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Jaguars and Bucs in action for our Sunday primer

Florida Football Insiders

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Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Two of the three state NFL teams will be in action on Sunday with the Bucs on the road and the Jaguars at home. The Dolphins get an extra day to be ready for the Steelers on Monday Night Football.

With that in mind let’s take a look the two teams playing on Sunday.

First in Jacksonville, the Jaguars look to even their record at 4 – 4, as they host lowly Jets at TIAA Bank field.

Jacksonville’s defense overwhelmed Cincinnati last week, especially in the second half. The Jags had four takeaways, including Yannick Ngakoue’s his interception return for a touchdown.

Offensively, RB Leonard Fournette (above) continues to have a good bounce-back 2018 season. Last week he registered 100 or more yards rushing for the third time in four games and has clearly become the bruising, between the tackles weapon that Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator John Defilippo have envisioned.

As for the Jets, they come off a humiliating Monday night shutout loss to the Patriots and have second-year quarterback Sam Darnold, as well as free agent running back Le’Veon Bell. However, Jacksonville should be able to take advantage of this easier opponent and get another win.

Meanwhile, the Buccaneers are off of their bye week and have traveled to Nashville to take on the Tennessee Titans.

When last we saw Tampa Bay, they put in a mostly miserable performance in a 37 – 26 loss to the Panthers in London. In that game, quarterback Jameis Winston threw 5 interceptions and also lost a fumble in one of the worst games of his career.

Winston, the former #1 overall pick, needs a bounce back game to get Tampa Bay in the win column and calm down the outcry that the Buccaneers need to look elsewhere for a long-term quarterback.

Ironically, that’s the situation in Nashville, as the Titans have benched the 2015  #2 overall pick, QB Marcus Mariota last week and gone with veteran Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill, the former Dolphins starter, threw for over 300 yards in the Titans dramatic win over the L.A. Chargers.

Tennessee will also look to hammer running back Derrick Henry between the tackles at the buccaneer defense, which has been one of the best ones against the run this season.

The Bucs defense is mostly at full strength with rookie first-round pick Devin White having played against Carolina and now having another two weeks to get fully recovered from a sprained knee earlier in the year.

Tampa Bay will also apparently welcome back defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, as he has been activated off the “Non-football injury list” and is eligible to play for the first time this season. Pierre-paul suffered a neck fracture in a car accident back in May has made a tremendous recovery 5 months later to be able to practice without having surgery.

The veteran led the Buccaneers in sacks with 12.5 a year ago and could greatly bolster their pass rush.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars hire former Redskins coach Gruden as OC

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It didn’t take long for the Jaguars to come up with a new offensive coordinator and it will be a very familiar name to fans of the NFL and in specific, in Florida. Former Redskins coach and Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden has been hired buy coach Doug Marrone to assume play-calling duties.

NFL Network insiders Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport had the news first on Tuesday night, that the Jags had settled on the Redskins coach who was fired during his sixth season back in October:

Gruden, the younger brother of Raiders coach Jon Gruden, was fired in October after the Skins 0-5 start and while in his sixth season in Washington. He mostly struggled for the Redskins to have success with a 35-49-1 overall record. However, they won the NFC East in Gruden’s second year (2015) with a 9-7 record, but were beaten at home in the Wildcard Weekend by the Green Bay Packers.

Gruden worked his way up to his first head coaching job after having been the offensive coordinator for Marvin Lewis for three seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. There, he worked with quarterback Andy Dalton and spectacular WR A.J. Green and his final year (2013), the Bengals were 6th in overall offense and fifth in scoring.

The Jaguars had also reportedly interviewed former Giants head coach, Ben McAdoo, and had also been considering former Cowboys and Rams offensive coordinator, Scott Linehan, for their vacancy. Coach Doug Marrone fired first-year offensive coordinator John DeFilippo after just one season last week.

While the team termed it “mutually parting ways,” DeFilippo was quickly hired by the Chicago Bears last Wednesday, as a quarterback coach. And, obviously going from an NFL offensive coordinator job to a QB coach is not a lateral move.

Back to Jay Gruden. He is best known in our state for having been outstanding Arena Football League quarterback leading both the Tampa Bay Storm and the Orlando Predators franchises to Arena Bowl Championships.

Later his career Gruden was a player coach for the Orlando franchise, while also working during the NFL seasons in the fall as an offensive assistant under brother with the Buccaneers, including their 2002 Super Bowl win.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars interviewing former Redskins coach Jay Gruden for OC

Florida Football Insiders

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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars continue to look for a new offensive coordinator in an interesting name with Florida connections has emerged.

Fox Sports NFL Insider Mike Garafolo reported on Sunday that former Redskins head coach and longtime Arena Football League star player and coach in the Sunshine State, Jay Gruden is on their radar:

Gruden was fired in October after an 0-5 start and while in his sixth season in Washington. He mostly struggled for the Redskins to have success with a 35-49-1 overall record. However, they won the NFC East in Gruden’s second year (2015) with a 9-7 record, but we’re beaten at home in the Wildcard Weekend by the Green Bay Packers.

Gruden worked his way up to his first head coaching job after having been the offensive coordinator for Marvin Lewis for three seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. There, he worked with quarterback Andy Dalton and spectacular WR A.J. Green and his final year (2013), the Bengals were 6th in overall offense and fifth in scoring.

The Jaguars have also reportedly interviewed former Giants head coach, Ben McAdoo, and are said to also be considering former Cowboys and Rams offensive coordinator, Scott Linehan, for their vacancy. Coach Doug Marrone fired first-year offensive coordinator John DeFilippo after just one season last week.

While the team termed it “mutually parting ways,” DeFilippo was quickly hired by the Chicago Bears Wednesday, as a quarterback coach. And, obviously going from an NFL offensive coordinator job to a QB coach is not a lateral move.

Jacksonville’s offense sputtered at times this past season, although it was handicapped when prized free agent quarterback Nick Foles was hurt in the first game of the season and missed 9 weeks with a fractured collarbone. Rookie sixth round pick, Gardner Minshew, was good at times in relief and helped Jacksonville win six games overall with his play.

Back to Jay Gruden. He is best known in our state for having been outstanding Arena Football League quarterback leading both the Tampa Bay Storm and the Orlando Predators franchises to Arena Bowl Championships.

Later his career Gruden was a player coach for the Orlando franchise, while also working during the NFL seasons in the fall as an offensive assistant under brother Jon Gruden with the Buccaneers.

Of course, the elder Gruden is now the coach of the Raiders again, and they are slated to move to Las Vegas for this fall. And, it’s entirely possible that Jay Gruden could be joining his brother with them, as well.

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