan Palmer, but Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Saints quarterback Drew Brees. "That's awesome," Olson said. "That's what you want from any quarterback. As coaches we can only do so much."

*Olson, who said he also was approached by Chicago and St. Louis early in the offseason, said working with Bortles and other offensive players to understand pass rush will be a priority. "That's got to be No. 1, in my opinion," he said. …

*Olson on new running backs coach Kelly Skipper, who served in the same capacity under Olson the last two seasons in Oakland. "He's a real pro," Olson said. "He's a tremendous teacher. He's been around coaching his whole life, so he understands the whole teaching aspect." …

*Skipper said he spoke with other teams – including the Raiders – following last season, adding, "Once I talked to Gus, I knew this was the right choice for me." …

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