Jaguars' Myles Jack switching positions for preseason closer
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Jacksonville Jaguars rookie Myles Jack is switching positions -- well, sort of.
After working solely at middle linebacker during training camp and in three exhibitions, Jack made the move to weak-side linebacker this week and will play there in the preseason finale Thursday night at Atlanta.
"It actually kind of simplifies my world a little bit more, which is cool," Jack said Tuesday.
The Jaguars feel as if Jack has a good understanding of middle linebacker, where he has played behind veteran Paul Posluszny, and want to expand his knowledge of the defense and make him more versatile heading into the season.
The only problem: Jack has just three days to figure it out.
"It's going to be an interesting challenge, but he can handle it," Posluszny said.
Jacksonville believes Jack is the franchise's future middle linebacker.
But since Posluszny has been better than anticipated in pass coverage during camp, the team wants to find other potential ways of getting Jack on the field. It could be in place of Telvin Smith, who has a tendency to be out of position at times.
Jack was considered one of the best coverage linebackers in the draft, but slipped to the second round because of uncertainty about his right knee.
The former UCLA standout tore a meniscus last September and missed the remainder of his junior season. He left school in early October to rehab in Phoenix.
The Jaguars checked his knee three times before the draft, and general manager Dave Caldwell felt comfortable enough to trade up two spots to grab him with the 36th overall pick when he starting falling.
Jack's knee has felt fine during camp.
His mind is getting tested this week.
"I've been playing (middle) this entire time. It's all I've been honed in on," Jack said. "So now I've got to adapt and figure out the (weak-side) spot. It's not much of a difference. I'll just be slid over. But I've just got to open up my mind and see the bigger picture."
Jack's versatility was one of his most notable attributes in college. He played linebacker and running back as a freshman, and the Jaguars believe he's capable of making big plays in the running and passing games.
Now, he gets to try to do it from a slightly different position.
"There's a lot of carry-over, things he can transfer from one position to the next," Posluszny said. "He'll be able to step right in, play with a clear mind and be able to play fast."