Lions DL coach Todd Wash explains the emergence of DT Isaiah Buggs

Wash said Buggs “is in a really good place right now mentally, and obviously physically. He’s playing well,”

One of the key stats in the Lions Week 2 win over the Commanders was how effectively the Detroit defensive front bottled up the Washington ground game. Commanders RBs managed just 37 yards on 17 carries and had 10 runs that gained less than two yards.

Lions defensive line coach Todd Wash was very pleased with the play of his interior line in the game. On Wednesday, Wash took time to single out tackle Isaiah Buggs for his standout play in the big win.

“When Buggs is on point he’s as good as there is in the league,” Wash told reporters. “We’re very fortunate that that’s where he’s at right now, and we continue to see him there. So, we’re really really excited with how he’s playing. He does a lot of good things inside.”

Buggs was a disappointment in Pittsburgh, a 2019 late-round draft pick that didn’t pan out for the Steelers. But he’s thrived since arriving in Detroit just before training camp, progressively earning more playing time and now staying on the field more than veteran Michael Brockers.

Wash explained why he believes Buggs is working out so well in Detroit.

“When you come to the Detroit Lions with the leadership of (GM) Brad (Holmes) and (head coach) Dan (Campbell), you know, if you’re a grown man and you act like a grown man, you’re going to be able to be a man,” Wash said. “That’s the way we treat it. And Buggs is in a really good place right now mentally, and obviously physically. He’s playing well,” Wash said.

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Lions defense bringing attack first mentality to defensive scheme

The Detroit Lions are bringing a new look to the defense this year flipping from a read-react defense to one opponents should fear

Walking into the second year of the Brad Holmes/Dan Campbell regime, you can feel major steps are being made after many lessons were learned following their first year. One of the major changes implemented in the evolving nature of the Lions defense is switching from a read-react defense to one that punches the opponent in the mouth, which surely fits what Campbell and Aaron Glenn are looking to accomplish on defense.

The Lions have done a great job in bringing players who can generate the thump and thunder to make this change successful. With the majority of the players back from last year to supplement with the infusion of draft talent that fits the mindset, the pieces are in place to make the leap.

For the attack first mentality to work, the defense needs to work in complete unison to force the opposition into what the Lions want them to do versus the other way around. Everywhere from the defensive line to the linebackers to the secondary needs to be one unified front. The Lions retained most of their coaches from last year, which led to productive seasons from unexpected players, specifically defensive line coach Todd Wash and linebacker coach Kelvin Sheppard, who was promoted from outside linebacker coach last year.

In a recent interview with Lions Tim Twentyman on his podcast, Sheppard mentioned how Wash influenced him through his first season as an NFL coach.

“Without Todd Wash, I would not have had half the success that I did,”

These coaches will be at the forefront of the new Lions attack first defense. Considering their relationship’s strength, they can scheme the best situations for their players to maximize their potential, especially under defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn’s tutelage.

Earlier, Wash brought up that with the additions of Hutchinson and Paschal, the Lions will be able to attack due to the skillset each of the players can bring, lining up with what Sheppard had to say about the attack first mentality is a blessing for the linebacker corps.

“As a linebacker, it’s everything you ever wanted. To a react defense, you have to marry everything that’s happening up front. So they can’t be playing react and we’re just shooting—no. When they play react, it’s a lot of principles that those 3-4 systems have, where you see bigger inside linebackers, because they’re two-gappish type of players. Attack-react is normally involved with 4-3 systems more attacking. To be honest, that comes top-down from Aaron Glenn. He is a dictator, in my opinion.”

As a defensive player, you want to be the one to force the offense into something they are not comfortable in, and if the Lions can shut down some of the opponent’s offensive aspects, they can gain the upper hand. Sheppard is excited to implement this new style and is ready to stack the deck in the Lions favor.

