Countdown to Training Camp: Paul Posluszny
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In 2016 the Jaguars defense finished sixth in the NFL allowing 327.1 yards per game. It was a big improvement from 2015 where they allowed 375 yards per game. A big reason why the Jaguars defense took a step forward is due to the play of middle linebacker Paul Posluszny. Last season he played in all 16 games and was largely responsible for getting the entire defense lined up correctly.
For 10 seasons middle linebacker has been the only position that Posluszny has played in the NFL. This offseason the Jacksonville Jaguars asked Posluszny to move to outside linebacker, in order to make room for Myles Jack at middle linebacker.
Position: Strong side linebacker
2016 Stats: 132 tackles, 1.5 sacks, interception
2017 Projection: During organized team activities, Posluszny admitted that he was still adjusting to this new role. Playing strong side linebacker places Posluszny closer to the line of scrimmage than he’s accustomed to. There will be more physical contact at the snap of the ball.
Another factor is the mental aspect. Posluszny has been a three-down linebacker for the majority of his career. Although it’s being called an open competition it would be a surprise if Posluszny beat out Jack or Telvin Smith for one of the two linebacker positions in passing situations. This isn’t a move that Posluszny wanted to make, especially given how well he played a year ago. But there may not be a more team first guy in the entire Jaguars locker room. Posluszny is such a professional that he will work tirelessly to become the best strong side linebacker that he can be.
From the locker room:
Posluszny on what he can do to get up to speed at strong side linebacker:
“During the five-week period that we have off, I’ll be able to watch cut-ups of our techniques and what we need to do instead of looking at it from a middle linebacker’s perspective. I just need to watch it over and over and over again from an outside linebacker’s perspective so I just see the small nuances of how guys move and what things look like. It just takes time. It takes repetition to be so quick with it that you can see things and react quickly.”
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