JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Earlier this month the Jaguars gave Nick Foles 88 million reasons why he should leave Philadelphia for Jacksonville. The Jaguars offseason programs begins next month and that’s when Doug Marrone expects to see a return on that investment.
“When our players come back to the building on April 15, Nick Foles is going to know more about the offense than any other player,” said the Jaguars head coach at this week’s annual NFL Meeting. “We want everyone trying to catch up to Nick.”
Prior to signing Foles the team added John DeFilippo as its offensive coordinator. The two worked together in Philadelphia and that familiarity is something that Marrone expects to pay off in Jacksonville.
“I look back and I am not comparing player to player, but like I said, I look back to my time in 2006 [When Marrone was on the Saints coaching staff] with Drew Brees. Drew came over from San Diego,” said Marrone. “Pete Carmichael was the quarterbacks coach and he came with him. We relied, when I say we, it was me, myself, Sean Payton and a lot of the coaches on offense, we relied a lot on Pete. What does [Brees] like? What does he not like? We put in the installation and to work on it and I think what it does is it puts you ahead of the curve. I feel we are fortunate to have John DeFilippo with us who was [Foles’] position coach, so there is an area there of trust. There is an area of being familiar with each other. I think there are people that you can rely on in the building saying, ‘Hey, how is Nick?’ ‘He is great.’ Yes, he would know. He has been with him before. You get a little bit of a comfort level, but you cannot take it for granted.”
Foles has also previously played with newly signed wide receiver Chris Conley. The two were in Kansas City together during the 2016 season.
Conley caught five touchdowns in 2018, which equals the number Dede Westbrook led the Jaguars with last season.
“Obviously, I like his speed,” said Marrone. “There are a lot of things that he does well. He was a player that has some injuries last year. The Achilles last year I believe it was. We feel like Chris’ best football hasn’t come out yet. We are excited about that.”
Adding pieces to make Foles more comfortable was clearly a priority during free agency. Foles has developed a reputation for loving to throw the ball to tight ends.
Geoff Swaim doesn’t have the pass catching ability of a Zach Ertz or Dallas Goedert but Marrone feels the former Cowboy will have be an important part of their offense.
“I think he is big, strong, does a lot of things,” said Marron. “You can put him in the backfield. You can put him on the line. He plays special teams. I think those guys do a lot of things. Geoff is coming in and he wants to work hard. He has a lot to prove. I think it is someone else that I am excited about.”