On Thursday, the Jacksonville Jaguars officially agreed to terms with former Cleveland Browns linebacker Joe Schobert.
This week, the former fourth-round pick of the 2016 NFL Draft sat down and answered questions from Jaguars.com’s Ashlyn Sullivan from his in-laws house. Due to the currently events in America and all over the world, an in-person interview is simply not possible.
A newborn and a new team for @TheSchoGoesOn53— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) March 20, 2020
It has been a busy month for our newest linebacker. pic.twitter.com/uWjwFk8qKY
The fifth-year veteran has had a whirlwind of a week. Just four days before reportedly agreeing to terms with the Jaguars, his first child, Simon, was born. Needing to juggle the responsibilities of being a new father, while also attempting to make one of the most important decisions of his life — was challenging.
“I remember Monday morning when tampering period started, I was like ‘I really wanna take a nap’,” Schobert told Sullivan. “Because a whole night of not sleeping — first night at home, but I had to be awake for all the phone calls between the agent and the teams and all that so I pushed through that day and was able to get a little bit of sleep that night but Monday was definitely a long day.”
Schobert entered the NFL as a 3-4 outside-linebacker before transitioning inside during his second season. The former Wisconsin pass-rusher took the opportunity to become a field-general in the middle of the Browns’ defense, rewarding the coaching staff and his team with a stat line of 144 total tackles, four tackles for loss, three sacks, three forced fumbles, and an interception.
The transition to middle linebacker stuck with the 26-year-old linebacker, he told Sullivan.
“When you’re directly across from the quarterback you can hear their checks, you can hear their calls, you can hear the offensive line and what they’re saying and just growing a knowledge of that on game day.”
The Jaguars needed someone to direct the defense. While middle linebacker Myles Jack has had some success in that role in the past, his skillset has always been better used without the need to be handcuffed into the responsibilities of a MIKE linebacker and with someone more experience is surrounding him. Schobert will take care of both of those issues.
Schobert explained to Jaguars.com that he enjoys the part of the game which, to him, is overlooked — the mental aspect. The opportunity to diagnose plays by studying days prior to gameday, going over the gamplan, hearing the quarterbacks’ calls, the offensive lines’ checks, and simply getting people lined up.
“It helps a lot when you’re able to call out plays or where you’re able to diagnose things really fast because you understand what the other team’s trying to do to attack you.”
In the past, the Jaguars have struggled with this aspect of the game. Oftentimes, the team is found “flat-footed” or out of place due to mental lapses which can result in busted plays, giving the opposing team effortless yards and touchdowns.
“You can always count on me to do my job and make the plays that are there to be made and get everybody on defense on the same page to the best of my abilities and make sure we’re all working together in one unit,” Schobert told Sullivan when asked what the fans should know about what they’re getting from him on gamedays.
With Schobert in the fold, the Jaguars will hope the rest of the defense will now follow his lead. One of the team’s priorities coming into the offseason has seemingly been addressed, and now the team can venture forward, continuing to fill the voids