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Back to Football: "This is a very close team"

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash shouts to player during an NFL football practice Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars have given themselves a chance.

Head Coach Doug Marrone on Wednesday told Jaguars sponsors that's something he likes as the team prepares for the 2019 preseason finale and begins looking ahead to the regular season.

"It has been a different year; it has been good year," Marrone said Wednesday during the Jaguars' annual Back to Football Luncheon at TIAA Bank Field. "This is a very close team. When you're close and you have trust and you have confidence, it's easy to have one identity. When you have issues or things going on – or things that distract you as a team – it's very difficult to have an identity.

"So, at least we've given ourselves a chance to have an identity for the players on our team."

Marrone answered several questions during Thursday's luncheon, as did offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, defensive coordinator Todd Wash and special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis.

A few highlights:

*Wash discussed the potential use of a 3-4 defensive scheme, which the Jaguars employed early in a Preseason Week 3 loss to Miami last Thursday. Wash said the idea is to get defensive ends Yannick Ngakoue, Calais Campbell and Josh Allen together with Ngakoue and Allen standing up rather than playing as down linemen. The Jaguars' normal base defense is a 4-3, with Ngakoue and Campbell at either end. "It's obvious we have to get our best players on the field," Wash said. "We have two obviously very good defensive ends in Josh and Yannick. We've got to come up with ways to get them both on the grass at the same time. To do that we have to be able to tweak our system a little bit, but I think that's our job as coaches." …

*DeFilippo discussed third-year left tackle Cam Robinson, who started against Miami after missing the last 14 games last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. "Having Cam back has been huge," he said. "He brings a physicality and enthusiasm to our offense that we like having out there." …

*Wash called fourth-year middle linebacker Myles Jack the team's defensive leader in the huddle. "He's our [quarterback] Nick Foles of the defense," Wash said. "He calls the huddle. He sets all the formations. He's really stepped up. Obviously, athletically he can do anything. He's going to have a big challenge in the opener. We're going to put a lot on his place. So far, he has responded really well." …

*Wash also discussed cornerback Jalen Ramsey, saying the fourth-year veteran has matured throughout his time with the team. He also said Ramsey likely will cover Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill all over the field in Week 1. "He's going to draw Tyreek, and he's got to cover him," Wash said. "We're very blessed. Our linebackers can run. All of our guys can run. We can just say, 'Hey, Jalen, you go take care of him.''' …

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