Offseason Update: Richardson to left tackle

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Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Will Richardson (76) during an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in Indianapolis. The Colts won 33-13. (Aaron Doster via AP)

JACKSONVILLE – Will Richardson Jr. is moving again.

This time, the third-year veteran will transition from inside to outside on the Jaguars' offensive line.

Richardson, who played extensively as a backup while sharing time at right guard last season, will move to left tackle full time in 2020. Head Coach Doug Marrone told media about the move on a video conference call Friday.

"The one thing about Will is he has shown progress and shown the ability to play and shown consistency when we have kept him in one position," Marrone said. "I want to be real cognizant of what we do with him. He has the ability to grow and get better and he has the traits to be a starter somewhere along that line, but we have to put him in a spot and we're putting him at left tackle right now."

Marrone said the Jaguars currently have rookie offensive lineman Ben Bartch – a fourth-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft – at right guard with Richardson now at left tackle. A.J. Cann started 16 games at right guard last season and Cam Robinson started the final 14 regular-season games at left tackle.

Richardson, a fourth-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft from North Carolina State, missed much of his rookie season with injuries. He impressed last offseason, starting the first two regular-season games at left tackle in place of Robinson while the latter returned from a knee injury sustained the previous season.

Richardson backed up Cann at right guard in 13 of the final 14 games, playing right guard in 12 of those games and rotating heavily much of the time.

"I don't have any problem just as an overall philosophy with that, as far as rotating if you feel you're going to get a better performance," Marrone said. "I think there are a lot of things that go into that. As a coach, if you say, 'Hey, listen, if I play one I just want to play one, but if I play two I think I'm going to get a better performance …' well, you've got to be able to play the two."

NO DECISION YET ON DEFENSIVE PLAYCALLER

Marrone said the team has yet to decide who will call defensive signals and wear the helmet-to-sideline device next season. All teams can designate two players to wear the helmet each game, which features a green dot, so officials know which players are wearing it. Only one player can wear the helmet on the field at a time. The player communicating with the sidelines typically calls the defense, a role that Myles Jack has played as the middle linebacker in recent seasons. With the team signing Joe Schobert as an unrestricted free agent from the Cleveland Browns this offseason, Jack is expected to play weak-side linebacker this season. "I think it's to be determined," Marrone said. "We haven't really discussed that yet." Marrone said safety Jarrod Wilson also has handled that role in the past. "We'll just see what's best and how the communication works," Marrone said. "What's best for the team and what's best for the players – that's what we'll look at."

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