The tutelage of Andy Heck is over. Now it's time for Heck to do the teaching.
The Jaguars' new offensive line coach has studied under some of the game's legendary line coaches, beginning with Joe Moore at Notre Dame, where Heck was an All-America offensive tackle and became the first-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks in 1989.
"I've had the opportunity to work with some of the great line coaches, as a player and as a coach, and I've learned a lot," Heck said. "(Moore) was my first line coach and what he taught me in the way of technique and fundamentals is what I will teach as a line coach."
Moore is famous for the linemen he produced at Notre Dame and at Pitt, where Moore is most famous for a line that included Bill Fralic, Jimbo Covert, Russ Grimm, Jim Sweeney and Mark May.
Heck also played for such coaching notables as Kent Stephenson, Hudson Houck, Howard Mudd, Tony Wise and Grimm. If Heck turns out to be as good as his pedigree, the Jaguars are in store for some very good years.
"It's a great opportunity," Heck said of being promoted up one notch from assistant offensive line coach. "Having been an offensive lineman in this league and making the transition to becoming a coach, all I've wanted to do is become the best coach I can. Now I have a chance to continue to grow and work with some great guys."
Heck was Paul Boudreau's assistant the past two seasons. Boudreau was not retained by head coach Jack Del Rio, a decision that had been rumored last week and was announced this week.
"I can't imagine there are more than a handful of guys who played for those many coaches who are legends. Paul Boudreau taught me the last two years how to be a line coach," Heck said.
Heck assumes control of an offensive line that was shaky at the start and at the finish of the 2005 season, but played well through the middle part of the season. The line made its greatest gains after rookie Khalif Barnes was inserted into the starting lineup at left tackle against Cincinnati in the fifth game of the season.
The Jaguars were 10th in the league in rushing yardage and 15th in sacks allowed per pass play. Heck's goal is to improve on those rankings.
"I think this is a solid group of linemen. We have tough guys. We have guys who want to win, who have won. I think we have a group we can run the ball with and that can protect the quarterback, but we need to do it better," Heck said.