8 notable free agents with connections to the Jaguars' staff

Players who already understand the expectations and play-calling of their coaches can serve as buffers for their teammates, providing relatable reinforcement for the club's ideals.

Typically, new head coaches like to add familiar faces to their rosters in order to establish a sense of cultural continuity. Players who already understand the expectations and play-calling of their coaches can serve as buffers for their teammates, providing relatable reinforcement for the club's ideals.

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Doug Marrone didn't rush to add those players in his first season as Jaguars head coach. The team signed nose tackle Stefan Charles early in free agency but he failed to make the 53-man roster after an up-and-down performance during the offseason program and training camp. The team also added Marrone's Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib for a few weeks during the regular season but he failed to appear in a game.

The team eventually traded for defensive tackle Marcell Dareus in October. Dareus was one of Marrone's best players during his tenure as the Buffalo Bills' head coach. He was able to fit in and produce fairly early on - despite his lack of preparation - because of his familiarity with Marrone's philosophies. He also had a relationship with Jaguars assistant defensive line coach Jason Rebrovich.

Now in his second season at the helm, Marrone may look to add more familiar faces to the lineup. With the Jaguars in full-on playoff contender mode, the team should be looking to add pieces that can contribute right away. Adding players who have a history with Marrone and/or members of his coaching staff could help streamline the process.

The Jaguars aren't likely to spend big bucks in free agency after dishing out huge contracts during the last two offseasons. However, if a player has a proven track record with the staff, the front office may be inclined to invest in him with a long-term deal.

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Below are eight free agents with notable connections to the Jaguars' coaching staff:

Justin Pugh

Position: Left Guard/Right Tackle

Current Team: New York Giants

Coaching Connection: Head coach Doug Marrone (Syracuse), offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett (Syracuse), offensive line coach Pat Flaherty (New York Giants)

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Thoughts: Pugh is an ideal fit. His versatility would not only help immediately at left guard but also safeguard the team at several positions if/when injuries occur during the season. Pugh is very familiar with the coaching staff and front office. If the Jaguars are going to pay an offensive lineman in free agency, Pugh is probably the top guy on the list.

Nigel Bradham

Position: Linebacker

Current Team: Philadelphia Eagles

Coaching Connection: Marrone (Buffalo)

Thoughts: With Paul Posluszny set for free agency, the Jaguars may want to find a younger playmaker to take his place. Bradham is coming off a strong season with the Super Bowl champions. He has positional versatility, as he started the season at outside linebacker and moved inside when Jordan Hicks suffered a season-ending injury. A Florida State alum, Bradham may be open to moving back to the area.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 25: Nigel Bradham #53 of the Philadelphia Eagles reacts in front of Jared Cook #87 of the Oakland Raiders after the Philadelphia Eagles recovered a fumble in the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on December 25, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Raiders 19-10. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Kyle Williams

Position: Defensive Tackle

Current Team: Buffalo Bills

Coaching Connection: Marrone (Buffalo), Assistant defensive line coach Rebrovich (Buffalo)

Thoughts: This is a super long shot. Williams is a Bills lifer and a leader in the Buffalo locker room. Still, he and Dareus are close and he could move on from Buffalo if he gets to test the free agent market. Williams would be a strong rotational defensive tackle to add to the trio of Dareus, Abry Jones and Malik Jackson. If the Jaguars are looking to improve the run defense, Williams may be a good fit.

Bashaud Breeland

Position: Cornerback

Current Team: Washington Redskins

Coaching Connection: Defensive backs coach Perry Fewell (Washington)

Thoughts: Breeland has had an up-and-down career in Washington since leaving Clemson. The Jaguars may need to move on from Aaron Colvin and Breeland could be a solid replacement at this point. Depending on his contract demands, Breeland could provide notable support on the outside while also taking his turn in the slot during nickel situations.

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 24: Bashaud Breeland #26 of the Washington Redskins defends a pass to Terrance Williams #83 of the Dallas Cowboys during the fourth quarter of their game at AT&T Stadium on November 24, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Jay Bromley

Position: Defensive Tackle

Current Team: New York Giants

Coaching Connection: Fewell (New York Giants), Marrone (Syracuse)

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Thoughts: The defensive tackle position isn't a huge need for the Jaguars so it's doubtful they add this big guy. However, if Bromley is looking to win a ring, joining a healthy stable of defensive linemen could be appealing. We expect him to have a larger market than the Jaguars plan to contend with, especially with so much money already locked into the position.

Todd Davis

Position: Linebacker

Current Team: Denver Broncos

Coaching Connection: Special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis (Denver)

Thoughts: As previously stated, linebacker could be a need for the Jaguars this offseason. Davis has been a fixture of the Broncos' defense and special teams for years. DeCamillis may look to reunite with his former pupil who played 101 snaps on special teams in 2016. Davis would solve the Jaguars' need for a two-down linebacker in the starting lineup and also offer special teams upside.

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 11: Dan Herron #36 of the Indianapolis Colts is covered by Todd Davis #51 of the Denver Broncos during a 2015 AFC Divisional Playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 11, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Cody Latimer

Position: Wide receiver

Current Team: Denver Broncos

Coaching Connection: DeCamillis (Denver)

Thoughts: With the Jaguars declining Arrelious Benn's contract option, the team could look for his replacement in free agency. Latimer is one of the best gunners in the business and his history with DeCamillis makes him all that more appealing. Latimer played over 41 percent of the special teams snaps during his final season with DeCamillis. An underachieving wide receiver, Latimer could look to sign a one-year deal with Jacksonville to improve his stock. The wide receiver position may have a lot of movement for the Jaguars this offseason.

Jordan Matthews

Position: Wide Receiver

Current Team: Buffalo Bills

Coaching Connection: Offensive assistant John Donovan (Vanderbilt)

Thoughts: Matthews played under Donovan at Vanderbilt when the coach served as the program's offensive coordinator. They both left the school in 2013 and found success elsewhere. After being traded by the Eagles in the offseason, Matthews endured an injury-riddled fourth NFL season in Buffalo. His value may not be stellar so he could seek a one-year deal. The Jaguars could use a consistent veteran presence in the slot and that is Matthews' specialty. Matthews is a big target who the Jaguars could use in the red zone.

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Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.