Few NFL teams have invested in linebackers the way the Jaguars have.
Last year, the Jaguars gave middle linebacker Myles Jack a four-year, $57 million contract. This year, the Jaguars gave middle linebacker Joe Schobert a five-year, $53.7 million contract and they’ll move Jack to the weak side to make room for Schobert.
Moving Jack to a different position a year after investing so heavily in him is unusual, but coach Doug Marrone says everyone is on board with the plan to play Jack on the weak side.
″When it showed itself that we could get a player with Schobert’s caliber, we went along and did that,″ Marrone said, via the Florida Times-Union. ″We feel that we bettered ourselves at two positions. I talked to Myles, he’s excited about it.″
Jack is a very versatile athlete (at UCLA he also played running back in addition to linebacker), and the Jaguars have moved him around before.
″I’ve talked to Myles, and he feels comfortable over there [weak-side linebacker],″ defensive coordinator Todd Wash said. ″I look forward to him being at the [weak-side] spot where that’s a great playmaking position. Telvin [Smith] did a great job of that in the past and now we obviously think Myles can be a great Will linebacker also.″
The Jaguars spent a first-round draft pick on strong side linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson, and they also drafted middle linebacker Shaq Quarterman, in the fourth round. They’re investing heavily to upgrade at the position, and hoping it pays dividends on a defense that needs to rebound dramatically from last year.