How many Jacksonville Jaguars fans were shocked by the total regression of the 2019 defense from the previous season? Probably all of them, because most everyone was back from the deep playoff run. Now, the 2020 Jacksonville defense has to disguise their looks to keep their opponents guessing.
The new Jaguars’ defense will feature many new and young faces. Jacksonville purged the roster in March to rebuild but still be competitive. Most of all, the secondary will be better due to strategic offseason moves.
The free-agent signing of Joe Schobert is huge. He should be able to fill the shoes of Paul Posluszny on the field and hopefully in the locker room, as well. Posluszny’s retirement weighed heavily on the Jaguars defense in 2019. The absence of a vocal team leader was very obvious at times.
Josh Allen will continue to mature as a potent pass rusher. His talent ceiling is so high, Jaguars fans may be seeing a future Hall of Famer each week. He and Yannick Ngakoue are possibly the best young edge rushers in the NFL.
C.J. Henderson, D.J. Hayden, and Tre Herndon should solidify the pass coverage schemes at their respective cornerback positions. Ronnie Harrison and Jarrod Wilson are quality safeties in the era of run/pass option quarterbacks. The vaunted secondary of 2017 was very good but give these young defenders time to mature.
Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash recognizes the inexperience of his defense. He was asked about moving from the 4-3 base defense to the 3-4 base. Senior Writer John Oehser of jaguars.com quotes Wash in the following:
“It’s funny: everybody says we’re going to a 3-4,” Wash said. “You will see some different fronts, but we want to continue to give teams a lot of multiple looks. Most importantly, we want to put the players on our roster in a position to be successful in any scheme that they fit.
“You’re going to see a lot of fronts that we’ve run through the years within this system that just match the personality and the skill set of our players.”
Expect Wash to dial up blitzes from any direction. To be successful in 2020, the Jaguars are going to have to be creative. Let’s see how it plays out.
Follow: Larry Brake on Twitter @Jag_Sooner_fan
Photo: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports