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Jaguars promote D-line coach Todd Wash to defensive coordinator

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars have promoted defensive line coach Todd Wash to defensive coordinator, according to a league source.

Wash was part of coach Gus Bradley's inaugural staff in 2013 and was promoted prior to last season to defensive run game coordinator. Wash replaces Bob Babich, whom Bradley fired on Jan. 5 after the Jaguars gave up the second-most points in a season in franchise history.

Bradley and Wash have coached together for more than a decade. Bradley was the Seattle Seahawks' defensive coordinator from 2009 to 2012, and he brought Wash with him to Jacksonville in 2013. Wash was the Seahawks' defensive line coach in 2011-12 and also worked with Bradley at North Dakota State and Tampa Bay.

It is unknown whether Wash or Bradley will call plays, or if the two will collaborate. Whether Wash will continue to coach the defensive line or if there are plans for a replacement is another question that likely will be addressed at a news conference to come.

What is clear, however, is that Wash has a lot of work ahead of him to fix one of the league's worst defenses.

The Jaguars gave up the second-most points in franchise history (448) in 2015, and three of the top five worst scoring defenses in team history occurred under Babich. The Jaguars gave up a franchise-record 449 points in 2013, his first season, and the 412 points allowed in 2014 is the fifth-worst in team history.

During Babich's tenure, the Jaguars' defense recorded the fewest interceptions in the NFL (26) and ranked 31st in scoring defense (27.3 points per game), 31st in third-down defense (43.8 percent) and 29th in total defense (375.0 yards per game).

The Jaguars were hurt in 2015 by injuries to first-round pick Dante Fowler Jr. (torn ACL) and defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks, the defense's best player. He led the team with 8.5 sacks in 2014 but suffered a torn ACL in the season finale and missed the first five games of the 2015 season. He played in the next four and was starting to return to the same level at which he played in '14, when he suffered a torn triceps and was placed on injured reserve.

The defense's biggest issue was a lack of a pass rush. The Jaguars did have 36 sacks, but only 7.0 came from pass-rushing ends Andre Branch and Chris Clemons. Jared Odrick, who plays the big end spot with a main responsibility of setting the edge in the running game, led the Jaguars with 5.5 sacks in 2015.

In addition to Wash, Bradley interviewed four outside candidates: former Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz, Atlanta Falcons secondary coach Marquand Manuel, Miami Dolphins interim defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, and Dallas Cowboys secondary coach Jerome Henderson. Schwartz was hired by Philadelphia on Tuesday to be its defensive coordinator, one day after he interviewed with Bradley.