It looks like the Jaguars have kept defensive coordinator Todd Wash. His defense may be here to stay.
Last week, I wrote an article about the Jaguars and their preference for the power run offense and what players are needed to make it effective here on Black and Teal. This week I want to look at the Todd Wash defense and what it needs to be as effective as it was in 2017.
This defensive is known as the “Seattle Defense” and was originally brought to Jacksonville by Gus Bradley. Basically, the premise of the Seattle/Wash defense is it uses an eight-man box to stop the run (one safety positioned close to the line of scrimmage) and a single high safety who can get sidelined to sideline in a cover three. The defensive backs split coverage into three sections.
The cornerbacks play bump and run, the defensive linemen rush the quarterback. The linebackers play fast to stop the run and avoid big plays. There have been recent tweaks to defend the RPO (run-pass option) but the philosophy remains the same.
The players who work in this scheme must be fast athletic linebackers, dynamic edge rushers, great aggressive corner backs, and a safety who covers the field. If we look back to 2017 and to some extent 2018, the Jaguars had the players to excel in this defense. Our linebackers included Telvin Smith and Myles Jack. Our star cornerback was Jalen Ramsey. We had Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue to rush the passer. Our defensive backfield had a group of successful veterans. This is called the 4-2-5 defense (4 defensive linemen, two linebackers, and 5 defensive backs) but can be played as a 4-3-4 defense as well.
Sadly the 2019 Jaguars didn’t have the personnel to play this type of defense. And when it came to stopping the run, Jacksonville was one of the worst in the league. The question is if we continue this style of defense (and if Wash stays) what players do the Jaguars need to change the success of this group?
The good news is we have three dynamic edge rushers and we must keep either Campbell or Ngakoue to go with Josh Allen. At linebacker the coaches can move Jack to the outside and draft another fast linebacker to compliment him. At cornerback, we have A.J. Bouye and a variety of young players. A speedy corner is a must.
At the safety position, we have a budding star in Ronnie Harrison and some younger players with potential. Finally, we must shore up the middle with a defensive tackle.
Its obvious that it will take more than one year to address the needs on defense. My priorities would be a defensive tackle, a speedy athletic outside linebacker, and a young aggressive cornerback.
If the Jaguars find these players, they are on the way to building an exciting and aggressive defense that will be a force in the NFL in the future.