A DEFENSE “WASHED” CLEAN
It has been observed in recent years that coaching staffs generally aren’t given long periods of time to turn things around, even when they inherit a bad team. By today’s standards, Jacksonville’s Head Coach Gus Bradley has been given an age. Though the offense made major strides in 2015, the pass defense still ranked among the worst in the league. With Bradley entering his fourth year, one has to believe that another losing season would mean the end of his tenure in Jacksonville. Keenly aware of this pressure, Jacksonville made some major moves, both in their coaching personnel and in the Draft. One of those position changes occurred at Defensive Coordinator. Bob Babich was fired from that position and Todd Wash was promoted from Defensive Line Coach/ Run Game Coordinator. Wash has twenty years of coaching experience and is highly thought of by other coaches and players alike. The rushing defense did improve significantly under his tutelage, going from the 27th ranked unit in 2014 to the 15th ranked unit in 2015. While Babich was criticized by fans for not putting emphasis on pressuring opposing quarterbacks, Wash seems to be heavily committed to this idea. In his introductory press conference, Wash stated, “...if you look at it, the teams that were top ten in third down also were-- seven out of the ten-- were top ten in quarterback disruption. So there’s a correlation between disrupting the quarterback and third-down. So that’s something we’ve got to work on here in the offseason. That’s really our number one project...” Wash went on to explain that improving the entire defense would be the major emphasis of the Jaguars’ offseason plan.