“Defense, I know we’re a reactionary component in football, but we’re flipping the table. We’re trying to dictate to people—and we’re going to do what we do. We’re going to do what we do, and then we’ll react on the move. But we’re lining up, and we’re going after you. We’re going to do what we do, and then depending on what you give us, we’ll react accordingly.”

Right off the bat, you can feel a changing of the guards surrounding the Lions heading into the 2022 season. With coaches like Sheppard, it is very easy to jump on the bandwagon with the amount of optimism and excitement radiating from Allen Park. If the Lions can implement what they are looking to accomplish, opponents will fear the new Lions attack first defense.

Lions DL coach Todd Wash ready to attack with Hutchinson and Paschal

Detroit Lions DL Todd Wash is ready to put offensive lines on their heels with Aidan Hutchinson and Josh Paschal in the house

As the draft proceeded, it became clear that GM Brad Holmes and the Lions front office wanted to infuse new talent into a defense that fell way below expectations last year. So even though it may be just how the board fell, the Detroit Lions were able to draft players from the front to the back with LB Malcolm Rodriguez, S Kerby Joseph, EDGE James Houston, and CB Chase Lucas. But the main focus will be on the two edge rushers, Aidan Hutchinson and Josh Paschal, to make the most change to the defense.

Last year the Lions double dipped in the defensive tackles class; they pulled the same maneuver this year, but on edge rushers. Hutchinson and Paschal have similar skill sets but may be used differently, especially with a change of defensive philosophy, going from 3-4 to more of 4-2-5 with a 4-3 base coming into the 2022 season, especially after ranking near the bottom in the majority of defensive categories.

The Lions brass seemed quite pleased with how well their draft went along, with many media and draftniks giving out positive grades and critiques. Along with happy fans and leadership, defensive line coach Todd Wash is very happy with the new arsenal of players at his disposal in an interview with Lions Mike O’Hara.

“We’re going to have some really good depth. We got exactly what we wanted out of this draft.”

The Lions arguably took the best player in this draft in Hutchinson, who will look to revamp the Lions defensive front along with Charles Harris, Michael Brockers, and the Okwara Brothers. Hutchinson could play from any side, making him a versatile weapon and taking advantage of the mismatches.

“We had Hutchinson extremely high in the draft process,” Wash said. “We feel he was the most ready to play. We’re going to put him at the rush position in our base. Then he can play either defensive end in the subpackage. We changed a lot of our philosophy upfront. It’s going to get us more attacking. He’s got the ability to play either end spot.”

In a recent interview with 97.1 The Ticket, Brad Holmes told Dan Campbell that he would be “mad” if they didn’t end up with Josh Paschal. Looking into the context of that statement, it seems the Lions were enamored by Paschal and what he can bring to the table, which is plenty of versatility due to power and quickness skillets.

“We’re going to play him at 5 (outside the tackle) in base,” Wash said. “We see him possibly going to tackle at some point. Paschal is a guy who can play inside and outside. He could be that disruptive three-technique if he’s big enough to handle it in there. He has great flexibility.”

With the injection of young talent and the established veteran group, you can help be pleased with the vast improvement from last year for the defensive front. As long as the coaching staff can bring out the full potential, which doesn’t seem out of the question, this could be a dangerous group for opposing offenses, and Wash has already put teams on notice.
“We were a read front last year. Now we’re attacking. We’re getting off the ball and playing at the heels of the offensive line.

Detroit Lions are seeing early dividends from improved pass rush

The Detroit Lions are seeing a vast improvement in pass-rushing production to start the season. Can they continue against the Bears?

The Detroit Lions may still be winless heading into Week 4 against the Chicago Bears, but it is easy to see some improvements from last year. One big improvement is the pass rush. It was easy to notice in the matchup against the Ravens, where the Lions defense could keep Baltimore off balance throughout the game and picked up four sacks in the process.

