A.J. Bouye loves the common thread in all of the talent the Jacksonville Jaguars have added to their defense this year.
The cornerback who joined the Jaguars as a free agent from the Houston Texans wants the same thing as other newcomers, defensive linemen Calais Campbell (from the Arizona Cardinals) and Marcell Dareus (from the Buffalo Bills), as well as all of the incumbents.
‘We have a lot of playmakers’
“It’s been fun,” Bouye told Bruce Murray and Brady Quinn on the SiriusXM Blitz. “We have a lot of playmakers and everybody’s hungry for the ball, everybody’s trying to be the best they can be for the team. And I think that’s what’s really been helping us. We really just want to make plays to help the team win. If it’s (tackle) Malik Jackson, Calais, even Marcell, we’re even excited for them when they force a fumble. So that just shows you how close we are as a defense now.”
‘We have to swarm to the ball’
Early in the season, the Jaguars had problems stopping the run. Now that that appears to be resolved — thanks to a concerted effort by the entire defense — it has allowed the pass rush to be more effective.
“That’s all three levels of the ball, from the DBs to the linebackers to the D-line, we have to swarm to the ball,” Bouye said. “I feel like we did a great job of that lately. I feel like the last three weeks there hasn’t been a team that’s rushed for over a hundred yards. And I think the Bengals only rushed for 29, so that shows you what our D-line has really been doing.
‘(Defensive coordinator Todd) Walsh has really emphasized earning the right to rush the passer and that starts by stopping the run’
“And (defensive coordinator Todd) Walsh has really emphasized earning the right to rush the passer and that starts by stopping the run and getting them in third-and-long. The D-line, they really recognize that. They’re out there flying to the ball, making plays. Not only that, on third down in passing situations, they’re getting back there disrupting the quarterback. And that’s just making our job way more easier and giving us opportunities.
“When you have the best cornerback, Jalen Ramsey, on the other side, they’re not going to look his way as much. So they’re going to look my way and I’ve already recognized the opportunity and the D-line’s definitely helping with that.”