The word is "attack." It was on everybody's lips.
New Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio presented his three new coordinators to the media this afternoon, and each of the Jaguars' newest coaches used the word "attack" to describe the philosophy of their design.
Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave will employ the west coast offense in attacking opposing defenses, while defensive coordinator Mike Smith will look for speed and aggressiveness at linebacker to complement the 4-3 scheme he brings with him from Baltimore. Meanwhile, new special teams coordinator Bill Bates promised some "train wrecks."
"It's going to use the strength of our players. I'm a firm believer in players first and then plays. Philosophically, I'm a Mike Shanahan disciple. I admire the way he would prepare during the week and would attack defenses," Musgrave said.
Musgrave, 35, comes to the Jaguars from the University of Virginia, where he was offensive coordinator the past two years. He helped develop quarterback Matt Schaub into the ACC Player of the Year last season. Musgrave was the offensive coordinator at Carolina in 2000 and held the same position in 1998 in Philadelphia. He played for Shanahan as a backup quarterback in Denver in 1995-96.
"Our principle is to attack the defense. We don't want them to pin their ears back and come after us. We want them to be problem-solvers," Musgrave said.
Last Friday evening, when Del Rio was announced as the Jaguars' new head coach, team owner Wayne Weaver promised fans a "wide-open offense" that would not be "three yards and a cloud of dust." Musgrave smiled when reminded of Weaver's promise.
"That sounds familiar to me because some of the best times to throw the ball are on first down," Musgrave said.
Smith, 43, avoided specifics about personnel and design. "I have not had a chance to evaluate the defensive personnel. I am familiar with the two big defensive tackles," he said of Marcus Stroud and John Henderson.
"We're going to be a very aggressive, attacking style of defense," Smith said. "We were very blessed in Baltimore. Linebackers are an integral part (of defense) and they have to be able to run."
Of course, in Baltimore Smith had players such as Ray Lewis, Peter Boulware, Michael McCrary, Tony Siragusa and Sam Adams. He was the Ravens' linebackers coach last season and the team's defensive line coach from 1996-98. Del Rio coached with Smith in Baltimore from 1999-01.
Bates, 41, is known for his days as a star special teams player for the Dallas Cowboys, where he served the past two seasons as assistant special teams coach. Bates was a teammate of Del Rio's in Dallas.
"Hearing the excitement and the energy in (Del Rio's) voice; this is the place for me," Bates said.
"We're going to pressure all kicks. If anyone saw me play, I would expect all special teams guys to play that way; going all out on every play," he added.
"There are a few areas we need to work on. I totally expect us to have a lot of heat-seeking missiles and a few train wrecks out there. You've got to have a kicker who can kickoff down near the goal line to establish field position," Bates said.
"I identified these guys early in the process. They were at the top of my list. People may want to put older people on the staff, but these are the guys I wanted," said Del Rio, who made his prospective assistant coaches hires known to Weaver before the head job was offered.
"The vision I have for our offense, Bill has been doing the last couple of years. They're the best coaches out there to do what we need to do," Del Rio added.
Del Rio is expected to announce coaching additions tomorrow that could complete his staff.