The Jaguars' football leadership team for the next era is starting to come into focus. Urban Meyer is the captain of the ship, and everyone else involved, including newly named GM Trent Baalke, is there to support Meyer's vision.
On Thursday, reports came out that the Jaguars had found not only their new defensive coordinator but their offensive coordinator as well. Joe Cullen, who most recently served as the Ravens' defensive line coach from 2016-2020, will be the Jaguars' next defensive coordinator (Dan Graziano). Darrell Bevell, coming off two seasons as the Lions' offensive coordinator, will work in the same capacity in Duval (Tom Pelissero).
Cullen was the Jaguars' D-Line coach from 2010-2012 and has since coached in Cleveland, Tampa, and Baltimore. This will be his first DC gig at the pro level, but Cullen has earned his stripes. The Ravens' defensive front improved significantly under his watch. Perhaps more importantly, Cullen is a culture fit with Urban Meyer. Meyer wants his teams to play fast and with high energy. Cullen's personality is fiery and energetic, which will serve him well in his second stint with the Jags. Cullen did have some alcohol-related incidents in the mid-2000s — once, he blacked out and made a trip to Wendy's, so he'll have to stay away from the booze — but he's been seemingly responsible with his consumption for the last decade-plus. Cullen has coordinating experience at the college level. He's worked in 4-3 and 3-4 alignments, so it's unclear what the Jaguars' base defense will look like. But I'd imagine they'll be more aggressive (it'd be hard not to be) on that side of the ball with blitzes and exotic looks than the previous regime.
Bevell is a long time OC and has coached offense for the Vikings, Seahawks, and Lions. He notably helped lead the Seahawks to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances, winning one and then infamously losing the next, electing to pass the ball on 4th & goal instead of handing it to Marshawn "Beast Mode" Lynch. In Detriot, he took over as interim head coach after the firing of Matt Patricia in 2020. Bevell hasn't always had the most progressive offensive thinkers as head coach, but that won't be a problem in Jacksonville. He and Meyer will likely conjure up some sort of spread system that employs RPOs, quick reads, and some vertical passing game as well. But don't think Meyer will allow his team to abandon the run; he's a tenet of finding offensive balance. Meyer has generally employed a zone rushing attack, and that will likely continue in Jacksonville.
Perhaps as important as the Xs and Os is alignment. Urban Meyer has repeatedly spoken about the importance of the entire program being on the same page. Meyer is going to build a program, and everyone he surrounds himself with needs to be completely bought into his beliefs.
Meyer spoke Thursday about the importance of finalizing his staff by week's end, and it appears he's on his way to doing just that.
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