Myles Jack says he is the Jaguars MIKE linebacker
By David Levin
Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack told the media on Tuesday night he will be the team’s MIKE linebacker this season like he was in 2018.
As the Jacksonville Jaguars prepare for life on the football field without linebacker Telvin Smith, Myles Jack told the media on Tuesday night that when he and his teammates take the field for OTAs and training camp in the coming weeks, he will be the starting middle linebacker.
There has been some talk that Jack, who has played both inside and outside on the second line of the Jaguars defense, would be moved back outside because the team signed free agent Jake Ryan from Green Bay. Jack put that talk to rest (at least for the moment) by proclaiming himself as the man in the middle for Jacksonville.
"″I’m playing Mike backer no question about it,″ Jack said Tuesday night at Calais Campbell’s bowling charity event. ″Obviously there’s no secret we’re going have to find a WILL (weak-side linebacker). As for me, I’m playing MIKE until my time up here in Jacksonville is done.″"
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Myles Jack was the team’s second-round pick in 2016 in the same Draft that produced Jalen Ramsey in Round 1 and Yannick Ngakoue in Round 3. All three players are seeking long-term deals with Jacksonville. The team has already announced it will pick up Ramsey’s fifth-year option for the 2020 season. Ngakoue left the team’s voluntary offseason workout program last week amid rumors he is still seeking a contract extension.
There has been little discussion this offseason about getting a deal done for Myles Jack, the former UCLA star. Playing inside and contributing to the team much as he did in 2017 would go a long way toward getting something done prior to him becoming a free agent.
The Jaguars made many moves this offseason to the linebacker room, including the released of both Blair Brown and Donald Payne last week. Jacksonville drafted Murray State linebacker Quincy Williams in the third-round last month in what could be described as one of the more shocking moves of the Draft weekend.
Williams could move into Smith’s spot on the outside if Jack remains in the position he played last season. Rookie first-round pick Josh Allen could also see time outside as well as an edge rusher.
"″I’ve moved around in this defense and at this point, I feel comfortable playing MIKE and it fits me,″ Jack said. ″I definitely can understand the perspective of seeing where I would thrive at WILL, but that means we would have to find somebody else to run the defense to play Mike that would be hard to bring in a first-year guy to try and get everybody lined up.″"
The Jaguars also added depth to the unit this offseason by signing fifth-year pro, D.J. Alexander, eighth-year veteran Najee Goode, and fifth-year veteran Ramik Wilson to the 90-man offseason roster. Jacksonville also added James Onwualu off waivers from the 49ers.