Missouri football has remained busy throughout this offseason, and its coaching staff shifted once again Monday afternoon.
Former Houston Co-Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Line coach Brandon Jones joined the Tigers as their Offensive Line coach.
Mizzou entered the offseason with Marcus Johnson coaching the offensive lineman group, but the third-year coach left to join former Tigers’ defensive coordinator Ryan Walters at Purdue.
Under Jones, five Cougars have been named to the All-American Athletic Conference teams, including two-time first teamer Patrick Paul. A pair of NFL offensive lineman—Josh Jones and Kody Russey—have also made strides while being coached by Jones.
One thing Jones owns is experience, which will be a key tool under first-year Missouri offensive coordinator Kirby Moore. Jones has coached for the past 16 seasons with stops at Texas Tech (2x), Sam Houston State, East Carolina, Cal and then Houston.
He also served as the Cougars’ run game coordinator, a position that is led on the Tigers’ staff by running backs coach Curtis Luper.
However, Jones’ contract was not extended following the season, and it was announced on Jan. 23 that Jones would not be on the sidelines this season for Houston.
The Cougars allowed only 1.77 sacks per game under Jones last season, a mark good enough for 49th in the nation. Pro Football Focus also graded out Houston as the AAC’s top pass blocking team led by first-team all-conference guard Cam’Ron Johnson.
Missouri is looking to shore up a shaky offensive line that was prone to penalties, undisciplined mistakes and little help in the run game. Jones’ attributes and experience should highlight vast improvements in those areas.
The Tigers are still soul-searching for the right offensive line group, as head coach Eliah Drinkwitz stressed throughout the spring camp sessions. Missouri will return four starters from last year’s unit and welcome in Eastern Michigan transfer Marcellus Johnson.
Jones, who has had success at every single one of his previous stops, will have his work cut out for him this season as Missouri aims to find a solution to protecting the quarterback.