Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Notebook; LB Pullard Glad to Get His Chance

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Notebook; LB Pullard Glad to Get His Chance

Article excerpt

Byline: Vito Stellino

Linebacker Hayes Pullard had an impressive resume at the the University of Southern California.

He started all but one of the 52 games he played there and had 377 career tackles and earned All-Pac-12 honors all four seasons. He was also a semifinalist for the Butkus Award as a senior, which is given to the top linebacker in the nation.

"That was an awesome opportunity I'll cherish for the rest of my life,'' he said of his playing days at USC. "But I'm now in a different chapter in my life and I've got to move forward from USC and be more consistent on Sundays.''

The scouts weren't sold on Pullard as an NFL prospect and he lasted until the seventh round this year before the Browns selected him.

He was waived at the end of camp and signed to the Cleveland practice squad until the Jaguars signed him to their active roster on Oct. 28.

His big moment before Sunday in five games was a blocked punt against San Diego.

But he got a chance to make his first start in New Orleans because Telvin Smith has a slight shoulder separation. He played all but two of the 78 defensive snaps and tied Johnathan Cyprien for most team tackles at nine. He also played nine special teams snaps.

He said it was quite a moment for him to play with the "great guys'' on defense and play for defensive coaches Bob Babich and Frank Saleh.

"I still have a lot of things to work on as a growing player,'' he said. "I continue to fill my cup with great knowledge with Poz [Paul Posluszny] and the coaching staff,'' he said.

Coach Gus Bradley said he played like a player making his first start and needs to be more consistent.

"He makes a lot of plays and he tackles well,'' he said. "I think those qualities showed up, but I think there were some things when he was out in space {that were problems].''

"I've got to get in the film room and learn my rights from wrongs and be consistent on the field and be able to be one of those leaders out there,'' Pullard said.

Pullard will start in the season finale in Houston if Smith is still sidelined.

ANKLE INJURY WON'T STOP ALUALU

Tyson Alualu had his right ankle in a boot Monday, but said he still expects to practice Wednesday and start his 95th consecutive game as a Jaguar Sunday, including 76 starts. …

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