Edmonton Elks name Jarious Jackson offensive coordinator, demote Stephen McAdoo

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The Edmonton Elks have promoted Jarious Jackson to the role of offensive coordinator and moved Stephen McAdoo to an advisory role, primarily on defence.

“It’s never easy to make a significant change to your coaching staff during the season, but our results haven’t been up to our standards. Jarious has proven in his career that he’s up to the task of leading an offence to success, and I expect that to be the case given his abilities and familiarity with our team,” said head coach and general manager Chris Jones in a statement.

“We’ve got 10 games to make significant strides as a team this season, and Jarious is going to be a key part of that process.”

Edmonton was shut out for a second time this season on Saturday night in a 27-0 loss to the B.C. Lions. The team has scored only 105 points through eight games this season for an average of 13.1 per game and ranks last in a number of offensive categories.

Jones said that he’s been contemplating making a coaching change for “quite some time” and the club’s bye week was the best time for the team to do so. He also indicated that the coaching change was his decision and came three weeks after he and McAdoo had a frank discussion about the team’s struggling offence.

“When you’re 0-8 and you stub your toe as many times offensively as we have, there was enough time that it was evident that we needed to make a move,” said Jones, who has been a friend and colleague of McAdoo’s for over 20 years.

“It’s pro football and I’ve got to do what’s in the best interest for this football team. They hired me to be the overseer for the football team and that’s what I’m doing.”

McAdoo was hired as Edmonton’s offensive coordinator in 2022 after a two-year stint as the offensive line coach of the Toronto Argonauts. He and Chris Jones have worked together numerous times throughout their careers, including stints in Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, and Saskatchewan.

The 52-year-old served as the offensive coordinator under Jones during his initial run as the head coach in Edmonton (2014-15) and followed Jones to Saskatchewan where he served as the offensive coordinator for four seasons (2016-19).

“In the preseason, nobody would have envisioned that we’d be in this position. I’m not saying that we were going to be undefeated, but at the same time, nobody saw 0-8, either,” said Jones. “It’s a good time to reflect and you can learn a lot about yourself and about the people around you.”

Jackson, 46, started his coaching career with the B.C. Lions in 2013 following a nine-year CFL playing career at quarterback. He served as the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator under Jones and McAdoo in Edmonton (2014-15) before holding the same positions in Saskatchewan for two seasons (2016-17).

The native of Tupelo, Miss. was hired as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach of the Lions in 2018 and served in that role for two seasons. He then became the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach of the Toronto Argonauts (2020-21) before rejoining Jones in Edmonton where he’s served as the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity of being an offensive coordinator again in the CFL,” said Jackson. “It’s a privilege to coach in this league and with this club, so the importance of this role isn’t lost on me.”

“We have a lot of work to do to improve our offensive output and meet the high expectations we have as a group. That work begins now, as we’ll make the most of the bye week and get prepared for a tough Winnipeg team on August 10.”

The Elks (0-8) are currently on a bye week and will return next face the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (5-2) on Thursday, Aug. 10.