JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- With the offseason workouts and minicamps in the rearview mirror and training camps just a few weeks away, we assess the Jacksonville Jaguars' offseason moves and assign a letter grade in the video above.
Best move: Without a doubt it was the addition of tight end Julius Thomas, who caught 108 passes for 1,275 yards and 24 touchdowns the past two seasons with the Denver Broncos. He's not likely to match that production because his team's quarterback isn't veteran Peyton Manning anymore, but second-year Blake Bortles. However, Thomas does give the Jaguars the kind of player they haven't had since receiver Jimmy Smith retired following the 2005 season: a go-to playmaker. The Jaguars will line him up out wide, in tight, and in the slot to create matchup issues. Having a reliable playmaker, especially in the red zone, will be invaluable for Bortles' development.
Riskiest move: The Jaguars tried to boost a secondary that hasn't been productive by adding safety Sergio Brown and cornerback Davon House. However, neither has been a consistent starter in his career, but that's what the Jaguars are hoping will happen in 2015. House never started more than five games in any of his four seasons in Green Bay, but he did break up 27 passes (including 22 over the past two seasons). He has only two interceptions, though. Brown has started 11 of the 71 games in which he has played during the past five seasons but has just one interception and six pass breakups. The Jaguars' secondary had only three interceptions in 2014 and three the year before. The unit needs consistency and more big plays, and the Jaguars are banking on Brown and House doing what they haven't done so far in their careers.
Coaching changes: The Jaguars added four new coaches on offense: coordinator Greg Olson, quarterbacks coach Nathaniel Hackett, running backs coach Kelly Skipper and offensive line coach Doug Marrone. Olson is more hands-on than previous OC Jedd Fisch with the quarterbacks and the other positions during practices. Olson is also willing to be more adaptable. It's the Marrone hire, however, that could turn out to be the best non-player move of the offseason. He has a reputation as a good OL coach, and head coach Gus Bradley is hoping he can fix what was the team's biggest weakness the past few seasons. The Jaguars ranked 21st in rushing (102.1 yards per game) in 2015 and 30th from 2012-14 (88.8 yards per game). The unit was a big reason for the 71 sacks allowed last season, too. One of Marrone's tasks will be to make left tackle Luke Joeckel a consistent player.
Training camp outlook: One of the biggest differences between the 2015 Jaguars and the previous two teams is that there is a lot more competition for starting spots at numerous positions. When players are competing for jobs, their level of play usually rises, which theoretically means the Jaguars should be better. That's especially important along the offensive line, which, other than quarterback, is the key to the team's success in 2015. The offense can no longer be a liability if the Jaguars are going to threaten a .500 record. Other positions with more competition are safety, cornerback and running back.