JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash has likely heard the calls for his job over the course of the 2019 season. But entering the final game of the year, he is continuing to drown it out and focus on what he can control.
Wash, in his fourth season as defensive coordinator, has probably had a harder job this year than any other year of his tenure due to injuries and roster turnover. He has had to start several rookie undrafted free agents at key spots, as well as utilize street free agents almost immediately in the base defense.
But the NFL is a results-driven business, and Wash's unit has produced suboptimal results far too often this season. The Jaguars are 27th in the NFL in total yards allowed and 22nd in points allowed. Too often it has looked easy for offenses to shred Jacksonville's defense, even for mediocre teams.
So, how is Wash dealing with the uncertainty surrounding not only him but all at TIAA Bank Field?
“I had a good Christmas. But, no, for us, we have our head down and we go," Wash said Thursday. "Our players were not in on Monday, so that was a big game-planning day. We met this morning and did a little more game-planning for some of the situational stuff that we see during the week.
"Once again, whatever happens, happens. We are good with it. I think that we did a nice job with our players. They are playing hard, and I think that is a credit to the character that they have. We will let the chips fall where they may at the end of the year.”
This makes sense, of course. Wash's fate will likely be left up to head coach Doug Marrone, but that will hinge on how Marrone's fate is decided by owner Shad Khan. A lot of moving pieces are involved and Wash is in limbo as a result.
It would make sense for Wash to not return next season, regardless of what happens with Marrone. Marrone very well could keep his job but decide to clean house on the defensive side of the coaching staff. There has been enough of poor adjustments, bad scheming, and lack of development for Marrone to make that move.
Yes, Wash's defense has dropped off in talent considerably since Jacksonville had the top defense in 2017. It is not his fault that Jalen Ramsey was traded or that Malik Jackson was cut. But as Wash explained on Thursday, he has to coach and produce results for whoever they do have.
"Obviously, we have to play with who we have in the room. It is our job as coaches to try and get them ready to play at a high level," Wash said.
"I would not say it is frustrating or anything like that because we have faith in the guys that we have. I think you have to as a coach. Obviously, yes, you wish all of the guys would have stayed healthy and that kind of stuff, but at the same time they didn’t, and it’s been a great opportunity for some of these younger guys that maybe would not have had an opportunity to put some really good stuff on tape to help them obviously here and other places.”