Jaguars coach Urban Meyer explains team’s pass rushing shortcomings

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While answering a question about the play of the offensive line and the challenge the unit will face from Seattle on Sunday, Jacksonville Jaguars coach Urban Meyer had some interesting insight about the way his team has struggled to pressure quarterbacks.

Meyer said that the Seahawks do a good job of getting an interior “push,” limiting what the opposing quarterback can do in the pocket. But he eventually went on a tangent about his own team’s shortcomings in that regard.

“This is going to be one of the best pushes that we’ve had inside, and the push that we’re not getting on defense right now is correlated to the edge pressure,” Meyer said. “You can have really good edge pressure, at times we do, but the quarterback steps up, and there’s nothing there. Or, even worse, someone gets out of a rush lane and (Miami quarterback) Tua (Tagovailoa) scrambles for a first down. So it’s amazing how that whole thing works together.”

Getting production out of pressure has certainly been one of the biggest issues for Jacksonville’s defense in 2021. While it ranks in the upper half of the league in pass-rush win rate (43%), that hasn’t resulted in sacks. The team has just eight on the year, which ties with Kansas City for the fewest in the league. Granted, the Jags had an early bye, but the pass rush is still underachieving.

Expectations were high heading into the year for Josh Allen and K’Lavon Chaisson, who are now playing their natural position’s in defensive coordinator Joe Cullen’s defensive scheme. That still seems to have helped the play of Allen, who despite his lack of production still ends up being among the highest-graded Jaguars week in and week out.

Chaisson, on the other hand, has had an incredibly disappointing sophomore season after he was largely AWOL from the stat sheet as a rookie.

But based on these comments from Meyer, the problem may be more with the line’s interior. With a lack of push from those guys, opposing quarterbacks can just step up in the pocket to either run or throw, even if pressure is coming from the edge.

Aside from signing Roy Robertson-Harris and trading for Malcom Brown, the Jags’ didn’t do much this offseason to address the line’s interior, and that remains among the team’s biggest needs in 2021.