Jacksonville Jaguars defensive line coach Todd Wash was promoted to fill the vacancy at defensive coordinator and the move feels uninspired and disappointing.
With time behind us for the promotion of Todd Wash to defensive coordinator to sink in, it’s time to look back at the recent hiring by the Jacksonville Jaguars and really assess how this may work for the team.
The benefits for head coach Gus Bradley are clear. He is keeping a coach invested in his defensive scheme, a coach that is well liked, and he will be able to continue to mold the team in the image he wishes. Wash is not going to rock the boat, so to speak.
Wash impressed Bradley in one of the more unorthodox interview processes (Wash sat in on other candidates’ interviews) and is a logical choice based on Bradley’s connection with him dating back to time at North Dakota State University.
But as far as actually improving the defense, is this the move the team actually wants? More importantly, is this the move the team actually needs?
The guys over at Big Cat Country just gave the defensive line a “D” grade for the 2015 season. While there is a dearth of talent – especially with 2015’s injuries – along the D-Line, the coaching from Wash did not yield positive results. Further, the scheme, which Bradley, does not want to change, seems broken.
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It’s clear that the Jags either don’t have enough talent or matching talent to successfully stop defenses by rushing just four linemen on almost all plays. The secondary is not talented enough to defend against even poor quarterbacks without pressure getting to the quarterback.
And Gus Bradley still stubbornly sticks to his Seattle-style defense for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Which is exactly where Wash’s real value lies.
Todd Wash believes in the scheme Bradley is implementing. He believes that even stubbornly sticking to it will be the best thing for the Jaguars in the long run. In fact, it was one of the first things he said when he was hired. That may be why this hiring is so lackluster and disappointing.
After three straight seasons of the worst defenses the Jags have seen in franchise history, Bradley had a chance to bring in another defensive mind to complement his approach to the defense. He had a chance to turn a decent theory of defensive scheme into a reality with a coordinator who can add wrinkles and quality outside suggestions to the unit.
Instead, it seems that we’ll be getting Bob Babich 2.0.
Michael DiRocco of ESPN is right when he says that Wash will determine if Gus Bradley keeps his job with the Jacksonville Jaguars. This hiring is a letdown. It’s a continuation of a failed approach. It took what could have been an inspiring moment and turned it into a true insight into Bradley’s mistakes as a head coach.
Bradley’s first stop as a head coach in the NFL is with the Jags and he is making the mistakes of not trusting other people to do what he needs them to do: their jobs. He needs someone else to take over and administer the most successful approach based on the opponent and the talent available, not the most successful approach based on Bradley’s schematic demands.
For now, it looks more and more like Bradley is simply handicapping the defense with his insistence that his defensive coordinator follow in Seattle’s mold. Maybe he’ll get it right, but after a few days to digest the latest move it certainly doesn’t feel like it.