Despite popular belief, the Jacksonville Jaguars scheme is changing for the 2017 season. Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash met with the media on Thursday and confirmed the notion that while somethings would be the same, a lot of things are changing. Many defenses run similar concepts, but the wonky defense and cute terms the Jaguars used previously have been thrown out the window.
“No. Nope. We have an end and we have a big end,” Wash said after mini-camp ended on Thursday when asked if the defense still had a LEO end. “We don’t have a LEO. We’re doing some of the same things, but they are defensive ends, so why don’t you call them a defensive end?”
Not only has the LEO role and term been tossed aside, but as expected so has the OTTO with the switch of Paul Posluszny to the strong side linebacker position.
“What we ask the SAM to do and what the OTTO was asked to do last year is quite a bite different. Quite a bit different,” Wash said when asked about changing the terminology of the linebacker position. “He is a true stack backer. He will play a little bit on the line of scrimmage and all of the systems that we have been in prior to coming here and changing it to an OTTO; he was a SAM. I feel comfortable calling him a SAM and we’re asking him to do linebacker stuff, which is what a SAM linebacker is.”
I would argue that the OTTO position never really got past the stage of giving a 3-4 SAM linebacker a silly name, it’s clearly a completely different role than it had been in the past for the Jaguars under Gus Bradley. Poz will now be playing a more traditional linebacker role as Wash mentions, which could potentially make the role more useful because there will be more players likely available to fill the role.
While the OTTO and the LEO are finally officially dead, as mentioned some concepts are going to be the same.
“It’s still going to be some single-safety stuff. We have a little bit more versatility with some players,” Wash noted on the role of the safety position on the Jaguars defense for 2017. “You’ll see some change, that’s for sure you’ll see some change. We look forward to seeing if it can make us better.”
Based on who the Jaguars have at safety, this makes sense and it also does not mean the Jaguars will exclusively line up with a single-high safety like they had in the past and it won’t always be Tashaun Gipson sitting deep. The team has the outside corners in Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye now to get away with letting the safeties have a little more freedom to make plays, as well.
The Jaguars defense is still a base 4-3 with a few kinks, but we can finally end the “it’s the same defense” belief that some had.