Jacksonville Jaguars’ linebacker Paul Posluszny knew this day was coming. The team drafted Myles Jack last year to play middle linebacker – the spot “Poz” has manned since coming to Jacksonville in 2011. Now, the 32-year-old veteran is tackling a new challenge – to move over to strong side linebacker and help the team defense improve.
“That’s what’s going to be best for the team so we’re going to give it a shot,” Posluszny said during a media session at EverBank Field. “It’s going to be the biggest challenge of my career.”
Posluszny came over from the Buffalo Bills as a free agent and has assumed the role as a leader. Not only on the defense, but the team, and in the locker room. He and players like Malik Jackson, Calais Campbell, and Barry Church are going to be counted on to provide that same veteran leadership this season. Defensive coordinator Todd Wash had a good defense last season. With Jack in the middle, Paul Posluszny on the outside opposite Telvin Smith and a loaded secondary it could be even better.
The flip side to this decision is moving Jack into the lineup. Much less, that Paul Posluszny is in the final year of his contract with the team. In fact, he will make $6 million this season. It may be his final one in teal and black. The Jaguars drafted Jack in the second round last season. Upon doing so, the former Penn State star (Posluszny) said it was his responsibility to work with the rookie. In order to, prepare him for this very day.
“For 10 years, I’ve played middle linebacker,” Posluszny said. “My entire perspective of how to play football in the NFL and my entire identity has been that. And now that’s not the case.
“The thing for me, as I look at it, is, ‘This means I didn’t play at a high enough level to keep that job.’ It’s my fault. I don’t have anybody to blame but myself. If I had played better last year, then maybe we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Moving forward, I’ll make the adjustment and do the best job I can.”
The Jaguars may also use the NFL Draft next week to acquire depth at the unit. With Jack, Posluszny, and Smith, the team has three solid starters. The depth on the roster tight now is shaky. Jacksonville released linebacker Dan Skuta last week.