The Jaguars will be without its defensive coordinator this week in Todd Wash after he was forced to quarantine due to COVID-19 protocols.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone and assistant special teams coach Mike Mallory were responsible for coaching the team’s defense in practice this week after the entire defensive coaching staff was forced to stay home for the same reasons. This unprecedented situation will continue on Sunday, however, some of the defensive staff will return.
Against the Cleveland Browns at home, the Jaguars will have safeties coach Joe Danna call the defense in place of Wash, something the team has yet to see in action during the regular season, though, Marrone says, Danna has called the team’s defense during the preseason before.
“Obviously, we work together, I’ve been on the phone with him,” Marrone said of Danna on Wednesday.
The Jaguars have had contingency plans in place already, even before COVID-19, however, this is a more unique situation, and they’ll have other coaches that will be unavailable, including defensive line coach Jason Rebrovich. Rebrovich will be replaced by assistant linebackers coach Tony Gilbert.
“That’s something that I think most teams always prepare for in case of an emergency, then obviously with COVID everything is kind of ramped up to making sure that we’re all backed up in everything that we do.”
On Wednesday, Marrone didn’t seem to be too phased by his entire defensive staff being absent during the week. While they weren’t able to be on the practice field, the meetings were still able to be conducted virtually.
“It’s not a problem. I mean a lot of us when we started coaching, we used to coach both sides of the football,” Marrone said.
“We have all the coaches helping us support, players will do a good job. I don’t see it as anything except adversity that you face, but it’s not going to affect the way we plan or the way we do things. The only part of what the coaches aren’t involved in are going to be actually just whatever hour and twenty minutes we’re on the football field. Other than that, they’re all in there. I don’t see it as a major thing.”
Having been placed under heavy criticism, Wash being absent, though under terrible circumstances, could present an intriguing situation on Sunday. How Danna calls the defense, if it is any different from Wash, will be something to watch. Jaguars linebacker Joe Schobert admits he doesn’t know how Danna will call the defense, but is prepared for anything.
“I’ve never had him call the plays,” said Schobert on Wednesday. “We’ll see on Sunday if he’s going to be really aggressive or going to be playing coverage, what his call sheet’s looking like. I mean as far as the calls we have up, it’s our normal stuff. It’s just going to be see[ing] what he likes to call during the game.”
Against the Browns on Sunday, the Jaguars will enter under circumstances that have not been seen throughout the years, but they’ll need to be ready, in search of its first win since Week 1.