After a season that had the Jacksonville Jaguars finish 26th in the league in scoring (18.8 points per game) and 20th in total yards (341.8 yards a game) a change took place in the quarterback room. Despite his relationship with incumbent quarterback Gardner Minshew, Scott Milanovich was replaced as quarterbacks coach in February. However, the Jaguars did not go after one of the young guns in the league, like Klint Kubiak (Minnesota Vikings) or Austin Davis (Seattle Seahawks). Instead they went with experience. Former New York Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo arrived in Jacksonville to lead the group of quarterbacks.
After a highly publicized fallout in New York, this is a chance McAdoo to hit the reset button. A fresh start in a smaller market. An opportunity in Jacksonville which allows McAdoo a chance to seek redemption.
Ben McAdoo Seeks Redemption in Jacksonville
High Praises in Green Bay
During his 14 seasons in the NFL, Ben McAdoo developed a pair of future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning. While with the Green Bay Packers, McAdoo flourished as a tight ends coach for six years. In those years, he spent valuable time alongside his mentor Mike McCarthy in the off-season at his quarterback camps. It was this experience that propelled him into the role of quarterbacks coach in 2012. This promotion was a crucial step in his career.
The promotion came with its fair share of criticism. McAdoo had never played the quarterback. However, he was able to erase any doubt among his star quarterback and the fans with his work ethic. McAdoo attacked the promotion with ferocity. People took notice. Including Rodgers who praised McAdoo’s work ethic, character, and preparation prior to his hiring as an offensive coordinator in New York in 2014.
Big Apple Rollercoaster
As the offensive coordinator for the Giants, McAdoo increased the team’s scoring in 2014 and 2015. In just two short years, the Giants went from the 28th ranked scoring offense (2013) to the sixth in 2015. This turnaround was due to the preparation and vision implemented by McAdoo throughout the season.
During his two years calling plays in New York, another future Hall of Fame quarterback Eli Manning thrived. Manning averaged 4,290 yards passing along with 30 touchdown passes during that time. Additionally, his ability to overcome injuries at skill positions (wide receiver Victor Cruz and tight end Larry Donnell) and continue to put up points did not go unnoticed.
In January 2016, the Giants named McAdoo as head coach at the age of 38. The cards were already stacked against him. It was his first head coaching job. He was in a premier city. And he followed a legendary coach that brought multiple Super Bowls to the Big Apple.
Despite fielding a playoff team (11-5) his first year, skepticism began to swirl in New York. The talent pool was drained and McAdoo was left searching for answers. Eventually, the wheels came off in 2017 for McAdoo, and he was let go in early December 2017.
Obviously the 2020 season will have a different shape for every NFL franchise, including Jacksonville. In many ways it is not the ideal time for a change to the coaching staff. Well, it is too late now. In addition to the challenges that come along with virtual meetings, McAdoo will be leading a young group of quarterbacks. Currently there is not a quarterback with Hall of Fame potential on the Jaguars roster.
Fortunately, McAdoo joins an experienced group on the offensive side of the ball including new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. With over 30 years of professional coaching experience between them, both McAdoo and Gruden bring much needed experience to the offensive side of the ball in Jacksonville.
But is experience enough to get the team over the hump? Only time will tell, but there is no better place for a redemption season than Jacksonville.
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