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Lewis: Olson will make a huge impact


MOBILE, Ala. – Marcedes Lewis couldn't be happier.

That's true not just because it feels to him as if the fates conspired in the best way possible when it comes to the Jaguars' new offensive coordinator.

Lewis, the Jaguars' veteran tight end who will enter his 10th NFL season next season, said while he is pleased personally that Greg Olson – whom he respects and admires very much – now is the Jaguars' offensive coordinator, his personal feelings have little do with why he thinks it's a good hire.

Lewis said Olson is a high-level leader, and a high-level coach.

And Lewis said what Olson will bring to the Jaguars will make a positive difference.

"Oley is just one of those guys … you walk down the hallway and you're smiling because you know he has positive energy," Lewis said by telephone Thursday afternoon.

Olson, the offensive coordinator of the Oakland Raiders the past two seasons, spent the 2012 season as the Jaguars' quarterbacks coach under head coach Mike Mularkey.

Little went right that season. The Jaguars finished 2-14. Mularkey was fired after his only season with the team and General Manager Gene Smith was fired after four seasons. Much of the coaching staff left the following offseason, with only wide receivers coach Jerry Sullivan and linebackers coach Mark Duffner remaining with the team.

Lewis has talked in the past of what he considered a bad culture that season, and he had little relationship with Mularkey.

Lewis on Thursday said Olson stood apart – and stood above – that season.

"He's just one of those guys," Lewis said. "He's going to be the same every day regardless of external factors and outside circumstances. That's totally what (Jaguars Head Coach) Gus (Bradley) preaches and it's exciting to have him here.

"You know if he could have been more hands-on in 2012 he would have. It's one of those things where he was just a quarterbacks coach. His job was to help the quarterback develop and make it easier for (then-quarterback) Blaine (Gabbert) to learn the offense. He just did his job.

"Now that he's going to have more control I see a huge impact."

Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell on Wednesday talked about the importance of organization and leadership from the coordinator positon, an area Lewis said he believes Olson will excel.

"When I was in college, my offensive coordinator was Tom Cable, who's with the Seahawks (as associate head coach/offensive line) now," Lewis said. "His ability to lead and get everybody on the same page and make you believe in what he's directing you to do was huge. If the guys don't respect you or respect what you're trying to sell, it's not going to work. We can go out there and run the plays, but if you're not convicted, how is it going to work?"

Lewis said he believes Olson has that trait.

"He's a leader," Lewis said.

Lewis said Bradley phoned him the night before hiring Olson this week to ask what Lewis thought of Olson. Lewis told him Olson in 2012 seemed "like one of the few coaches who really cared."

"The way his attitude is, and how he is every day, he didn't really fit in with the culture that was established in 2012," Lewis said. "He fits in more with the culture we have here now."

Lewis said he texted with Olson last offseason, with the two exchanging messages about how much they enjoyed working together in 2012. Lewis said Olson concluded the exchange by saying, "One day, hopefully we'll be back on the same team."

"The Lord works in mysterious ways," Lewis said.

Olson will mark the Jaguars' fourth offensive coordinator in five years, with Jedd Fisch having held the position the past two seasons, Bob Bratkowski holding it in 2012 and Dirk Koetter holding it four seasons before that.

"Change is going to happen," Lewis said. "It's inevitable. Everything around this world is always involving. I will tell you this: I'm happy to be a part of it. I'm happy to be a staple in the mix of all the change. I feel like I still can get better. I haven't reached my potential yet. I'm just happy that the coaches see that and they believe in me, and I'm happy I still have a chance to be a part of something special."

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