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Phil Rauscher Is Confident in the Jaguars Offensive Line Developing in the Run Game

0617 OL Coach Offseason Article

JACKSONVILLE – Phil Rauscher feels good about the future.

The Jaguars' offensive line coach, Rauscher knows the team's run game is an offseason storyline. He knows it will be a storyline next season. And he likes the chances that that storyline will be positive.

He also knows it's important the offensive line be strong in 2024.

"We have to do a better job forming an identity," he said. "We have to be a unit that's respected amongst the league."

Rauscher, along with multiple Jaguars position coaches, spoke to the media shortly before the Jaguars’ 2024 offseason ended recently. He spent significant time discussing the Jaguars' run offense, an area that has been a focus of many observers throughout the offseason.

"I'm extremely confident it's going to improve," Rauscher said.

The Jaguars in 2023 finished 24th in the NFL in rushing and with 25 percent of their running attempts failing to gain a yard. Their 3.6 yards per carry ranked 31st in the NFL.

"The run game last year, what happened was for a lot of reasons due to circumstance and different reasons," he said. "Some things were in control of the run game, some things were out of control of the run game. We ended up having to throw the ball a lot at the end of the year sometimes. They're all different things."

Rauscher added, "Every year, you have to reinvent yourself. Every year, you have to form a new identity, become new. There was a time last year where we were running the ball pretty good, then the end of the year, we weren't good enough.

"We have to find a way to be consistent from the first week to the Super Bowl. That's the goal."

Offensive coordinator Press Taylor during the offseason program spoke of the offensive coaches essentially taking the offense "to the studs" this offseason. He said a large part of that process was addressing the run game.

Jacksonville, Fla. — Jaguars offensive lineman Cam Robinson and offensive line coach Phil Rauscher during voluntary offseason workouts at the Miller Electric Center on May 7, 2024.

Rauscher also discussed simplifying and refocusing in the area.

"I'm really confident in where we've gone this offseason with it and how the players have bought into what we've been teaching and talking about," Rauscher said. "We're going to pare down the run game a little bit and in paring it down, it's going to expand different things that we can do in the sense of formations and movements and shifts and different things.

"We may not run as many concepts. We're going to nail down what we do, and you're going to have to stop what we do."

Second-year veteran Anton Harrisonis expected to start at right tackle, with the Jaguars signing 10-year veteran center Mitch Morse as a free agent from the Buffalo Bills in March.

"I think adding Mitch to that unit and helping us is going to be a good thing," Rauscher said.

The Jaguars also this offseason opted to retain significant members of the offensive line such as eight-year veteran left tackle Cam Robinson and 10-year veteran right guard Brandon Scherff, also re-signing left guard Ezra Cleveland after obtaining the five-year veteran in a trade-deadline deal with the Minnesota Vikings last season.

"There are a lot of factors that go on to it," Rauscher said. "What we have to do as coaches is look at what we did and go, 'OK, was that good?' Obviously, it wasn't good enough. So how do we fix it and how do we adjust it and how do we put together something that works?

"There were times we were running the ball pretty good. 'We're doing this. We're doing that.' Then there were times we didn't. There were any number of factors. We have to control what we can control as coaches, then we have to be able to adjust as the year goes on better than what we did.

"We just have to find a way to continue to play good football throughout the year. I'm really confident we can do that with the group of guys we have."


  • Rauscher on Cleveland, who played through a knee issue while starting one game at left tackle and four games at left guard for the Jaguars last season: "He was banged up, then all of a sudden, we immediately put him at left tackle against the best player in the football (Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett). Ezra's a damn good football player. What you feel good about is, since I've been here, it's always been, 'OK, what are we going to do with the left card spot?' Now, we finally have something we feel good about and who is a good player, who could play good football, who does play good football. We're in a position where that's a good thing. He has a lot of good football left in him. I was excited when he decided to come back to us."

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