A lot of fans have wondered what role rookie linebacker Myles Jack is going to have in the defense this year, and from the sounds of it, that's still up in the air. The team is using him at both middle linebacker and weakside linebacker, as expected, but they're also force feeding him information to get him ready to play any role they see fit.
"He's starting to get a real good grasp of the defense and what we're asking him to do. You can see it through each and every day he goes out," Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash said about the rookie linebacker. "Realistically we're going out to practice six right now, so he has had eight practices underneath his belt, where everyone else has a lot more. We do see improvement every day. If there's a mistake, he learns from it. That's very encouraging."
Jack missed the team's OTA practices because of the Pac-12's draconian graduation rule, meaning he's behind a lot of the other players and part of the reason the team is accosting him with information. Jack practiced with the first team as the middle linebacker on Wednesday, as Paul Posluszny had a planned veteran day off. By all accounts, Jack did a nice job and was even in charge of lining up the defense and calling the plays, a big reason why Poz is still the starter in the middle.
"The biggest thing is that we want to see him continue to learn the package," Wash said about Jack's role as a rookie. "We knew he's a heck of an athlete. As that starts to come and he understand the package in great detail we'll see where we can fit him in at that point."
By all accounts Jack has progressively gotten better with each practice, which isn't unexpected for a rookie linebacker. Making the transition from college to pro for linebacker can be a little difficult, especially if you're making the transition from an outside backer role to an inside backer role. Your read keys and everything on the inside are quite a bit different than the outside, so it takes a little bit to make that adjustment mentally until it become instinct, which is where Jack is at at this point.
As Jack settles in mentally, his speed and athleticism will begin to takeover and show up on the practice field.