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Jaguars Defensive Coordinator Todd Wash: Thursday, November 19, 2020

(On thoughts on CB D.J. Hayden's injury) "He's been working on the side. So, I think today is really the first day that we're going to be able to have him out on the grass and going through some defensive stuff. Obviously, he's a vet, he knows our package inside and out. So, it's probably not going to be where he's going to play every snap in the game, but we're hoping to get him up—see how he responds today, first of all, at practice—and then we'll just make the decision as we get through the rest of the week."

(On how the secondary group has performed thus far) "You know, I think you've got to give a lot of credit to Tim [Walton] and Joe [Danna], our two secondary coaches. I think those guys are getting better and better each week as we go out. And that's really kind of what we anticipated. Obviously, we've got a very young football team, but they are getting better and better each week and they take a lot of pride in what they do. So, I think the biggest thing is just seeing them execute because they have play-making ability."

(On progress and improvements from defense) "You know, I think we did a better job with explosive plays—we did give up a couple of them, the big touchdown was one. But I think we're starting to keep the ball in front of us, we're tackling pretty well, and I think even with the—we're getting them in third-and-longer situations, which is helping us out. We can bring some pressure, we can do simulated pressure when we get in those down-and-distances and still play zone coverage behind it. So, I think we're doing a better job on first and second down and getting them in third-and-longer situations that really allow us to be a little bit more successful."

(On progress from DT DaVon Hamilton and CB Sidney Jones IV) "DaVon is a big, physical guy. Probably what I like the most about him is he's a gym rat, he's very intelligent. You know, we put some stuff on his plate last week, he was able to execute it and played really well for us. So, I think the sky is the limit for him. And once again, he's getting better and better as the season goes on. You know, Sidney gave up the one deep, deep play last week. But he's getting his hands on balls, I think he's being disruptive. He's really doing a nice job in man coverage and getting disruption at the line of scrimmage. Obviously, some plays you don't even see that he gets great disruption at the line of scrimmage and the quarterback goes away from him. So, he's playing [consistently], which is really good to see and hopefully he's going to be a Jaguar for a while." 

(On combatting Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger) "Yeah. You know, what he's doing better than he's ever done, is he's getting the ball out fast. He's one of the fastest ones in the league with his release time. You see a lot of the balls that he's throwing, they're actually called runs, but they're not necessarily RPOs [run-pass options], they're pick screens and stuff like that—or excuse me, rub screens. And so, he's doing a great job at that, but he's still a very big, big guy. He's bigger than probably a couple of our defensive linemen. But he's just so consistent and he's got a really good feel for the offense. He's been in the same offense for a long time, so it's hard to rattle him if you hit him or if you don't hit him, because he knows what he's doing with the ball so fast. He's just an exceptional quarterback and he's playing as [well] as he did when we've played him the last couple of times in 2017 and 2018."

(On reasons behind the defensive improvement over the last two weeks) "I think they're getting better, there's really no doubt. We knew we were going to be young, really no offseason, and that kind of stuff. So, I think a lot of it is they're just playing more and we're playing a lot of young guys. So, it's really good to see them mature and grow as the season goes on. I think we've done some different things defensively, too, with some simulated pressures that we added in the bye week and that has definitely helped us on third down. We're playing different packages, we probably played more of what we call 'bandit and dime' than we have in the previous three or four years combined since I've been here as coordinator. So, we're doing some different things, getting different guys on the field and they're in position to make some plays and they're making them."

(On success of defense taking their opponent off the field on third down and three yards or less) "Yeah and going through the self-scout, we're better on third-and-1 than we are in third-and- 2 to 6; which is crazy, that usually doesn't happen. But we got a big stop late in the 4-minute. I think we're doing a better job of playing man coverage; it really helps us on those down-and-distance. If you sit in zone on 2, 3 and 4, they're just going to pick you apart. So, I think we're playing better man coverage and once again, when we do get them to longer yardage, we're getting them off the grass right now."

(On pros and cons with the cornerbacks) "Yeah, I think a lot of that is just playing that position. You know, you're going to give some up. If I'm not mistaken, I think people in Green Bay get paid, too; I'm pretty sure. So, they're going to against good people, they're going to get beat at times and they're going to make plays. So, we don't talk in a room—you can't win just 50 percent of the time, you've got to win more than 50 percent of the time and I think they're doing a really good job of that. When it's 50-50 balls, we need 70-30 of those 50-50 balls; and those guys are doing that right now. And when they do get beat, they've got to shake it off and come back the next play, because they are making plays."

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