Despite rather emphatically declaring him the starter at middle linebacker, the Jacksonville Jaguars have begun shuffling Myles Jack around.
After the 2016 NFL Draft, Jacksonville Jaguars fans were elated with the haul the team managed to snag. General manager David Caldwell needed a big draft class to start fixing the defense and he had presumably done that, lucking into cornerback Jalen Ramsey in the first round and stealing linebacker Myles Jack in the second.
Ramsey shined as a rookie and looks like a player ready to ascend to stardom, but Jack hasn’t been quite as fast out of the gate despite his equally impressive athleticism.
Things were supposed to be different in 2017, as the team announced early on that the UCLA product would take over the middle linebacker spot and longtime Mike linebacker Paul Posluszny would move over to the strongside.
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We haven’t heard much about either guy so far this camp, but things are already a little shaky as the team is shuffling them around.
"However, it has been clearly noticeable throughout camp that Jack has been experiencing a few problems. In drills, he’s struggled to get off blocks quickly enough to make stops on inside run plays. He’s also overpursued some plays that caused him to miss tackles."
The young linebacker also wasn’t happy with his performance in the first preseason game:
"“I missed way too many tackles,’’ said Jack, who ended with six tackles, three solo against the Patriots. “I still have a lot of work to do. I’m not satisfied.’’"
Short term, it might be good for the Jaguars to have Posluszny back at middle linebacker for base downs while Jack works through his issues, but it’s still a bit alarming that the initial plan to have Jack at MLB isn’t panning out as expected.
Ultimately this is probably a bigger deal in the media than it actually seems, as Marrone has already indicated that Jack will still have the green dot on his helmet (meaning the exclusive ability to communicate the plays with the coaches) and he’ll still be a three-down linebacker.
As long as Jack isn’t taken off the field for Poz, I don’t think this is much of a big deal.