While Matt Patricia was riding the ship, he valued the art of containment with big men swallowing gaps over athleticism needed to create pressure, and it bit them royally. If the Lions could not generate any noise of pressure from the four men on the line, the quarterback could binge watch his favorite show while sipping on some coffee and still have time to find an open receiver. It was extremely frustrating to watch weekly and one of the areas that led to his demise.

Last year, the Lions had 24 total sacks, ranking near the bottom of the league. Even worse was the 112.4 passer rating the defense allowed which was good for dead last in the league. So, in a nutshell, the opposing offense could dictate what they wanted to do, and the Lions had no idea to slow it down.

With the Brad Holmes/Dan Campbell regime in place, the Lions placed a premium on athleticism. You can point to any number of the moves made in the draft and free agency that proves that notion. From the re-signing of 2020 sack leader Romeo Okwara, drafting of Levi Onwuzurike and Alim McNeill, and the low-cost acquisition of Charles Harris, all helped. You can point at any of these moves and see what they are trying to build on defense, and through three weeks of the young 2021 season, it has been paying dividends.

So far, the Lions have recorded eight sacks, with Harris leading the charge with two. Harris might’ve had his best game last week, but you can see what he can bring to the table. Do you know how long it took the Lions to get to eight sacks in 2020? Week 7 against the Atlanta Falcons.

Also, PFF is noticing the improved Lions pass rush as well. Currently, they sit seventh overall in pass rushing in the league, and if you dig deeper into the players, you can see why.

Now Julian Okwara has only been brought on a situational front, with only 14 snaps so far. Still, the Lions currently have three players, the Okwara brothers and Harris, in the top 20 in pass rush PFF grading amongst edge rushers, most in the league. With the players up front playing at a high level, the Lions are also seeing pass-rushing production from linebackers Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Alex Anzalone. Also, with Jamie Collins not getting in the way anymore, they should see a boost in production.

Also, with PFF’s pass rushing productivity, the Lions have four players in the top 25, with Austin Bryant included. Julian Okwara and Bryant are seeing limited snaps, but it’s showing they make most of the small snaps they have received. Both of them of dealt with injuries and the coaching staff has shown they would rather get the player healthy instead of rushing them on the field. As long as both of them can stay healthy, they can give a nice dose of youth and athleticism on defense.

The season is young and anything can happen, but you have to be pleased with the improvements made to the pass rush. Between defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, linebacker coaches Mark DeLeone and Kelvin Sheppard, and defensive line coach Todd Wash has made tremendous strides in pulling the potential out of these players.

The Bears suffered a punch to the gut when their swiss cheese offensive line and lack of gameplan from their coaches, saw their rookie quarterback Justin Fields abused by the Cleveland Browns with nine sacks. Now the Lions don’t have the players on the defensive line like the Browns, but after seeing what they could do against the Ravens, you have to think they can pull out a few stops against the Bears.

Glenn has shown he can dial up a strong defensive game, especially when other NFL coaches calling you on how he did it against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. You better believe he has a plan lined up against whoever the Bears put behind center in hopes of notching that elusive first win of the season against one of their division rivals.

Detroit Lions hire Todd Wash as DL coach, plus 3 more assistant coaches

The Detroit Lions announced that they have hired Todd Wash as their defensive line coach, as well as three other assistant coaches.

The Detroit Lions announced that they have hired former Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash as their defensive line coach, Seth Ryan as an assistant wide receiver coach, as well as Kelvin Shepard and Brian Duker as defensive assistants.

“Wash joins the Lions as the team’s defensive line coach in 2021, his 26th season as a coach and his 15th in the NFL,” the Lions said in a press release. “Wash spent the last eight seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, originally joining the staff as a defensive line coach/run game coordinator in 2013 and serving as the defensive coordinator from 2016-20.”

Wash’s is now the second former defensive coordinator to join the Lions’ staff to coach under first-time coordinator Aaron Glenn — 47-year veteran Dom Capers was hired last weekend as a senior defensive assistant.

