Thursday, prior to the Jaguars OTA workout, we got our first chance to hear from new Jaguars offensive coordinator John DeFilippo. And while most of the conversation centered around new QB Nick Foles and DeFilippo’s relationship with him in Philadelphia, the reason that made him available to Jacksonville, his firing by the Vikings mid-season a year ago, got brought up.
And while Defilippo did not want to dwell on criticism of his play calling, etc. last season in “The Great White North,” he wanted to make very clear what his play-calling philosophy is and will be with the Teal and White.
“Every play that I have ever called in my tenure as an offensive coordinator has been with what I think gives our team the best chance at success. It has nothing to do with stats. It has nothing to do with quarterback rating, what our running backs are doing, what our receivers are doing. Every play that I have called in my past, every play that I will call in my future, will be what I believe gives the Jacksonville Jaguars the best chance to win the football game.”
DeFilippo was hired as offensive coordinator in Minnesota for 2019, and then, was unceremoniously dumped late in the year by head coach Mike Zimmer.
Zimmer had hired DeFilippo after his work with Foles/Eagles staff and to have him mesh with newly acquired free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins. However, the offense sputtered and late in the year in two key losses to New England and on a Monday night to the Seahawks, where they scored a total of only 17 points.
Many believed that Zimmer was scape-goating DeFilippo to deflect rightful criticism at Cousins’ repeated poor play at times in year one.
Still, Minnesota ousting DeFilippo made him available to the Jaguars. And, it’s no secret, that coach Doug Marrone hired him, in part, to help lure Foles to North Florida after the two of them worked closely together two years ago,when the Eagles won it all.
For the Jaguars, after their dismal offensive showing, especially in the second half of last year, they need an overhaul in every aspect. And, that will include the tone and the calls of DeFilippo this fall.
Jaguars will play LT Cam Robinson Thursday night
A positive sign for the Jaguars offensive line will happen Thursday night’s third preseason game with the Dolphins. That’s when, previously injured left tackle Cam Robinson will see his first game action since tearing his ACL in your ago.
The Jaguars confirmed a little over an hour prior to the game that the former second-round pick out of Alabama, who was just activated off the PUP list 10 days ago, will be in there at least for a little while:
Tonight, Cam Robinson (@crobinson_68) will start at left tackle, making his first appearance since sustaining a knee injury on Sept. 16, 2018.
He’ll be on a strict “snap count,” so you may see him come out mid-series. Part of the plan.
Excited to see the big fella out there!
— Tad Dickman (@TDickman89) August 22, 2019
Robinson tore his ACL in the Jags week 2 win over the Patriots last season and was placed on injured reserve. He has been rehabbing and battling back all through the offseason and into training camp.
Coach Doug Marrone originally sounded pessimistic about 2 weeks ago on Robinson being activated off the pup list and available for the Jaguars in the week one regular-season opener with the Kansas City Chiefs.
However, whether that was motivational or Robinson just stepped up his rehab in progress, within several days he was activated and practicing with the team on a limited basis. The Jaguars offensive line was ravaged a year ago with injuries including too high price free agent guard, Andrew Norwell.
So far, prize free agent quarterback Nick Foles has yet to take a snap in game action is preseason, but the use of Robinson to protect his blind side may be an indication that Foles will be out there for at least a series or so against the Dolphins.
Jacksonville is also looking forward to welcoming back tailback Leonard Fournette, who has yet to take a snap in the preseason himself. It’s unclear, as to whether Fournette , who missed parts or all of 8 games with a right hamstring injury a year ago. will actually see the field in South Florida. But, if Robinson is playing, then it’s possible he might also be out there for at least a series.
Jags WR Marqise Lee returns to practice
After losing veteran Alfred Blue in the first half of the 24–10 Thursday night loss to the Eagles with an ankle injury, the Jaguars are looking for offensive depth. In some fortunate news, WR Marqise Lee is off of the PUP list and has begun practicing today, roughly one year after suffering from knee damage that sidelined him for the entire 2018 season.
Head coach Doug Marrone made the announcement before practice on Saturday.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) August 17, 2019
First Coast news reporter Ben Murphy got a video of Lee at practice receiving a pass from QB Nick Foles.
— Ben Murphy (@BenMurphyTV) August 17, 2019
Last year, Lee was injured in the first quarter of a preseason game against the Falcons. He was hit by reserve defensive back Damontae Kazee on this play after a reception.
— Kevin Boilard (@247KevinBoilard) August 25, 2018
Lee suffered a torn ACL and went on injured reserve missing the entire season.
Lee became more prominent in Jacksonville’s pass offense in 2017 with 56 catches for 702 yards and three TDs. The Jags are surely going to rely on him this season which could mean he’ll see the field a bit in their third preseason game to get him readjusted to competitive game play.
However, they might not want to risk another potential injury before the season begins. We could see it going either way. We do know that he’ll be a great weapon for Nick Foles to utilize this season.
The return of Lee is coming off the heels of some other good news for the Jags announced earlier this week. Starting left tackle Cam Robinson was also removed from the PUP list on Monday after suffering a torn ACL in Week 2 last season. He has since made enough progress participate in some individual drills and should be ready, along with Lee, for their season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.
In other injury-related news, we await how serious Blue’s ankle injury is coming off this second preseason game. Meanwhile, the likelihood is that Leonard Fournette, backed up by Thomas Rawls, will be the two running backs when the Jaguars play at the Dolphins next Thursday night.