Assistant to watch: Jaguars

Continuing our look at new assistant coaches in the AFC South who will be especially important in 2012, we turn to Jacksonville.

I wrote this piece on wide receivers coach Jerry Sullivan in late June. He’s an experienced coach with an excellent reputation. He’s been endorsed by some big-time guys like Larry Fitzgerald.

And frankly, he’s a major upgrade from the under-qualified Johnny Cox, who was fired shortly after Jack Del Rio was dismissed last year.

Of all the position groups in the AFC South, the Jaguars’ receivers may have been the worst. They had a No. 3 guy in Mike Thomas cast as their No. 1, and his effort tailed off late in the year.

Not only has Mike Mularkey upgraded things by adding Sullivan, but the franchise added two receivers who should make the offense much more threatening: free-agent addition Laurent Robinson and No. 5 pick in the draft Justin Blackmon. Now Thomas will be in the spot where he should be best.

Sullivan and those receivers are all reliant on improvement from quarterback Blaine Gabbert. But they are all reasons the team expects that improvement, too.