As far as safety Jalen Ramsey was concerned, the Jaguars coaching purge didn’t go far enough last season. Despite being part of the sixth-ranked defense in the NFL, Ramsey said at the end of the year that coordinator Todd Wash and his assistants should have been shipped out right along with offensive coordinator Greg Olson and head coach Gus Bradley.
“I learned a lot from these coaches, but I think a new beginning will serve us great here,’’ Ramsey said. “There’s a lot of guys, a lot of talent on this team that’s, I guess, hidden right now (and) not showing. It’s frustrating for all of us, but hopefully it’s complete – complete change. (A) complete flip will serve us good.’’
Those comments obviously created a very awkward situation for Wash, who was wisely retained. After all, it was Wash’s defense that kept the Jaguars as competitive as they were last year and Wash says now that he has cleared the air with his most vocal critic.
As Michael DiRocco of ESPN reported this week, Wash says he made a point of meeting with Ramsey as soon as the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement allowed, which was when they reported back to Jacksonville for the start of offseason workouts in April, and that he cleared the air with the Jaguars 2016 first-round draft pick.
“As soon as we were able to … we (sat) down and talked about it,’’ Wash said. “Both of us were frustrated by the comments. We understand where they came from (and) had a great conversation. We understand that all of that stuff needs to stay in-house. Again, they can say what they want. They’re grown men. (But) we’ll talk about that stuff when it happens one-on-one.’’
Ramsey, who argued he could have been utilized more as a blitzer and wished he’d been allowed to use some different techniques, wasn’t the only Jaguars defender critical of Wash. Safety Tashaun Gipson complained of how he was used as well and so did cornerback Davon House, who was cut in February. It appears, though, as if the holdovers will simply have to get used to their roles.
Though the Jaguars have made a lot of defensive personnel changes this offseason, their plan is to continue to run the same scheme they have the last few years. Though he says he will likely mix things up a bit more and possibly interchange his safeties with his corners on occasion, Wash said he still plans to use a lot of single high-safety looks.
Whether that will make Ramsey a happier camper is hard to know. Ramsey didn’t speak with reporters even once during the offseason workout program and Gipson was hurt. Wash is confident, though, that everyone will be happier if the Jaguars can find a way to win more games than they lose.
“Any time you’re 3-13,’’ he said, “you tend to be a little pissed off about it. (Ramsey) was frustrated, I was frustrated. We were all frustrated (with) losing. We’re sick and tired of it. Hopefully we can change things around and win some football games.’’