What’s most intriguing about the hiring of Wash is that all of his NFL experience is in coaching four-man defensive lines. That suggests the Lions will indeed be shifting their scheme to more of a one-gapping defensive front.

“Ryan joins the Lions as the team’s assistant wide receivers coach in 2021 after spending the past four seasons (2017-20) with the Los Angeles Chargers, serving as a coaching intern from 2017-18 and an offensive quality control coach from 2019-20,” the Lions said.

Ryan was hired into the Chargers organization by new Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn. When Lynn was in Buffalo, he was an assistant head coach/running backs coach/offensive coordinator under Rex Ryan — Seth Ryan’s dad.

But the younger Ryan isn’t coasting on his father’s name. “In his stint in L.A., Ryan worked primarily with the team’s wide receivers and helped guide WRs Mike Williams and Keenan Allen (three) to 1,000-yard seasons in that span,” the Lions continued. “Allen made the Pro Bowl in all four years working with Ryan and produced a franchise-record 104 receptions in 2019. Ryan was a wide receiver at Clemson from 2013-16 and helped the Tigers win the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship.”

At this time, the Lions have yet to hire a wide receiver’s coach, but several names have been rumored to be connected to the Lions including former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers Hines Ward (with the Jets in 2020) and Antwaan Randel El (who is coaching with Tampa Bay in this weekend’s Super Bowl).

Sheppard’s hiring was leaked out this past weekend, but his role was unknown until today.

“Sheppard joins the Lions as a defensive assistant in 2021, his first position as an NFL coach,” the Lions said. “He was originally selected by the Buffalo Bills in the third round (68th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft out of LSU and split eight seasons (2011-18) with the Bills, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants and Detroit.”

Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic Baltimore tweeted out the Duker news yesterday, but like with Sheppard, his position was not known until today.

“Duker joins the Lions as a defensive assistant in 2021 after spending the last three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens,” the Lions said. “He joined the team in 2018 as defensive staff assistant/coaching analyst, before being promoted in 2019 to coaching analyst – defense. Prior to the Ravens, Duker had stops with the San Francisco 49ers (2016-17) as a defensive analyst and Cleveland Browns (2015-16) as a defensive intern.”

Jaguars vs. Steelers: 3 keys to a Jacksonville victory

The Steelers are sporadic against the run, which is why James Robinson may give the Jags their best chance for a win.

The Jacksonville Jaguars will be the latest team to try and end the Pittsburgh Steelers’ undefeated dreams this afternoon when the two teams face off at TIAA Bank Field. The fortunes of these two franchises could hardly be further apart in 2020 as both are on opposite ends of the NFL in terms success.

The Jaguars come into this one hoping to avoid their ninth-straight defeat (and owner Shad Khan’s 100th loss in less than a decade) whilst the Steelers are looking to make it a perfect 10-from-10 to start the season.

Despite the optics, things aren’t quite as desperate as they seem for Jacksonville. In the last two matchups, they’ve lost by six points or less and were in both games well into the fourth quarter. That includes a nail-biting loss to the 7-2 Green Bay Packers last weekend.

Victory isn’t out of the question today as the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback carousel nearly bested Pittsburgh last week, so rookie Jake Luton should be going into this game confident that a win is not off the table. Of course, luck will have to be on the Jaguars side, but here are three keys to a possible Jaguars upset:

James Robinson is really good, folks

Not only is James Robinson a sensational talent, the Steelers’ pass-rush is better. The best thing the Jaguars can do is give the ball to Robinson and watch him work. The fewer dropbacks for Luton the better.

Most would anticipate that Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is going to set his team up to make the rookie quarterback have to beat him, but if the Jaguars’ offensive line can successfully pave lanes, Jacksonville’s chances are better. If they do their part, Robinson is going to be the one to benefit from it as the Jags are without Chris Thompson and Laviska Shenault Jr. this week.

