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All eyes on Myles Jack in preseason opener against Patriots

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Last preseason proved to be the highlight of Myles Jack’s rookie season with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He saw limited action while playing the “Otto” outside linebacker position and was non-factor in 16 games.

That all changed this offseason when the Jaguars named the former second round pick their starting middle linebacker. The move forced Paul Posluszny to transition to strong side linebacker in order to make room for Jack.

During the beginning of the offseason program Jack was still leaning on Posluszny for advice. Now a couple weeks into training camp that reliance on the savvy veteran has decreased.

“Every once in a while, I’ll forget something, and he’ll be that echo or Telvin will be that echo,” said Jack. “Poz does it mostly, but Telvin does as well. It’s 50/50. It’s definitely decreased.”

This week’s joint practice session against the New England Patriots is a good experience for the whole team but even more beneficial for Jack. There isn’t a quarterback on the Jaguars 2017 schedule that is better than Tom Brady. In the Patriots last three preseason openers, Brady has thrown a total of four passes. It would be a surprise if Brady sees extended action against the Jaguars on Thursday but Marrone still feels this week was a good lesson for Jack.

“The communication I thought for the most part was good, but it’s the same thing of just making sure and seeing it in live competition where tackles are going to be made,” said Marrone. “We want to get a lot of reps and not tackle backs or touch the quarterbacks. I think sometimes it’s hard to judge, sometimes is he there? Can he make that play? I think those are the things you see when we’re in a live situation. We’re looking forward to seeing that obviously out of him tomorrow night.”

Most teams don’t play starters very long in preseason openers. Due to the fact Jack is still new to middle linebacker it wouldn’t be a shock to see him on the field longer than some of the veterans.

“I’m getting everybody lined up, I’d say I’m doing the one-on-one level but that isn’t enough in my eyes,” said Jack. “I have to try and fill a hole where Paul Posluszny, where he was there for five years and it was like clockwork. That’s the standard I’m holding myself to. Just doing enough isn’t enough in my opinion. That’s where I’m continuing to learn every day, working with (Defensive Coordinator) Todd (Wash), working through this heat with the pressure from the coaches and everything. Trying to maintain poise because when we get in the game, that’s when the bullets are flying and that’s when I have to be that rock. That’s the standard I’m holding myself to. I’m working very hard at it but it’ll come.”