As a rookie Myles Jack never found a consistent role within the Jaguars defense. In limited action he finished with 24 tackles, while mainly playing strong side linebacker. Jack is seeing a much heavier workload this season. He played in all 79 defensive snaps on Sunday against the Steelers. It was the second straight week that Jack registered nine tackles.
“Myles is playing well, he really is,” said Jaguars coach Doug Marrone. “He has done a much better job, to his credit, of preparing himself during the week. A lot of the times you come into this league and you just don’t know how to do it. It’s not a matter of not wanting to do it. He has been reaching out, trying, working extremely hard. I have seen that change in Myles. I think that’s helping him with his performance on Sunday.”
While still playing outside linebacker in the base defense, Jack plays middle in nickel situations and is responsible for getting the other 10 players lined up correctly. It’s a role that Jack admits was probably too big for him as a rookie but things have slowed down in year two.
“It’s getting to the point now where I make my mistakes during the week and learn from them,” said Jack. “Then we get the game it’s go time and I know what I can get beat on and what I can’t get beat on. I just play fast from there and use my GOD given instincts to go out there and hit somebody.”
That plan has worked for Jack so far during the 2017 season. Through five games he leads the Jaguars with 42 tackles and is tied for seventh overall in the NFL.
As a rookie and even during the offseason program Jack made it clear that he leaned heavily on fellow linebackers Paul Posluszny and Telvin Smith for advice. The reliance on the two veterans has become less and less but Posluszny isn’t surprised that Jack is having a breakout season.
“I think just having a great understanding of the defense that he has now,” said Posluszny when asked how has Jack grown from year one to two. “You feel so much better and comfortable just because you’ve done all of this before. So for him to be able to do that and then him being the athlete that he is and how dedicated he is to the game, you’re seeing great results. He’s only going to continue to improve.”