While that’s a lot of pressure, it seems like this young man has the nerves for it. That’s just another reason to put the game in his hands and see if he can recreate the success fans witness greats like Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew have against Pittsburgh.

Stop the explosive plays on defense

As previously mentioned, the Jags’ last two losses were by six points or less, but a key to those losses are the fact that they’ve given up a touchdown of 70-yards or more in both individual games. Things have improved defensively coming out of the bye week, but Todd Wash simply must find a way to limit the explosive plays from Pittsburgh’s offense.

This was always going to be a difficult task as the Steelers’ offense boasts human highlight reels Chase Claypool and JuJu Smith-Schuster. Simply put, both are more than capable of taking the tops off opposing defenses, or turning catches upfield and making blockbuster plays.

Things are going to be that much harder this week as the Jaguars will go into this game without their two best defensive backs. Rookie C.J. Henderson has been placed on injured reserve with a groin problem, whilst surprise-star Sidney Jones IV was ruled inactive for the game. Not having both certainly spells trouble for the Jags’ passing defense, which was already the league’s third-worst group.

Win the turnover battle

Only two times this season have the Jaguars won the turnover battle in 2020. The first game in which they did it was Week 1 against the Colts in their only win and the second instance was last week against the Packers. That, of course, was the key to the Jags being in the game late against Aaron Rodgers and company.

Turnovers are always a crucial part of any football game, but rarely do a team’s turnovers share such a direct resemblance to their record. Jacksonville has lost every game this season in which they’ve turned the ball over in 2020. So given Pittsburgh’s talent on both sides of the ball, the Jaguars simply cannot afford to cough up possession.

On the other side of the ball, Wash will have his hands full. He’ll be looking to become the first defensive coordinator in three weeks to get the Steelers’ offense to commit a turnover. If he can achieve the feat, it could help tremendously if the game is a close one.

Doug Marrone discusses Jags’ struggles against the pass vs. Dolphins

Doug Marrone believes the Jags issues against the pass boils down to fundamentals, something they haven’t shown since Week 1 vs. Indy.

The Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense has mostly struggled against the pass all year and that once again was the case Thursday against the Miami Dolphins. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was able to complete 11 consecutive passes against the unit in the first half and the second half was pretty solid as well.

Such a showing from a Dolphins roster who many feel belongs somewhere near the bottom of the league has caused many questions for the Jags and it was one of the many key topics brought up to Doug Marrone Friday. After going over the film, Marrone expressed that he thought a lot of the Jags’ issues against the pass were technique related as the defensive backs allowed a lot of catches in the range of 12 yards.

“I think when you look at it, a lot of the passes are not really getting behind us, from a standpoint of over the top throws,” Marrone said to the media. “Most of these throws are in this under 12 or 13-yard radius, so I think it’s a combination of we have to do a couple things better.”

“I feel comfortable because they’re more technique, fundamental things that we need to do to disrupt the passing game and try to do a better job there, so I see it as that. I think last night we pressured quite a bit, but you could see at times when max protection comes into play, now all of a sudden, and you’re not getting to the quarterback, that’s a long time.”

These statements are some that Todd Wash can’t help but hear loud and clear and it appears the Jags will be stressing fundamentals in practice a lot, especially to the defensive backs.

“We’re in position, but we haven’t defended many balls,” Marrone added. “We’ve got to get our hands on more balls. In the first game, we did. In the last two, we haven’t at all. Those are the things we’re trying to improve upon.”

When evaluating the defensive backs, even the player who has been a star for the Jags’ secondary, CJ Henderson, had a rough night, allowing five targets for 62 yards against the Dolphins. He also had a mental lapse early in the game where he allowed receiver Jakeem Grant to catch a pass on him without tagging him down, which allowed Grant to get up a run for extra yardage.

