Jacksonville Jaguars: A new experiment for LB Myles Jack

Will the move back outside help linebacker Myles Jack become a dominant player on the Jacksonville Jaguars defense once again?

It was an experiment that ultimately failed for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Moving Myles Jack inside to played linebacker was one of those situations many fans will talk about for years and wonder why it wasn’t fixed when it was initially broken.

Jack, who has been moved back outside to play in Todd Wash’s 4-3 scheme, should be more comfortable with his natural surroundings, chasing down running backs and tight ends while helping to seal off the running game.

If there is a sign that things should be better for the Jacksonville Jaguars defense this year, especially at linebacker, it’s that head coach Doug Marrone is pleased with the players on the roster and the depth at the position. The team brought in MIKE linebacker Joe Schobert, which also means there could be two Pro Bowl candidates at the position.

Jack could finally realize his full potential. Players who may have been forgotten – Quincy Williams and Leon Jacobs both have another season in the system and rookie K’Lavon Chaisson has a chance to be a pass-rushing terror from the outside as he learns about the speed of the NFL.

There is a reason for hope in Jacksonville.

Anthony Treash of Pro Football Focus wrote in his analysis of players he thing will have a bounce-back season for every team in 2020…

“Jack’s eight penalties — three more than any other off-ball linebacker — didn’t help matters, but the issues ran a bit deeper. In coverage, he allowed the same number of first downs in 2019 as he did in 2018 (17) but played 231 fewer snaps; he saw his coverage grade dip from 66.5 to 45.9, and he also allowed a passer rating of 119.1 on throws into his coverage, up from 97.7 the year before.”

Out of place, out of position, it did not matter. Myles Jack also finished the season on the injured list and Donald Payne showed he could handle the position, but was not re-signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the offseason. Now, this unit regroups and moves forward with more speed on the outside and a chance to be a solid and underrated unit as a whole.

Schobert will be the focus of the starters, but it will Jack who will have all the microscopes pointed at him, hoping he can make the transition back to familiar territory.

Jack was part of the 2017 defense that was arguably the best in the NFL that season. He did not make the Pro Bowl. It was a slight that wasn’t warranted. Last season was definite a downgrade, ones the defense felt and the organization cringed at.

Per Spotrac, Myles Jack signed a 4-year, $57,000,000 contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, including a $12,000,000 signing bonus, $33,063,787 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $14,250,000,” during the offseason in 2019.

That kind of money demands he plays better in 2020.

Positioning is everything in the NFL. Jack has been given an opportunity to thrive back in a place of comfort. It will be interesting to see if there is an immediate improvement on the field. Jacksonville Jaguars fans hope so. It’s been a three-year period of emotional football for Jack and his teammates.

The former UCLA star is one of only a few defensive stars on the roster from that 2017 team. Now it’s time for him to prove he can get back to that kind of production. Moving outside lets him do that. And it allows the Jaguars to feel more comfortable about their linebacker situation.

Next: Jaguars: The Yannick Ngakoue situation isn't over yet