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Training Camp 2019: Wash pleased with defense's progress

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash watches players on the field during an NFL football practice, Thursday, May 30, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash watches players on the field during an NFL football practice, Thursday, May 30, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

JACKSONVILLE – Todd Wash likes what he has seen thus far.

"Overall, I'm very, very pleased with our progress," the Jaguars' fourth-year defensive coordinator said Friday.

Wash, speaking following Day 8 practice of Jaguars 2019 Training Camp inside TIAA Bank Field Friday morning, said the Jaguars' defense early in camp has worked multiple players in the starting lineup in an effort to play a large number of players against the first-team offense.

That's in keeping with Head Coach Doug Marrone's philosophy of wanting reserves and starters alike to work with the first team to better evaluate the entire roster.

"Some are standing up and some have to continue to get better," Wash said of the younger players on defense.

Wash's media availability Friday was the first of '19 camp. Here are some highlights:

*Wash, while offering little detail on the subject, said he liked the offseason adjustments to add new looks in the pass rush and back seven. "We're trying to adjust our system to every player we have," Wash said. "We're adjusting trying to get them in a little better position to make some more plays than they already have. Some of the front adjustments and the things we're doing in the back end … I really like the addition to our package." …

*Wash said some of the new looks are for defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, who has been holding out of camp because he and the team have yet to agree to new contract. "Some of our adjustments are for Yann and Yann's not here," he said. Wash added that Ngakoue's absence isn't a concern. "Yann can lead the defensive line meeting room," Wash said. "I'm not worried about it. I talk to him about every other day. He's in good spirits. Hopefully, we can get him in here when we can." …

*Wash discussed the process of coaching two-time Pro Bowl selection Jalen Ramsey, a fourth-year veteran and perhaps the NFL's most-talented cornerback. "He's a competitor, so he wants to strive and get better every day," Wash said, adding of the growing relationship between Ramsey and first-year Jaguars cornerbacks coach Tim Walton: "Tim has developed a great relationship with him, and he can talk to him like a man. That's really helped with the development of Jalen. We have to push him not to be just one of the best corners in the league, but to be the elite corner in the league. That's where he wants to be and that's where we come in as coaches. We have to push him and try to take him farther than he thinks he can go – and you know how far he thinks he can go. We have to continue to push him and he's open to being coached. That's the most important thing. If you want to be coached, we'll get you better. And Jalen does want to be coached."

*Wash discussed eight-year veteran Najee Goode working with the starters on Friday in place of rookie weak-side linebacker Quincy Williams, who is expected to miss most of training camp with a slight meniscus tear in his right knee. "We've kind of had this plan with Najee the whole time," Wash said. "He's been in the league eight years. We feel comfortable with him going over and playing Will [weak-side backer]. We thought he was probably going to be our flip linebacker anyway." …

*Williams said he was pleased with Williams' progress in the first week of camp and in the offseason. A third-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, Williams had worked with the starters throughout the offseason and training camp. "I felt he was ahead of schedule," Wash said. "We'll feel comfortable with whoever steps in and plays." …

*Wash was asked about the process of ensuring 12-year defensive end and four-time Pro Bowl selection Calais Campbell remains healthy and fresh throughout the season. "The longer you get in the league, we understand the most important thing is we've got to get you to Sunday," Wash said. "I think every coach in the league does that. We're going to manage some of the guys who are a little bit older and make sure he's fresh when he gets to game day. We all know if he's fresh he can be a difference-maker for us. … The communication is big between him, myself, [Head Coach] Doug [Marrone] and [defensive line coach] Jason [Rebrovich] to make sure he's in on the plays he needs to be in on and he doesn't need to be in on the stuff he's done a million times."

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