Meanwhile, the Jags’ other cornerback, Tre Herndon, has had a lackluster showing to open the season. As a result, many fans have been expressing their hope to see Sidney Jones on the field in his place soon.

There have also been frequent changes at safety as Jarrod Wilson had to go on injured reserve Week 1. Andrew Wingard was inserted in his place, but it appears he may be suited more to be a special teams player than consistent starter at safety. On top of that, he exited Week 3’s game with a core injury in the second quarter, causing the staff to move to their third option at safety Brandon Watson.

While Marrone did say Wingard would return Monday, the safety play might not improve significantly based off what we’ve seen from Wingard. Still, Marrone clearly wants them to put up identical results to what fans witnessed Week 1 against the Indianapolis Colts. During that game the Jags were able to acquire two picks and five pass breakups (three of which were from Henderson).

Up next for the Jags’ defense will be first overall pick Joe Burrow and receivers A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, and John Ross III. While many will categorize the Cincinnati Bengals as a bottom tier roster the fact of the matter is they’ve been extremely competitive in all their games. That said, it could be another long day for the Jags next Sunday, and hopefully, we see the defense clear up things fundamentally.

Listen to the latest from Jags Wire’s own James Johnson and Phil Smith on their podcast “Bleav in the Jags.” Subscribe via Apple Podcasts and check out our archived episodes via Bleav Podcasts.

Listen: Jags Wire discusses defense heading into Week 2 with ESPN’s Turron Davenport

The Jags’ defense had some standout moments against the Colts Week 1. James Johnson chatted with Turron Davenport and previewed the unit.

The Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense may have allowed 445 total yards against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, but there were moments where they came up big. Among those who made crucial plays were Abry Jones, Myles Jack, and rookie cornerback CJ Henderson, who was nominated for the Pepsi’s Zero Sugar Rookie of the Week Award.

Heading into Week 2 they will need an even better performance, however, and especially will need to slow the run game down with Derrick Henry lining up behind the quarterback. To discuss the state of the Jags’ defense heading into Week 2, I joined ESPN 102.5 The Game of Nashville for a chat with Titans beat writer Turron Davenport via the “Talking with TD Show.”

Some specific players we discussed at included Jack, Henderson, Jones, DaVon Hamilton, Josh Allen and K’Lavon Chaisson to name a few. To listen to the full clip, just hit play below.

Jaguars vs. Colts: 3 keys to Jacksonville victory

Week 1 is here! With Jaguars vs. Colts kicking off in just a few hours from now, here are three keys to a Jacksonville victory

The Jacksonville Jaguars’ and Indianapolis Colts’ rivalry was an interesting series in 2019. Both sides won a game apiece, but both wins looked remarkably comfortable. Nick Foles fell 33-13 to Indianapolis in one of his four starts in Jacksonville. Whilst in Week 17 Gardner Minshew II torched the Colts for three touchdowns in a 38-20 victory.

With the teams playing in the series opener, it is difficult to predict which way the game is going to go. Each team goes into the 2020 season looking different from the last time they took the field. The Colts have a new starting quarterback in Philip Rivers and former Pro Bowler DeForest Buckner, whilst the Jaguars team feels as though it’s made of entirely fresh faces having moved on from several starters throughout the offseason.

Starting the season, Jacksonville seems to be everyone’s favorites to pick first-overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, so a Week 1 victory could make many analysts second guess their season predictions. With Doug Marrone coaching for his job in 2020 and Dave Caldwell very much on the hot-seat, here are three things the Jaguars must do if they are to start the season with a victory.

Defend the run, please

In their defeat against Indianapolis last season, the Jaguars defense let two Colts go for over 100 yards on the ground. Yes, two. In fact over both games last season, Marlon Mack averaged 6.4 yards per carry, for a total of 186 yards and three touchdowns. That’s laughable.

It’s no secret that the Jaguars’ defensive line has been decimated by outgoings, injuries, and opt-outs, but this team simply has to defend the run better if it is going to win games this year. A key to this could be the performance of Taven Bryan, who had a solid game against Indy last December.

