JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Changing teams in the NFL can make for a busy offseason for any professional football player. Add to that dealing with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and becoming a parent for the first time and you get Joe Schobert’s last few months.
When the Jaguars signed the former Cleveland Browns linebacker, they did so with the expectation that Schobert would be a key cog in the rejuvenation of the Jaguars’ locker room culture and the team on the field.
In these unusual times, Schobert’s journey included driving from Cleveland to Jacksonville then back to Wisconsin as well as navigating the obstacles of bringing a child into the world amid the global pandemic.
Schobert has spent his entire NFL career in Cleveland. During his first two seasons, the Browns only won one game. Schobert said he joined the Jaguars because he wants to be a part of a winning team.
“I come from a franchise that I didn’t play in the playoffs," he said. "I was 1-31 my first two seasons in the NFL. I want to prove that I can be a part of a winning franchise, a winning organization.”
Schobert is trying to get to know everyone right now. He said that one of the few people he has spoken to face to face is Leon Jacobs who he played college football with at Wisconsin.
“All the guys other than Leon and the offense, I haven’t met," he said. “It has been a crash course through virtual Zoom meetings and watching the film on the iPad .”
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said during the draft that he expects the defense to use more 3-4 looks next season and Schobert said 3-4 and 4-3 fronts are more different for defensive linemen and edge guys, and not that different for inside linebackers.
Schobert hopes to officially move to Jacksonville in June to give himself some time to get used to the heat before the Jaguars hit the field for training camp in July.
“It is 48 degrees is the high today here in Wisconsin," he said. "It is not very pleasant but the wife baby and family are looking forward to getting down and enjoying some year-round sunshine”