Can Todd Wash make the Jacksonville Jaguars defense dominant once again?
Will this offseason allow Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash to make the defense better in 2020?
The Jacksonville Jaguars haven’t had an impressive offseason. In fact, looking at the additions and subtractions of this roster, it’s hard to get a feel whether the team has broken even with the number of moves the front office has made since February.
That’s part of what happens when your team wins a total of 11 games in two seasons and the expectations for the coming season are about as exciting as watching paint dry on walls, the Jacksonville Jaguars aren’t expected to be very good this coming season, even with Gardner Minshew at quarterback and a few players who have breakout potential.
That’s also a byproduct of being perennial losers in the NFL.
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The front office made a commitment to adding more players on the defensive side of the ball in free agency after trading away fan favorites Calais Campbell and A.J. Bouye and releasing Marcell Dareus. As was explained to the local media last week, the organization feels it could line up and play football right now and remain competitive with the free agents the Jacksonville Jaguars have signed.
Adding two defensive studs through the Draft last night must also bolster the confidence level of the coaching staff as they plan for the unknown of the 2020 season. Does this mean general manager David Caldwell and head coach Doug Marrone have a little more leash to work with this season? Probably not. And given this looks like a total rebuild of the franchise without it being stated, does Marrone’s defensive coordinator Todd Wash feel a little more comfortable knowing the team has identified that his group needs more attention this offseason?
I’m sure it does not take away from the fact Wash must put the pieces back together with new players so the unit looks similar to what was on the field in 2017. Or, does Wash scrap the entire system and move from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 in theory?
Bringing in K’Lavon Chaisson to play outside linebacker and edge rusher will impact the defense immediately. Assuming Yannick Ngakoue is finally dealt this offseason, the former LSU star and Josh Allen will fly all over the field, freeing up the interior line and linebackers to help stop the run and close down the middle of the field.
Also, let’s not forget that C.J. Henderson was the second-ranked cornerback in the Draft.
Wash has been sitting on a warm seat since the 2018 season when fans began to see cracks in the defensive game plan and players started underperforming. Those players are no longer on the roster. Last season was an abysmal sight to see as opponents ran through the interior line like it was a wet piece of paper. Wash’s heat from the fan base was justified, but it was Marrone’s decision to keep him on staff.
Now, more than ever, he must produce a better system with holes that have been plugged and players who will make an instant impact on the field.
I do not expect the Jaguars to use their picks tonight on defensive players unless one falls to then who can shape the defense in dramatic fashion. But that does not mean there won’t be other players drafted on Day 3 who could have a chance to change this organization’s fortunes. Wash has been given the leys to a new car. It is his decision how he wants to drive wheels off the vehicle.
Hopefully, it’s in the right direction – with the Jaguars defense playing a better brand of football in 2020.