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Thursday update: Wash calls Chiefs "a heck of a challenge"

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) releases the ball before Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) makes contact, during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) releases the ball before Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) makes contact, during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

JACKSONVILLE – Todd Wash put his understatement simply and succinctly.

"It's going to be a heck of a challenge," Wash said Thursday.

Wash, in his fourth season coordinating the Jaguars' defense, was speaking about facing the Kansas City Chiefs in the regular-season opener at TIAA Bank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.

His comments were among the notable issues discussed by Wash, offensive coordinator John DeFilippo and Head Coach Doug Marrone Thursday – the Jaguars' first full practice day this week after having Wednesday off because of precautions regarding Hurricane Dorian. We'll cover more of the trio's comments late in this story.

As far as the Chiefs' offense, Wash hardly could be more on point.

The Chiefs are a preseason pick by many to win the Super Bowl, primarily because of an offense with one of the NFL's best young quarterbacks (Patrick Mahomes) and perhaps its fastest set of skill position players.

"They're fast at every position," Wash said of a unit that not only includes All-Pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill but All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce. "If one guy takes a play off [defensively], it's probably going to be an explosive play.

"We've got to do everything we can to keep the ball in front of us, and hopefully make them earn everything they get."

That's a lot of "bests" on the field for the Chiefs' offense – and to hear Wash tell it, the Chiefs' most overlooked "best" may be the play-calling and scheming of Head Coach Andy Reid.

"Coach Reid could be hands down the best guy who's going to really scheme you," Wash said. "He's been around a long time, obviously. They play some [defensive] systems that are similar to ours [in the AFC West]. You see him really challenging the scheme."

"We're going to play him for a second year in a row," Wash added, referring to a 30-14 Chiefs victory over the Jaguars last season. "He's going to obviously be looking at last year's tape, what we did and how they can attack what we did.

"His track record of scheming early in the game … he's done an exceptional job. We have to be under control, trust what we're seeing and trust our base fundamentals."

Marrone called the Chiefs on par with the elite offenses of recent decades such as the New Orleans Saints of the mid-to-late 2000s and the St. Louis Rams of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Wash also compared the Chiefs' offense to those of the mid-to-late 2000s Saints.

"It will be a great challenge for us," Marrone said. "They have a lot of talent on that side of the ball. I'd put them up there against all of those teams."

Also around the Jaguars Thursday:

*Left tackle Cam Robinson was limited in practice Thursday, the most significant change on the Jaguars' injury report from Wednesday. Robinson, who played just six preseason snaps after missing 14 games last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, had been listed as full on the team's estimated Wednesday report. The rest of the Thursday report: wide receiver Marqise Lee (knee, full), quarterback Nick Foles (oblique, full), linebacker Quincy Williams (knee, full), linebacker Lerentee McCray (ankle, full), linebacker D.J. Alexander (hamstring, full), defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (elbow, limited), left tackle Cedric Ogbuehi (hamstring, did not practice) and tight end Josh Oliver (hamstring, did not practice).

*Marrone also said Lee and Williams are 100 percent and ready to play Sunday. Lee, a sixth-year veteran, did not play in the preseason after missing last season with multiple torn knee ligaments. Williams, a third-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, did not play in the preseason after undergoing surgery on a slight meniscus tear early in training camp. Marrone also said Oliver is day-to-day after missing the preseason with a hamstring injury. …

*Marrone was expectedly vague discussing options at swing tackle. With Ogbuehi not practicing Thursday, Marrone said second-year veteran Will Richardson Jr. playing tackle is possible should either starter – right tackle Jawaan Taylor or Robinson – be unavailable. Marrone also said lineman Brandon Thomas could play outside if necessary. The Jaguars have yet to announce if Richardson or A.J. Cann will start at right guard Sunday, with both players starting there in the preseason. …

*DeFilippo discussed the Jaguars' starting offensive line, which played just one quarter together during the preseason – the first quarter in a Week 3 loss at Miami. The line before that dealt with injuries, with Robinson, Taylor and starting left guard Andrew Norwell all missing time in training camp due to injuries. "Obviously, you wish all those guys were together from the beginning of training camp no doubt," DeFilippo said. "Those were the hands we were dealt and I'm confident in all five of those guys. And obviously the quicker we can jell, and get things going offensively, I think that'll be a help for not only our offense but our team and I'm confident in all five of those guys that are going to be playing up front Sunday." …

*Marrone said all players and staff returned on schedule after being away from the facility preparing for – and being cautious regarding – Dorian. "All the players are back and everyone was safe; I think that's the most important thing," Marrone said. "Everyone seemed to be fortunate. I saw someone yesterday when I was out who said our prayers must have been answered. I was just thinking, 'You're right; we were very fortunate.''' Marrone said players were sent game plan information while away, with the idea that safety was paramount during the week. The Jaguars had game-planned and prepared extensively for the Chiefs during the final week of the preseason. "We've known for a long time that we were going to play them in the opener, so we put a lot of extra time in just because they are so talented," Wash said. "All last week, that's all we did. Guys who were going to be playing in the Atlanta game worked on the Atlanta game. Guys who were going to be playing in the Kansas City game worked on Kansas City. We've had some good prep. … The day off from the hurricane is not going to be an excuse for how we play or don't play."

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