JACKSONVILLE – Todd Wash is aware of the support. And he appreciates it.
But while Head Coach Doug Marrone recently said Wash will remain the Jaguars' defensive coordinator as long as Marrone remains the Jaguars' head coach, Wash said he's not as concerned about what is said publicly as what must happen on the field.
"Obviously, it's great, but Doug has to do what's best for the organization one way or the other," Wash Thursday said as the Jaguars (1-4) prepared to play the Los Angeles Chargers (1-5) at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., Sunday at 4:25 p.m.
"It's not about a friendship or anything like that. It's about us trusting each other and we're going to continue to work together as long as we can and try to win as many football games as we can."
Marrone had addressed Wash's job security when responding to a question following a 34-16 loss to the Detroit Lions this past Sunday, the fifth consecutive game – all losses – in which the Jaguars have allowed 30 or more points.
The Jaguars' defense is not only young, but it has undergone significant change since last season. They started eight players – rookie cornerback CJ Henderson, cornerback Sidney Jones, safety Josh Jones, middle linebacker Joe Schobert, strong-side linebacker Kamalei Correa, defensive end Adam Gotsis, rookie defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton and rookie defensive end K'Lavon Chaisson – Sunday who weren't on the roster at the end of last season.
"The talent is there," Wash said. "We just have to be able to continue to put them in the right spots, and when they're in the right spots we have to make plays. We have some talented guys on this defense. We just have to continue to get better. We're just young at this point in time."
If the defenses playing at SoFi Stadium Sunday look similar, there's a reason: the Chargers' defense is coordinated by former Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley, with Wash – who came to Jacksonville with Bradley in 2013 and who has coordinated the Jaguars' defense since 2016 – still using many of the same fundamentals and philosophies. Bradley and Wash brought the defense to Jacksonville from Seattle, where it helped the Seahawks be one of the NFL's dominant defenses from 2011-2016. "I would say we continue to play the three-deep concepts and how we handle race routes and stuff like that is very similar," Wash said, adding that the four teams other than Seattle most-closely associated with the scheme – the Jaguars, Chargers, San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons – all "have kind of put their own twist on it. Especially on third down, everybody's got a little different philosophy. But on first and second down, there's a lot of it that have the same similarities we had in Seattle."
Wash on Thursday discussed the potential addition of defensive end/linebacker Aaron Lynch, who was reinstated from the Jaguars' reserve/retired list to the exempt/commissioner permission list on Wednesday. Lynch had announced his retirement from the Jaguars and the NFL in August after signing with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent from the Chicago Bears this past offseason. Lynch must go through five days of COVID-19 testing and could be eligible to return to the team's facility Monday. "He's able to be in meetings [virtually]," Wash said. "What we see is a real long athlete. He has the ability to rush the passer. Obviously, we were excited about him when we signed him in the offseason. He's had a little time off, so it's going to take him some time to get back into shape. Once he gets back in here and gets working out, I think we're going to see the player we signed in free agency who has the ability to play on the line of scrimmage and affect the quarterback." Lynch, a fifth-round selection by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2014 NFL Draft, signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent from the Chicago Bears this past offseason. He has registered 20 sacks in six NFL seasons.