Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Myles Jack Comfortable, Thriving at Linebacker

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Myles Jack Comfortable, Thriving at Linebacker

Article excerpt

Byline: John Reid

In only his first full season as a starter, Myles Jack has been tested under fire.

He's had to overcome a failed training camp experiment playing middle linebacker. He's had to raise his level of play on the fly at strong-side linebacker. And Jack has had to develop rapidly as a leader because he got the job to make all the defensive calls.

Maybe that's why Jack, 22, wasn't as subdued like most of his teammates were on Sunday after the Jaguars (10-4) clinched their first playoff berth in 10 years after thrashing the Houston Texans, 45-7, at EverBank Field.

After the game, Jack gazed across the locker room and let it be known he's excited.

He said it wasn't easy for him or his teammates to be where they are now entering Week 16 with a chance to clinch the AFC South with a victory at San Francisco on Sunday.

"I'm blessed to be in a room with guys like Telvin Smith and Poz (Paul Posluszny). They stayed with me after meetings, and met with me 7:30 and 8 in the morning on Monday after games if I had a question.

"When you have guys like that, it really comes down to me soaking up that information and trying to play off that. I really give credit to those guys keeping me out of trouble and just looking out for me. It has been a long ride, but we can't look back right now."

Jack has adapted, found comfort and is an integral part of a Jaguars' defense that ranks first in the NFL in fewest points allowed (14.9 per game), passing yardage (168.9), sacks (51) and forced fumbles (17).

He's taken advantage of his superb sideline-to-sideline speed and has learned to get off blocks quicker to make more of a presence as a run stopper. He's also been one that some of the younger players have looked up to because of his persistence to prevail.

"I see tenacity," Jaguars rookie defensive end Dawaune Smoot said. "That guy is a playmaker. He just wants to make plays. He goes out there every day and just bringing his all. He just stays calm and is a big leader on the defense."

Jack, 6-foot-1, 225 pounds, is the Jaguars' second-leading tackler with 85 tackles, right behind Smith (86). …

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