JACKSONVILLE – A good start.
That’s what offensive coordinator John DeFilippo wanted this offseason installing the Jaguars’ offense with a new quarterback, new coordinator and new offense.
And that’s what he said happened.
“It’s been a good offseason so far,” DeFilippo said Wednesday morning shortly before the second practice of Jaguars 2019 minicamp at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex adjacent to TIAA Bank Field. “We’ve gotten a lot done. We’ve gotten a lot accomplished.
“We’ve thrown a lot at our players to see what sticks, to see what they do well. Obviously, we need a solid two days to finish this thing and take a little break.”
The Jaguars’ ’19 offseason program for veterans will end with Thursday’s final practice of this week’s three-day mandatory minicamp. The voluntary portion of the offseason began in mid-April.
That’s when players began meeting with coaches, and when DeFilippo – hired in January after spending part of last season as the Minnesota Vikings’ offensive coordinator – along with the offensive coaching staff began installing the offense.
“It’s pretty much almost all in,” DeFilippo said.
DeFilippo, who spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons as quarterbacks coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, has installed a scheme with similar philosophies as that used by the Eagles. He said some details remain in the process.
“The other thing we have to hit on once training camp starts is your last plays, your Hail Marys, your chunk plays to get the ball in the middle of the field to kick a field goal,” DeFilippo said. “Those kinds of things we still have to master. We’ve introduced them. We haven’t practiced them a ton.
“Those are the things you really cover in training camp and hone in on. I would say if you’re going to put a percentage standpoint on it I’d say 90-to-95 percent of the offense is in.”
New Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles spent the past two seasons with Philadelphia, and was Super Bowl Most Valuable Player following the 2017 offseason. Foles and DeFilippo both have talked in the offseason about the advantage of Foles being familiar with the scheme, and Head Coach Doug Marrone has said multiple times he likes the idea of the quarterback being the most knowledgeable player when it comes to the offense.
DeFilippo said while the offense has been introduced to players for nearly two months, the process in a sense will start anew in training camp.
“You reinstall,” he said. “We installed it in Phase 1 and 2 [of the offseason program] and then we came out here again and installed it again. The players will get it again once we get back to training camp. Your goal as a coach and a coordinator is for those guys to hear things three times before you actually take the field and that’s what we’ve tried to accomplish this spring.”
DeFilippo on Wednesday also had high praise for rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew, the team’s sixth-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft from Washington State.
“The last two weeks he has stepped up his game,” DeFilippo said. “The thing about Gardner – you just feel him when he’s on the field. You feel his energy and you feel the guys rally around him. He has a unique personality and a unique skill set that guys have a tendency to rally around him. I’ve been very impressed with Gardner.
“The thing also about Gardner which I’m very impressed with as well is he’s a very football-smart guy. He really understands football. I have all the respect in the world for [Washington State coach] Mike Leach, and he obviously did a great job with him.”