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OTAs Day 5: Wash says Allen will play DE, Jaguars will run 4-3


JACKSONVILLE – Todd Wash on Thursday left no doubt about a couple of offseason questions.

The Jaguars' defensive coordinator made his first public comments of the offseason Thursday morning, addressing the team's defensive scheme moving forward and how the team will use its 2019 first-round draft selection. The highlights:

The Jaguars will play a 4-3.

And Josh Allen won't be playing linebacker.

"Josh Allen was drafted to be a defensive end," Wash said Thursday shortly before the Jaguars' fifth 2019 organized team activities practice at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex adjacent to TIAA Bank Field.

Allen, the No. 7 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, played outside linebacker extensively at the University of Kentucky and was projected by many as a hybrid linebacker/edge defender – perhaps ideal for a 3-4 scheme. He was good in coverage at Kentucky, which Wash acknowledged Thursday.

"He did a real nice job of dropping in college," Wash said, adding "I can't honestly say being a [former] D-Line [defensive line coach] that I get too excited about a 15-sack guy dropping into coverage.

"Hopefully, you won't see too damned much of that."

Wash, entering his fourth season as the Jaguars' defensive coordinator, also said the Jaguars will continue with a four-lineman, three-linebacker scheme as their base defense. The Jaguars have ranked No. 6, 2 and 5 in the NFL in yards allowed defensively in Wash's three seasons as coordinator.

"We'll look the same," Wash said. "We're a 4-3. That's what we always have been. As long as I'm here, that's what we'll be."

The Jaguars earlier this offseason hired longtime NFL defensive coordinator/head coach Dom Capers, who long has run 3-4 schemes with a heavy zone-blitz emphasis.

"We have a great working relationship," Wash said. "Obviously, he has been in the league for 102 years longer than I have. It's a great working relationship. I'm glad he chose us with the other opportunities he had. He'll be a great addition to this staff."

Wash added, "Obviously, he's still learning our system – and what we do. We're not changing. That's not what we're doing to do. We're going to run our defense and once it's not good enough for the Jaguars, then somebody else will run the defense. We're going to do what we do.

"When Dom is in there, he goes, 'This is some of the stuff we've done different places that can add to your package.' Sometimes, I say, 'Hey, that's good.' Sometimes I go, 'No, that doesn't fit.' He just gives another set of eyes with experience and we're very, very fortunate to have him."

Also Thursday:

*Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles returned to practice after missing Tuesday's practice for personal reasons. Foles and his wife, Tori, announced via social media Wednesday night that they had suffered a miscarriage.

*Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue missed OTA Day 5 practice Thursday, as did linebacker Telvin Smith, running back Leonard Fournette, wide receiver Marqise Lee, wide receiver Dede Westbrook and cornerback Jalen Ramsey. OTAs and all other offseason work except for a three-day June minicamp are voluntary under the NFL's 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

*Wash said he has spoken to Smith regarding his decision to not play football in 2019. "I did talk to Telvin," Wash said. "Obviously, the decision is T's and I wish him nothing but the best. I love T to death." Smith announced via Instagram earlier this month that he didn't plan to play in '19. He had not communicated the decision directly to the Jaguars at that time.

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