Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone is not going to be relieving defensive coordinator Todd Wash of his duties so long as he remains the head football coach of the team moving forward.
Change for the sake of change is one of the more hotly demanded tropes that occurs in professional sports. Change to make a difference, however, isn’t out of the ordinary, however it doesn’t appear the Jaguars or Marrone are heading in that direction, at least not for now.
On Sunday against the Detroit Lions, the Jaguars defense performed poorly, allowing far too many explosive plays, including an early 54-yard rush by rookie running back D’Andre Swift. Swift would go on to average 8.3 yards-per-rush while rushing for two touchdowns, his best performance of the season, eclipsing his totals in four games of 12 rushes for 42 yards and a touchdown.
The Jaguars defense has struggled in both of the last two seasons, for various reasons, however, Wash has been at the center of all of it as defensive coordinator. This year, the Jaguars currently rank 29th in yards allowed, and have given up 30+ points in the team’s past five contests.
Oftentimes the play caller on either side of the football will take the brunt of the criticism, and as such Wash has been one of the more hotly criticized coaches in Jacksonville, however it does not appear Marrone has any intentions of making a change.
Following the game on Sunday, Marrone was asked specifically if Wash was “safe”, not in danger of losing his job. “Yes,” the head coach said frankly, “as long as I’m here and I’m the head coach, yes, he’s safe.”
Due to how the Jaguars have played on defense, Marrone feels as though there isn’t much more that can be done, simply the players themselves will need to step up and make plays, change at the coordinator level would be fruitless.
“I think we all have to get better; I’m going to acknowledge that,” said Marrone. “I just think I don’t know what else. We’ve tried to do everything. I mean, we’ve done things, we’ve worked on them, we’ve changed things up, we’ve pressured, we’ve played defense. I think we need someone to step up and make plays.”
Over the past several weeks, the Jaguars have brought in different players and have made some changes to its defense such as bringing more players on blitzes, changing the coverage on the back end, however none of that appears to have done much in the way of breeding success to a young defense that has been banged up.
Against the Lions, the Jaguars surrendered many plays and yards due to penalties, mental errors, and general execution errors. Marrone provided examples such as a third-and-short in which rookie defensive end K’Lavon Chaisson jumped offsides, providing the Lions with a fresh set of downs, and a defensive pass interference on another third down by safety Josh Jones. Both of those plays would eventually lead to points for Detroit.
“So, I think when you go through—when you talk about changes and things of that nature, I think if you have good options to go to—but right now, I don’t see any options,” he said.
“I see us at—we’ve just got to keep working to get these guys better and be able to make some plays, and that’s what’s hurting us. It’s not a lack of not trying of changing things, which we have done.”
The Jaguars will continue to roll with Wash has defensive coordinator it would appear until if/when changes are made at the top level with Marrone. Making a change midseason would be a popular move among fans and some spectators, however, it is clear the head coach does not feel as though it would make much of a difference, at least not right now.