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Coordinator Wednesday: "You can't move him"


JACKSONVILLE – The reasons are simple, and easy to see.

The Jaguars' defense through 10 games is No. 1 in the NFL in total yards allowed, passing yards allowed, sacks, takeaways and points allowed – and they're improving rapidly against the run.

Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash said the players that have been here since the beginning of the season are a major reason for that success, as is a player who has made a significant impact since joining the Jaguars during the team's mid-October bye week.

"It's really a credit to our players, how they come in each and every day," Wash said Wednesday as the AFC South-leading Jaguars (7-3) prepared to play the Arizona Cardinals (4-6) at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, Sunday at 4:25 p.m.

"They work hard. They understand the game plan. They focus, run it in practice and execute it in the game. It's really a credit to our players, how well they've been playing."

The Jaguars ranked No. 32 in the NFL in run defense through seven games, but they have allowed 55 yards rushing per game since the bye-week trade with the Buffalo Bills for defensive tackle Marcell Dareus. The Jaguars now rank No. 16 in the NFL against the run.

"He's done an extremely good job against the run, but you really see an increase in play out of our other interior guys," Wash said of three-technique tackle Malik Jackson and nose tackle Abry Jones. "When we added him, there was a heightened sense of awareness that we needed to do something to stop the run. All three of them have really stepped it up."

Of Dareus, Wash added, "You can't move him. He's 332 pounds, I think it was today. He's a big man and he's very explosive. He plays with his hands well. The biggest thing is you can't move him off the line of scrimmage."

All three Jaguars coordinators – Nathaniel Hackett on offense, Wash on defense and Joe DeCamillis on special teams – spoke to the media Wednesday. Notes and observations from Coordinator Wednesday:

*Hackett lauded wide receiver Marqise Lee, who has played through a knee injury much of the last two months. Lee, a second-round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, has 43 receptions for 538 yards and two touchdowns this season. With Allen Robinson (knee) out for the season and Allen Hurns (ankle) out this past week, Lee currently is the only Jaguars receiver currently playing who has a season or more NFL experience. "Marqise has really blown me away this season," Hackett said. "It was showing up early, even when Hurns and A-Rob were in there, but his demeanor, how he has grown as a pro – that room has really matured a lot, and Marqise is a big reason for it. There are a lot of young guys in there, and Marqise has done a really good job holding that group together and keeping them rolling." …

*Wash discussed Cardinals starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who played for the Jaguars from 2011-2013 after being selected by the Jaguars No. 10 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. Gabbert, traded to the San Francisco 49ers in 2014, started his first game for the Cardinals this past Sunday against Houston and threw a career-high three touchdowns. "You see him really making good decisions, and he's getting the ball to the right guys," Wash said. "He's going through his progressions; he's not just locking in on one guy. He's drastically improved since he was here with us." …

*Starting right tackle Jermey Parnell (knee) missed practice Wednesday, as did starting left guard Patrick Omameh, Hurns (ankle) and linebacker Donald Payne (hamstring). Kicker Josh Lambo (right hip) practiced limited, as did Lee (knee), starting running back Leonard Fournette (ankle), starting safety Tashaun Gipson (knee) and reserve linebacker Blair Brown (hamstring). Starting quarterback Blake Bortles (right wrist) practiced full; Bortles has practiced full and started with the injury throughout the season. …

*DeCamillis on Lambo's injury: "It was something we didn't anticipate, obviously. We're very hopeful that everything will be fine. We're just trying to be cautious this week." On what would happen if Lambo were unable to kick at some point Sunday: "We've got a plan for it. We'll execute that plan. Obviously it's ideal if we don't have to do that. We'll be smart about it. We have some contingencies, for sure." …

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