With the addition of Jonathan Taylor to the Colts’ backfield, defensive coordinator Todd Wash is going to have to do everything he can to shut down their ground game. Simply put, it might be significantly harder for the Colts to win this game if their offense has to run through a 38-year-old Philip Rivers, who many would argue is coming off the worst season of his career.

Don’t turn the ball over

Last year interceptions weren’t a major concern for Minshew. In fact, many fans pointed to his lack of picks as a reason he should have been considered for 2019 Offensive Rookie of the Year. By comparison, Minshew’s six picks were half the amount registered by Kyler Murray, who won the award.

Whilst interceptions aren’t a noted issue for Minshew, fumbles certainly are. The former Washington State signal-caller dropped the ball 13 times last year, seven of which were recovered by the other team. That kind of carelessness is a surefire way to hamper a team’s chances of winning.

More often than not, a quarterback fumbling will put his team in a worse position than an interception would, as it’s much further up-field. So to win this game, Minshew must keep the ball out of the opposition’s hands, and more importantly, off the floor.

Limit penalties

The lack of discipline by the Jags was on display for all to see last year, as the team ended up second in the league in penalties. A staggering 8.25 flags per game.

If the team wants to be successful, it simply has to cut out the mental errors and silly mistakes that plagued the team in 2019. The lack of a preseason may lead to more penalties across the league as players fight to regain their sharpness and acclimatize to meaningful reps.

If the Jaguars are to win games this year,  they must stamp out these errors early. It’s hard enough to win games in the NFL as it is, let alone doing it with referees marching a squad back 73 yards on average every week.

Joe Schobert expecting a lot of playmaking opportunities in Todd Wash’s defense

Joe Schobert has been great for the Jags during camp and feels the Jags’ defense offers playmaking opportunities for him and the linebackers.

When looking at the defensive side of the ball for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Joe Schobert has definitely been a standout in training camp. Now, he’s looking to transfer that to the regular season and believes Todd Wash’s scheme will allow it.

“I like [Defensive Coordinator] Coach [Todd] Wash’s scheme, obviously just from a first couple of weeks in it, with not having an offseason,” said Schobert. “But, I just feel like the way that me and Myles [Jack] are able to play as linebackers [and] the way the scheme is set up, there’s going to be a lot of opportunities for us to run around the field, make a lot of plays on the ball, and have a good time doing it.”

Schobert is a player who many media members have praised for always being around the ball, or making a play. That’s exactly what the Jags were going for at the MIKE linebacker position as Myles Jack struggled there last season and was out of place. Now that Schobert has joined the team, however, Jack has been moved to his natural position at weak-side linebacker.

It appears Schobert has especially been active in pass coverage so far as he’s picked off starting quarterback Gardner Minshew II twice. Those instances not only showed the media what Schobert could do in coverage, but it’s also provided a few teaching moments for Minshew.

“A few times he’ll come up, not even when he does turnovers, just after practice in general,” Schobert said when asked if Minshew asks him about the turnovers he’s committed in practice. “If there’s a look that we’re giving him and he doesn’t quite understand what we’re looking for, he’ll come up and ask what our thought process was in that certain look versus what they were doing. So, he’s definitely been eager to learn in those situations and doesn’t take [it] as a negative. He tries to learn from it and turn it into a positive, so it’s been good to see.”

While some may be alarmed when hearing the word “interception” connected to a starting quarterback, it’s worth noting that it hasn’t been at an alarming rate. It’s also nice to know he’s communicating with one of the defense’s most experienced players to correct his mistakes.

As for Schobert, the focus will be to get the Jags defense ready for the Indianapolis Colts Week 1. With Philip Rivers coming into town and the Jags having a young defensive group, it will be a huge task on Schobert’s shoulders, but one that he’s proven to be fit for so far.