MOBILE, Ala. – Senior writer John Oehser examines what we learned in the past week around the Jaguars, including their week at the 2016 Reese's Senior Bowl …
1. Todd Wash is the Jaguars' new defensive coordinator.We'll start with Wash's ascension to defensive coordinator last Friday. It's an in-house promotion, and it's a deserved one. Wash probably was ready for the role three years ago; he'll have a chance to show he's ready now.
2. Wash is about the details.If there was a theme to his introductory press conference last Friday, this was it. He emphasized it again this week at the Senior Bowl. Wash doesn't believe there's a significant overhaul needed for the defense, but he without question believes the unit needs to be more precise and more on the details.
3. Wash believes Gus Bradley's scheme can work.This was his money quote upon being announced and he reiterated it at the Senior Bowl: "Our scheme is not broken." Don't look for massive changes in the Jaguars' approach on defense next season – tweaks, yes; an overhaul, no.
Images from the third day of the Reese's Senior Bowl.
4. Wash wants less predictability. Wash on Wednesday said the Jaguars need to be less predictable. That may mean disguising blitzes … or coverages. Whatever, that likely will be one notable change under Wash. "We play so many good quarterbacks that we can't just say, 'Here we are; this is what we're doing,''' Wash said. "We have to work on disguises. … It's those little tiny details that are so important for this package to work."
5. Wash will be aggressive.If there is a word Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley uses to describe Wash, that's it. Bradley said that doesn't necessarily mean more blitzing, but it means the Jaguars will force the issue defensively either by press coverage, blitzes, games and/or stunts up front, etc.
6. Wash won't be all-blitz-all-the-time.Wash believes in this scheme, and this scheme isn't blitz-oriented. That doesn't mean Wash will never blitz, but he's not predisposed to bringing extra pressure. "If we have a four-man rush and we can get there and play coverage, that's the ultimate for every coordinator – well, most coordinators," he said. "For me, it's not just being blitz-happy. It's aggressiveness in the approach to everything. I'm very aggressive in all that stuff. It's a mentality we're going to bring to our defense. That's the biggest thing."
Images from day two of the Reese's Senior Bowl held in Mobile, Ala.
7. The more pass rushers, the better. The Jaguars are relying on Leo end Dante Fowler Jr. and defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks to return from injury. They believe that will help the pass rush, but that in no way means the Jaguars aren't looking elsewhere for pass rushers this offseason. General Manager David Caldwell made that clear Tuesday in Mobile. "We have a need there," he said. "Whether it's two more, three more … whatever it might be. The saying is, 'You can never have enough pass rushers or corners.' It's very true with pass rushers.''
8. Brandon Linder will be ready for training camp.Linder, the Jaguars' starting right guard, missed the last 13 games of the 2015 season with a torn labrum. Caldwell said he definitely will be ready for training camp, though he may or may not be ready for the beginning of the offseason program in mid-April. Safety James Sample, who missed much of the season with a shoulder injury, will be ready for the beginning of the offseason program.
9. This is a good year for defense ... and the Jaguars certainly will emphasize it in the draft.Caldwell said this is a good draft for defense – and he made clear again this week that the Jaguars will be active defensively in the coming months. "We're really focused on the defensive side of the ball," he said. "Getting Dante Fowler Jr. is going to help us and getting Sen'Derrick Marks back is going to help us," Caldwell said. "Then we have some cap space and some good draft picks to fix the rest of the needs."
10. Fowler will move around the defense.This is going to be a big storyline this offseason: Just where will Fowler line up? Wash mentioned last week that the staff will look for ways to line Fowler up around the defense to create positive matchups. It appears likely the staff will start him out at Leo, and then look for areas in which he's comfortable moving around. It's a big responsibility for a rookie, but it's clear the Jaguars believe Fowler can live up to his potential as the No. 3 overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft. Stay tuned.