Never one to say much, Jaguars Center Brad Meester said a lot on Sunday in his final home game for the Jaguars.
“I’ve talked more this week than I have in my entire career,” Meester joked after the Jaguars fell 20-16 to Tennessee.
While this week was mainly focused on the Titans, Meester was a close second when it came to what the team was playing for.
“He taught me how to act,” Marcedes Lewis told us in the locker room. “Any time I needed to know what to do when I came in the league, I just looked at Brad and followed that.”
“It started to hit me when I was walking through the Prowl,” Meester admitted. “I got emotional realizing it was my last time walking on that field as a player.”
The Jaguars introduced Meester and only Meester during the pre-game player introductions; something he said was very special.
“I’ve never had anything like that happen to me before. I saw the signs; I heard the fans calling my name. After the catch I heard the stadium calling my name, I’ve never had anything like that happen to me in my career.”
Oh yeah, the catch.
During the week, the Jaguars installed a “Heavy” package that put Meester as an eligible receiver at tight end. As they approached the goal line, Gus Bradley and Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch called the play that was going to give Meester a chance to make his first catch in the NFL. They had practiced it three times, walking through it each time during the week.
“I was exhausted,” Brad explained after the game. We had just run a zone run and I had a bunch of guys pile on top of me. As I went back to the huddle I heard “Heavy, Heavy” which is the call for me to go to tight end. I was nervous. I’ve always played inside.”
When ”63 eligible” was announced, Meester thought the Titans would figure it out right away. But they didn’t. He engaged the guy in front of him and slipped outside.
“I was open and I was thinking, ‘Now what?’ All I was concentrating on was not dropping the ball. ‘Catch it, catch is what I was saying to myself. Once I caught it I started to run and ran right into somebody (Nwaneri). And I didn’t know where to go. So I ran left. I’m sorry I didn’t score but I did get the first down.”
Meester’s first down allowed the Jaguars to then throw it to Marcedes Lewis for his 4th straight game with a TD. It was Meester’s first catch ever, at any level.
“I had some interceptions in high school because I played some defense. And I recovered a few fumbles, but that’s my first catch. Ever.
One scribe did the math at the game and estimated Brad had played nearly 14,000 snaps before making a catch.
“I’ll remember that for a long time,” Meester said afterwards. “That ball has to go in my office somewhere.”