Jaguars DC Todd Wash sets the tone for the 2019 season
Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash spoke with the media on Thursday, outlining a 4-3 defense and the team’s plan for rookie pass rusher Josh Allen.
At the midway point of the NFL season in 2018, there were plenty of questions regarding the Jacksonville Jaguars defense. After an almost historic 2017 campaign, there were those, including myself, who believed last season could have been as dynamic and ferocious as the Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s and the Chicago Bears of 1985. We all know that did not come to pass.
Now, defensive coordinator Todd Wash and his staff are back to try and rebuild the unit that was so dominant two seasons ago. The unit did finish in the top five in total defense, but the sack totals and interceptions were down. There were too many instances where players were caught out of position and the play in the secondary wasn’t as tight as it had been.
Wash changed his staff following the 5-11 season. Jason Rebrovich takes over the defensive line, and David Merritt will work with him as assistant defensive line coach. Tim Walton was hired as secondary/cornerbacks coach and Joe Danna as secondary/safeties coach. If anything, a shakeup might be what this group needs to get back to where it once was.
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The biggest news of the morning, when Wash spoke with the media on Thursday on Day 5 of OTAs was that Josh Allen, the team’s top draft pick in April will remain at defensive end. The former linebacker/edge rusher at Kentucky was a name brought up to potentially replace weakside linebacker Telvin Smith. Wash put an end to that speculation.
Also, the Jaguars will remain a 4-3 base defense for the upcoming season.
"“Josh Allen was drafted to be a defensive end,” Wash said. “He did a real nice job of dropping in college,” Wash said, adding “I can’t honestly say being a [former] D-Line [defensive line coach] that I get too excited about a 15-sack guy dropping into coverage.“Hopefully, you won’t see too damned much of that.”"
The Jaguars still have Calais Campbell, who had 10.5 sacks last season and Yannick Ngakoue (9.5 sacks) on the outside. Allen gives the line more depth and creates more matchup problems for offensive coordinators because of his size and speed. The decision to draft Allen with the seventh pick, overall, also gives the Jaguars one of the best pass rushing trios in the league.
The defense shouldn’t look much different than it has in the time Wash has served as the team’s leader on defense.
"Per John Oehser of Jaguars.com, “Wash, entering his fourth season as the Jaguars’ defensive coordinator, also said the Jaguars will continue with a four-lineman, three-linebacker scheme as their base defense. The Jaguars have ranked No. 6, 2 and 5 in the NFL in yards allowed defensively in Wash’s three seasons as coordinator.”"
The addition of Dom Capers this offseason, as a senior defensive assistant to lend more input and advice on making a solid defense even better. Capers has a history with the Jaguars when he served as defensive coordinator of the team during the 1999 and 2000 seasons.
"Wash added, “Obviously, he’s still learning our system – and what we do. We’re not changing. That’s not what we’re doing to do. We’re going to run our defense and once it’s not good enough for the Jaguars, then somebody else will run the defense. We’re going to do what we do.”"