JACKSONVILLE – Call it a double dose of young talent.
Or call it really enticing.
Whatever you call it, Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash on Wednesday said playing the team's recent first-round edge defenders – Josh Allen and K'Lavon Chaisson – at the same time during the upcoming 2020 regular season is very, very possible.
"We can get both of them on the field in a lot of situations," Wash said.
That stands to reason, particularly with this past Monday's trade of defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to the Minnesota Vikings. The move left Allen and Chaisson as the most likely players on the Jaguars' defense to consistently disrupt off the edge.
Allen, the No. 7 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, last season set a Jaguars rookie record with 10.5 sacks. Wash on Wednesday said Chaisson – the No. 20 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft – has "really shown up as a pass rusher" during 2020 Training Camp.
"You see a natural pass rusher, which is really nice to see – especially as a rookie," Wash said. "There's a big upside – not only in the run game, but as a pass rusher."
Wash during a Wednesday videoconference with local media on Wednesday praised Chaisson's strength and intelligence and said he will play defensive end as a rookie.
"He's going to be playing a lot for us and we're very, very excited about that," Wash said. "The best thing is what's best for our team – and what's best for him to have the best success – we feel right now that's going to be leaving him at defensive end.
"But he can also play – in our sub package – the big end. He's got a nice skillset that we're going to be able to get him and Josh on the grass together."
Also on Wednesday:
*Wash, close with Ngakoue since attending his pre-draft workout in 2016 and after coaching him the past four seasons, said he was happy for both Ngakoue and the team after the Jaguars traded the fifth-year veteran for a fifth-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft and a conditional 2022 selection. "I think it worked out for both sides," Wash said. "Obviously, I have strong feelings for Yann, having him for three or four years. I wish him nothing but the best and both the organization and Yann. We all have to move on." …
*Wash spoke confidently about the team's safety position, an area many observers believed needed to improvement following the 2019 season. "The back end has really put in on their shoulders, especially the safeties, with the communication to the linebackers," Wash said. "It was a big point of emphasis. When we had breakdowns in the past, a lot of it was communication. They know what the wrath is if they don't do it now; let's put it that way. I think they've done really a nice job." Third-year veteran Ronnie Harrison and fifth-year veteran Jarrod Wilson enter a second consecutive season as the starting safeties, but Wash said he believes the Jaguars "are about four or five deep there" and praised Wilson, Harrison, second-year veterans Andrew Wingard and Brandon Watson and rookie Daniel Thomas. "We have a really, really solid group," he said. "I think we've increased our depth back there compared to where we were at a year ago. If somebody goes down, I think we have quality guys to back that position up." …
*Wash on Myles Jack moving to the weak-side linebacker position after two seasons in the middle: "You really see him in space making a lot of plays. He's healthy. He's in great shape. We really see the athleticism and playmaking ability out of him at that Will position." …
*Wide receiver Dede Westbrook returned to practice on a limited basis after being out with a shoulder issue. Also returning on a limited basis Wednesday: linebacker Dakota Allen (hip), tight end James O'Shaughnessy (knee) and wide receiver Michael Walker (knee). Five players remained out of practice as the team moves toward Saturday's 4 p.m. cutdown to 53 players: Defensive tackle Taven Bryan (knee), running back Ryquell Armstead (illness, not COVID-19 related), center Brandon Linder (shoulder), defensive lineman Josh Mauro (hamstring) and linebacker Quincy Williams (core). …