Will all the offseason homework pay off for both Jay Gruden and Todd Wash with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2020?
Both Jay Gruden and Todd Wash have a tough road ahead of them as offensive and defensive coordinators for the Jacksonville Jaguars. With the offseason being a virtual classroom up until now, both men are charged with making the roster more competitive – hopefully with the chance to be better than many think it will this coming season.
The Jaguars have nowhere to move but forward or upward. The offense averaged 18.8 points a game in 2019 but was less adept in 2018 at only 15.3 points, which was next to last in the NFL. For Gruden, it’s a chance to prove his offense can work in its third location after stops in Cincinnati and Washington.
For Wash, it’s a bit different as he has been here through two coaching staffs and a lot of criticism for the work he has done, especially the past two seasons. In 2017, he was hailed a marvel for constructing a defense that was second in the NFL and looked like it could become as good if not better than units in Baltimore and Seattle.
With the front office on high alert it must do better and the coaching staff knowing this might be a “one-and-done” situation, it is both Gruden and Wash, along with head coach Doug Marrone are firmly on a very warm seat this moment.
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"″We are getting things done that we need to get done, and it’s been fun so far,″ Gruden said via the Florida Times-Union. He’s [quarterback coach Ben McAdoo] a great add for us, he brings that experience of not only being a head coach but also an offensive coordinator calling plays. It’s going to be great.″"
McAdoo worked with Eli Manning in New York. He brings experience to the staff and appears to be the right complement to what Gruden is putting to work. The virtual school players have worked through so far seems to be the right mix of balance that quarterback Gardner Minshew and his teammates are working through.
The addition of more speed on the outside at the skill positions and more depth at tight end will help both Gruden and Gardner this coming season.
For Wash, the defense looks plenty different as popular veterans have been jettisoned. The draft brought in speed and side in the secondary and a potentially dominant pass rusher. The middle of the defensive interior has bigger bodies who are expected to stop the run this season.
Wash has been head-strong in his commitment to the 4-3 defense as his base, but he will use different sub-packages it appears based on the players who were brought in this offseason to join the rotation.
The one thing the Jacksonville Jaguars defense has in its favor is the players are young and are buying to the new culture of this organization. If the youth is served and Wash can get them to play schematically in the same kind way as 2017, then this could be one of his best coaching performances.
The Jacksonville Jaguars may have been picked to finish at or near the bottom of the NFL standings this season, but it’s something that the front office and coaches aren’t worrying about. All they are concentrating on is how to make this roster better and how will the offensive and defensive game plans look better than they did in 2019.