Paul Posluszny was an amazing linebacker and leader for the Jaguars
By Kathy Clark
Paul Posluszny was an important part of the Jacksonville Jaguars for seven seasons because of both his play and his leadership.
Paul Posluszny was the Jaguars middle linebacker for seven seasons before retiring after the 2017 season.
He was an excellent player at all levels high school, college and pro. Posluszny or “Poz” as he was called by his teammates and coaches, was a team leader, an academic All American, and played 145 games during his eleven seasons in the NFL. He made his mark by being the consummate professional.
His retirement speech after the 2017 season cemented his reputation as an admired professional and person.
"“It is with much sadness but without regret, I realize I am no longer able to adhere to the unwavering standard of excellence that pro football demands.,” he said.Posluszny also mentioned, “That playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars and the city of Jacksonville has been a tremendous honor.”"
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He went on to thank coaches, owners, teammates, family members, and others who had an effect on his career. It is obvious that he spoke from the heart.
Posluszny was a star halfback and linebacker at Hopewell High School in Pennsylvania. He helped lead his team to an 8-1 record and the AAA state championship. He headed to Penn State University and won numerous awards. He was a two-time consensus All American, two-time first-team All-Big Ten, and Dick Butkus award winner. In addition, the linebacker was a two-time ESPN Magazine Academic All American and named 2006 Academic All American of the year in 2006.
Posluszny was drafted 24th overall in 2007 by the Buffalo Bills. He sustained a broken arm in his rookie season after three starts. He continued his career in Buffalo for three additional seasons. He signed with the Jaguars in 2011 to play middle linebacker. He also survived a coaching carousel and a variety of teammates. He played in the Pro Bowl following the 2013 season.
During his career, he played 145 NFL games, recorded 16 sacks, 15 interceptions, 51 pass deflections, forced 8 fumbles and scored 1 defensive touchdown.
Jaguars Linebacker Telvin Smith delivered an emotional introduction to Posluszny at his retirement ceremony. The former FSU star and Pro Bowl player told the media in attendance that his “brother” helped him to grow as a player and a man.
"“I’ve never met a better man than you. I’ve never had a better teammate than you. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to say someone loved me who I didn’t do something for than you. And I promise you – I promise you – I promise you – I won’t let you down. And I feel like that last game, we let you down. So I dedicate the next season to you. And I promise you we won’t let you down.” – Telvin Smith"
This was a great tribute and highlighted the leadership qualities of Posluszny. He was not afraid to mentor younger more athletic teammates. He was voted team captain by his peers and was a leader on and off the field. It was obvious during the 2018 season how much the defense missed his ability to understand the plans of the opposing offense and help players to be in the right place at the right time.
Posluszny is a player anyone would want on their team. He understood the game, played well, and was admired by the Jaguars organization.