The Jaguars lead the league with 33 sacks through just seven games. The impressive total comes after the Jaguars produced 33 sacks in 16 games last season.
While adding potential Defensive Player of the Year candidate Calais Campbell has been a massive boom for the Jaguars, another new arrival has made just as much of an impact on Jacksonville's pass rushing prowess.
Defensive line coach Marion Hobby has helped the pass rush evolve in Jacksonville. A former NFL player and college defensive coordinator, Hobby knows the game and he knows how to get to opposing quarterbacks.
Much like other successful players-turned-coaches, Hobby doesn't just rely on his experiences. Instead, he looks to continue to learn about and prepare for new challenges.
“Both him and [Assistant Defensive Line Coach] Jason Rebrovich have done a very good job," Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said Monday. "I think that they are very thorough in their film study, very thorough in their game plans. I think it showed on film."
Hobby and Rebrovich, who previously worked for Marrone in Buffalo, have helped the defensive front account for 29 of the Jaguars' 33 sacks on the season.
Campbell has already posted 10 sacks this season. Second-year defensive end Yannick Ngakoue led the team with eight sacks through 16 games last season. Through seven games this year, Ngakoue already has 6.5 sacks.
The coaching duo has also pushed former first-round pick, Dante Fowler, to become a better student of the game, teaching him new technique and how to study effectively. Fowler has already surpassed his production from last season before the bye week.
"I think it's the chemistry we have with each other and understanding how to rush with each other now," Fowler said Monday, regarding the unit's success against opposing passing attacks.
Heading into the bye week, there is still room for growth. The Jaguars are ranked 30th in the league against the run so far this season.
While the pass rush has been at a premium, the ability to stop the run has left a lot to be desired.
"I think that we need to continue to do a better job in the run game up front and that’s the one thing we have been talking about and emphasizing," said Marrone.
"It’s something we will talk about over the next two days, really going back and looking and breaking things down and seeing if we can put the players in better positions to make plays, or two, are we spending enough time in individuals working on those techniques? Those are the things we will grow upon."
While the pass rushing output is ideal, Marrone wants the line to be more well-rounded after the bye week. The Jaguars coaching staff will look at film and figure out a way to set up that evolution moving forward.
"Obviously, we have gotten very good production [against the] pass and that’s good," Marrone said. "You can pat yourself on the back and say, ‘Hey, here is where we are.’ We want the total package where we’re able to stop the run and rush the passer also.”
If Hobby and Rebrovich can prepare for the run in the second-half of the season as well as they have with the pass, the Jaguars' defense will become even more dominant. Forcing opposing offenses to abandon the run will put the Jaguars' defense in position to make even more big plays against the passing game.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.
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