Myles Jack isn’t just a good football player. He may be exactly what the Jacksonville Jaguars need to turn around the team.
Five games into the 2016 season and the Jacksonville Jaguars find themselves below water yet again. At 2-3 they aren’t quite out of the hunt but they also need a little luck for everything to go their way and keep the slim playoff hopes alive.
That luck may come in the form of 2016 rookie linebacker Myles Jack.
Jack, who slid out of the first round and was quickly grabbed by the Jags (who traded up for him) in the second round, is motivated from that humiliating experience. It took a while for him to find a spot in the linebacker corps, but he’s been starting at outside linebacker the last two weeks.
In those two games Jack has contributed one pass defense and six tackles. It’s hardly the most production on the team as he fights to get in on plays routinely finished by stud linebackers Paul Posluszny and Telvin Smith.
Perhaps more importantly, the Jaguars are 2-0 when Jack is on the field.
After putting off the inevitable for so long, head coach Gus Bradley finally put Jack on the field. Since then it’s been a small win streak for the Jaguars. While superstition doesn’t quite belong on the football field, it’s tough not to think that Jack contributes to a changing, improving defensive mentality and play style.
The Jags look noticeably quicker on defense with Jack and fellow 2016 rookie Jalen Ramsey on the field. They fly to the ball and the D looks like it can wrap up anyone on almost every play.
That’s a big change for a defense that has been historically bad the last three seasons. Right now they are top-10 against the pass and 14th against the run, showing that the changing culture and intensity surrounding new defensive additions like Jack are yielding big dividends.
While it may not be all on him and there’s undoubtedly a little luck, it’s hard to think that keeping Jack off the field helps the Jags’ chances of winning games.
Myles Jack may be exactly what the Jaguars need to keep the momentum going.