The Jaguars linebacker group is going to have a different look in 2019. Telvin Smith, the teams former Pro Bowl weakside (WILL) linebacker of the last five seasons, publicly announced that he would not be playing football this season.
Smith has had plenty of time to post on his favorite social media platform, Instagram, but hasn't spoken to anyone in the Jaguars front office or coaching staff since the start of the voluntary offseason program. He appears to be out of the picture for the Jaguars in 2019, at the very least.
His absence has led many, including myself, to question how the Jaguars will deploy their linebackers this fall. One common thought is that the Jaguars could move Myles Jack outside to the WILL position to let his athleticism and instincts shine in more open space.
But that doesn't seem like a move that Myles Jack would be keen on.
"I'm playing MIKE (middle) backer, there's no question about it," Jack said on Tuesday night in an interview with Action Sports Jax. "That's myself talking. I've been playing MIKE here, that's what they've been grooming me for, and that's what they continue having me at this offseason. I've been working at. When we go out there and run plays, I'm playing MIKE. So, as of right now I'm the MIKE and plan on being the MIKE when the season starts. So that's what it is."
Jack was also asked about Telvin Smith's situation. Jack mentioned that he and Smith have been communicating and that he respects and understands Smith's decision not to play football. "He's fine and just getting his affairs in order," said Jack.
It remains to be seen if the Jaguars will ask Myles to move outside, but for continuities sake, keeping Jack on the inside might make a lot of sense. It's much easier to learn the weakside linebacker position than it is to master the middle. Jack has been working towards becoming an elite middle linebacker and allowing him to continue to grow in that role could be the Jaguars best option.
Then again, if third-round pick Quincy Williams — who may be asked to start at WILL from day one — takes a while to develop, the Jaguars could be stuck in between a rock and a hard place when it comes to how to handle their budding star Myles Jack.
What do you think? Do you want to see Myles Jack remain in the middle? Or would you prefer him to move outside?
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