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Inside the decision: "Uncomfortable" process led to Wash being named DC


JACKSONVILLE – This process was in no way normal.

In fact, when Todd Wash late Friday morning discussed the 10 days that led to him being named the Jaguars' new defensive coordinator, one of the first words he used was "interesting."

He used another word a few minutes later.

"Uncomfortable," he called it with a smile.

The goal, of course, wasn't comfort. It was to find the right coordinator, and Head Coach Gus Bradley on Friday sounded confident he had done so.

"As we went through it all, it all came back to him," Bradley said of Wash.

Wash, the Jaguars' defensive line coach in 2013/2014 and the defensive line coach/run-game coordinator this past season, was named defensive coordinator early Friday morning. He replaced Bob Babich, the coordinator the past three seasons.

Babich was dismissed two days after the 2015 regular season, which started a search that led to Wash and four outside candidates being interviewed.

Five candidates being interviewed wasn't unusual.

The fact that Wash was part of the interview process and was actually in the room when the other four were interviewed? That was different, with Bradley on Friday laughingly calling the approach "unconventional" and "out of the box."

"I said, 'Washer, I want you to sit in on these interviews,''' Bradley said. " 'I want you to listen to what everybody's saying. Our objective is to find what's best for this organization. It may not be you. Our best team might be you as a D-line coach, run-game coordinator. The objective is that we get this right.'

"I wanted him in case we did go a different direction to understand why, to say 'I see why you did that Gus. I understand. Let's roll.'''

The Jaguars also reportedly interviewed Atlanta Falcons secondary coach Marquand Manuel, former Miami Dolphins interim defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, former Detroit Lions Head Coach and Current Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and Dallas Cowboys secondary coach Jerome Henderson.

Wash, who said he was told from the start that he was a candidate with no guarantee of getting the coordinator position, called sitting in on the interviews "a learning experience" and a "humbling experience."

"I don't know about awkward," he said. "It was uncomfortable. In the back of your mind, I think it's human nature: you want to be the defensive coordinator. You think you can do a great job at it. When you see other people who are very good coaches, well-established coaches and you respect them, you know they could do a good job, too. It's up to the organization to make the decision."

Wash said his first response when Bradley approached him with the idea was, "Why? Why do I need to that? I'll take my time when it's my time."

Wash added that he agreed in part because Bradley "values my opinion on things, which is nice to have a head coach that values your opinion."

"Like I said, it was interesting," he said. "I did learn a lot. There's something that we picked up scheme-wise which is really going to help us, we feel, as a defense. I enjoyed the process – stressful process, I would say. Not pressure, stress – as Gus would say.

"It's a good process and I'm glad it's done. I'm excited about it."

Wash, a 20-year coaching veteran including nine NFL seasons, previously worked with Bradley with the Seattle Seahawks (2011-12), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2007) and at North Dakota State (2002-03). Wash joined the Jaguars as defensive line coach in 2013 after holding the same job with the Seahawks .

Bradley said he didn't think the approach would have worked if not for their close relationship.

"One thing I know about Wash is he has no ego," Bradley said. "I know this about him, so I knew this would be OK. He told me, 'It was hard, but it was a good learning experience.'''

Wash also said he doubted the process would have worked if he and Bradley didn't know each other so well.

"Our relationship is special," he said. "At certain times in our career, we've been together and it's time for us to depart, also … We love each other dearly, but at the same time, we know we have to do what's best for the organization."

Bradley said he offered the job to no one else aside from Wash.

"We tried to bring in a wide variety of guys," Bradley said. "If you say, 'Was Todd Wash always the front-runner?' I tried not to think that. It was more unbiased: Let's find the best.''

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