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Del Rio on final play: “Our offensive coordinator calls the plays”

J. Del Lioleather

The Jaguars offense was in quicksand for most of Sunday’s game against the Browns, just like it has been all season.

The team got the ball back down four points with 2:49 to go. Amazingly, they drove the ball all the way down to the two-yard line with 13 seconds left. (After wasting 28 seconds after their last first down.)

This was going to be Blaine Gabbert’s first nice moment as a pro. The Jaguars got three cracks to win the game:

1. One-yard run by Maurice Jones-Drew.

2. Dropped pass by Jason Hill in the end zone.

3. Errant throw by Gabbert ends the game.

The team has taken a lot of criticism for not giving Jones-Drew the ball on the final play. We don’t mind the play call. It just didn’t work. We can’t believe Jack Del Rio’s post-game explanation for the decision.

“Our offensive coordinator [Dirk Koetter] calls the plays. I can’t speak to his thinking. You’ll have to get with him,” Del Rio said via the Florida Times-Union.

Uh, what? That statement partly helps explain why Del Rio’s time in Jacksonville has run its course. He’s essentially saying he’s not the head coach; he’s the defensive coach. He’s either admitting that or throwing Koetter under the bus.

We understand that Koetter calls the plays. But it’s Del Rio’s team.

The Jaguars had just called timeout with eight seconds left, so surely Del Rio was involved in the discussions on what would happen.

“We certainly talked about those things through the course of the drive. We got down and took our crack. You can make a case for doing that. You can guess any number of plays when you don’t connect. [It’s] a missed opportunity,” Del Rio said.

Mike Tomlin, Bill Belichick and Mike Smith would all be involved in a call like that. They are defensive coaches, but they make big decisions on offense. It’s their team.

They would own the call after the fact too.