Jaguars OLB Cassius Marsh: ‘You’ll See Me All Over the Field’
Veteran Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Cassius Marsh has played a lot of roles throughout his six years in the NFL. From playing in 4-3 defenses to 3-4 schemes, switching between defensive end and outside linebacker while defending the run, dropping in coverage, and getting after the quarterback, he has essentially done it all.
For the Jaguars, this was the main motivation to sign Marsh as they attempt to rebuild their defense. For Marsh, it is what he thinks will make him an impact defender in Duval.
"You’ll see me all over the field. I might be inside, I might be outside covering, I might be outside rushing. There’s a lot that I feel like I can bring to the team," Marsh told local media in a video conference on Thursday. "I look forward to showcasing that to the guys on the team first and foremost, my teammates and my coaches and then the fans when I get a chance.”
Last year, Marsh played for the Arizona Cardinals, giving the Cardinals' defense depth on the edge. In 16 games (three starts) in Arizona, Marsh recorded 36 tackles, seven tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks.
Marsh, a 2014 fourth-round selection by the Seattle Seahawks, has appeared in 84 career games (eight starts). Marsh has recorded 159 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, and four forced fumbles. The most sacks Marsh has recorded in a single season was 5.5 sacks with San Francisco in 2018.
“Cassius has demonstrated versatility and athleticism throughout his NFL career, and we’re looking forward to what he can bring to our football team,” head coach Doug Marrone said in a statement when the Jaguars signed Marsh “His ability to stop the run, play in coverage and get after the quarterback will add valuable flexibility to our defense.”
For the Jaguars, Marsh will be asked to wear a variety of hats as they transform their defense. Marsh is just one of several additions the Jaguars have made to a front seven which has lost a number of key players in recent years and then struggled mightily vs. the run in 2019.
Marsh is more than okay with that. After all, it is what he has done dating back to his college days at UCLA.
"I’m skilled at a lot of different things," Marsh said. "I have a nonstop motor, and I have an awareness for the game and I’m a ball hawk. I’m going to rush the passer. I’m going to set the edge, make plays."
The exact position Marsh will play in defensive coordinator Todd Wash's defense will be the strongside linebacker position, which was manned by Leon Jacobs for the last two seasons. While Jacobs has impressed with his ability to set the edge and also flashed pass-rushing skills, he may have serious competition at the position with the athletic Marsh.
“I’ll be playing the SAM and I’m going to work my hardest to compete and hopefully earn a starting job at the SAM position and bring my best every day. I think it is a great opportunity and it is a great defense," Marsh said. "I am looking forward to the challenge."
Marsh has younger players along the depth chart with him in Jacobs and rookie K'Lavon Chaisson, who the Jaguars selected with the No. 20 overall pick in last month's draft. While he attempts to use his athleticism and versatility to upgrade the Jaguars defense, Marsh said he will also make it a point to help bring along the youthful defenders who will share the field with him.
"For me, I came into the league on a team that was super deep with defensive linemen and pass rushers and just good edge players. They had an ‘each one, teach one’ mentality where the vets really took young guys or any guy who needed help under their wing," Marsh said. "Whatever knowledge that I have that I feel like can help guys, I am always open to sharing it and helping whoever needs help. I am looking forward to getting out there and getting to know my teammates better.”