Jags DL coach Tosh Lupoi discusses additions of Malcom Brown, Roy Robertson-Harris

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Tyler Nettuno
·3 min read
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After sporting one of the worst defenses in football last season, the Jacksonville Jaguars entered this offseason knowing it needed to make a number of adjustments. That started with the front seven, which was a weakness on an already weak side of the ball. The team has already made several significant changes, such as acquiring a starting-caliber defensive tackle in Malcom Brown from the New Orleans Saints for the price of just a seventh-round pick.

Jaguars defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi, who was hired from the Atlanta Falcons by new coach Urban Meyer, said that the leadership and physicality Brown brings to the table excites the coaching staff.

“He’s a steady, road-grading, physical interior D lineman,” Lupoi said. “He uses his hands well and plays with a great base. He attacks. He strikes. He finishes at various positions as an interior player – a zero, a shade, a three-technique. Love the fact that he brings us some leadership qualities. I think we can’t value that enough – the fact that he has won two Super Bowls [with the New England Patriots] and he’s accomplished some things that we all want to do. I don’t think that can never be overvalued.”

The other major addition for Jacksonville’s defensive line was Roy Robertson-Harris, a lengthy and athletic defensive end with decent production for Chicago over the last four years. Lupoi said that at 6-foot-5, his combination of size and power is what intrigues the coaching staff the most.

“Roy has just tremendous potential … the length, the ability to bend, flexibility,” Lupoi said. “You see flashes where he can generate power – being a tall, long individual yet displaying that power. He has some flashes that just absolutely fire you up and excite you and you know they’re there. I’m really excited to go attack the process with him, and I think he has the potential to have an absolute big-time future.”

Adding a player like Robertson-Harris gives the Jaguars a lot of versatility in their defensive line rotations, something that Lupoi said is crucial. He said that teams especially learned this past season how necessary versatility can be, as COVID-19 resulted in coaches having to move guys around to different spots.

“It certainly increases your value as an individual,” he said. “It increases your value as a defensive line when you have a versatile group. You can absolutely be effective when you do have individuals that can master their roles, but especially in a time and age right now with the presence of COVID[-19] you know it really increases the value of an individual if he can play multiple positions and has proven to do so. We all experienced in the National Football League last year where it might be midweek where COVID happens and because of the tracer response, you might be down three players. That’s while coaching on a video screen how to play the game of football. When that hits, I think it’s extremely important when you do have a guy with versatility that can play multiple positions and have the faith that he can get specific jobs done at different places.”

Though Jacksonville’s defense has a long way to go if it wants to avoid the bottom half of the NFL once again, additions like Brown and Robertson-Harris should give the team a lot more depth where it was lacking in 2020.