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Week in focus: Accountability and detail


JACKSONVILLE -- Senior writer John Oehser takes a quick, close look at the week that was around the Jaguars …

In the details …

Roy Miller hardly could feel more strongly about Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash.

When the veteran nose tackle appeared on LIVE Wednesday, he made clear he believes Wash – promoted to coordinator in January from his position as defensive line coach/run-game coordinator – will make a difference immediately.

Miller, a starter the past three seasons and a defensive leader, played for Wash for two seasons in Tampa Bay and the past three seasons in Jacksonville. He said Wash's attention to detail and emphasis on accountability will yield results.

"At the end of the day, we really messed up simple things that shouldn't have happened," Miller said of a defense that ranked 24th in the NFL in total yards but 31st in third-down defense in 2015.

"When you have that scenario and you can fix things that are simple like that, you have every right to feel you can be so much better. That's why I'm pretty excited about Wash, because he's not going to let people fall underneath his standard, especially Football 101."

Miller also lauded Wash's overall knowledge of Head Coach Gus Bradley's scheme. Wash spent the past three seasons as the Jaguars' defensive line coach, and spent 2011-2012 as the Seahawks' defensive line coach while Bradley was coordinating the defense there using the same scheme.

"He knows every single position on the field," Miller said. "There are times guys come to him and ask about coverage. He knows it all. He's able to tell us, 'Hey, on this play, you're probably going to get double-teamed because the safety is going to show on the left side …'

"He knows this defense, and that's important. He knows the personnel we have very well and I think he knows how to use every single player within the defense. Most importantly, I think he's going to keep us held to a very high standard."


Well-prepared …

When Wash was promoted to defensive coordinator in January, Bradley cited Wash's success this past season as run-game coordinator as a reason. The Jaguars were solid against the run much of the season, finishing fifth in the NFL in yards per attempt allowed.

Wash had served as run-game coordinator/defensive line coach in 2015 after serving only as line coach in 2013-2014.

"We got a glimpse of what he's able to bring," middle linebacker Paul Posluszny said of Wash this week. "Guys are excited about knowing that he's going to be in charge of us and have us squared away. … He understands the system very well and will be able to implement his ideas and his take on it. I think the guys will really, really respond to him."


Around the Jaguars …

*Miller said while he hesitates to say the Jaguars are "close" because he thought the same thing last season, he said on Wednesday, "I really feel like we have the pieces in place. I know we have players on our defense who are dominant players and we have little mistakes that are very elementary that we made. If you take those mistakes away and you put the players in place and they're held to a high standard, that's a recipe for success defensively. I think we're not far from that." …

*Miller, too, said he's looking forward to being healthy this offseason. He spent the 2014 offseason recovering from shoulder surgery and missed most of the 2015 offseason after late-season knee surgery. Miller recovered to have his best season with the Jaguars last season and believes he'll benefit from a full offseason. "You need to be out there with your teammates," Miller said. "They need to understand how you play – your strengths and your weaknesses. They need to be able to play off of you. When you don't go out there with them, they don't know what they're getting into until preseason and training camp. That's too much time to lose. I think it's valuable I can go out there with them and we can play off each other and take our game to a new level." …

*While Posluszny missed a Week 14 victory over the Colts with a hand injury and wore a protective brace the rest of the season, he said this week he is completely healed. "When it comes to training, it's completely normal; I don't have any limitations," Posluszny said. Posluszny rehabilitated a torn pectoral muscle for part of last offseason. "I can get in, train and have a great offseason and prepare for 2016," Posluszny said. "It feels good to know that's the case, that I'm not saying, 'I have to get my pec back to normal, then go from there.'''

*A repeated/belated congratulations to cornerback Rashean Mathis for thirteen seasons as a starter in the NFL – 10 with the Jaguars and three with the Lions. He retired this week with 32 interceptions, and his 30 with the Jaguars are a franchise record. A candidate for the Pride of the Jaguars? Certainly. The best defensive back in franchise history? Absolutely.

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