When the Jacksonville Jaguars take to the field this regular season, the team will be very different from 2021 and previous years. One of the biggest differences on the defensive end will be that the team will be without longtime linebacker Myles Jack.
The team released Jack the week from free agency, and it looks like the reason may have been for salary cap reasons. The decision came a day after agreeing terms with inside linebacker Foyesade Oluokun, who signed a three-year contract worth $46.5 million with $28 million guaranteed.
Jack had been with the Jags since 2016 and was one of the team’s longest serving players. Needless to say, his departure was bittersweet for some fans, but it provided Jack with a change of scenery after going through numerous coaching changes and dysfunctions in Jacksonville.
It didn’t take long for Jack to find a new home as he ended up signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers on March 16. This move made a lot of sense, as coach Mike Tomlin has expressed a lot of respect for the Jags’ defense in the past as he has fought them many times.
As for Jack, he was able to grow from an organization that had been on shaky ground for much of his tenure there, to one that most would say was world class from a player perspective. A big reason for this is the culture that has been established by the organization, which Jack noticed immediately after spending six regular seasons in Jacksonville.
“He’s the culture man and that’s what people always say, but coming from where I’m from and coming here, you see why this team is successful,” Jack said when asked. asked what marked him at the Steelers. “The mission is clear, there are no secrets. If there is a problem, it is resolved immediately. And I feel like that’s the only way to win – if everyone is held accountable. So I enjoyed it, it was great.
One could understand Jack’s statements, especially after what he witnessed last season under Urban Meyer. Despite several incidents that began almost immediately in his tenure, it wasn’t until December that the Jags decided to fire Meyer when the damage was already done.
Looking back on his career, there was a brief moment when Jack got to witness the success of the Jags, and that was in 2017 when they beat Pittsburgh twice at Heinz Field. And although he says he was careful not to talk about it around his new teammates, he recalled how impressive the crowd was in both clashes.
“It was a fun year for sure,” Jack said. “But the main thing I remember (about Pittsburgh) is the crowds, because we haven’t had too many crowds like that in Jacksonville. So just seeing the (Terrible) Towels go crazy…the energy and the atmosphere, going out before the game, hearing the crowd go crazy, the energy. Because usually in Jacksonville we didn’t have a lot of really packed games like that.
To defend the Jags fanbase, they haven’t had much to pack in the stands outside of 2017. Hopefully that and the culture will change soon at Duval which will create a culture that players and fans alike will appreciate.
Going forward, things could be positive for the Jags and Jack. The team has a new head coach in Doug Pederson, who won a Super Bowl and could get the most out of Trevor Lawrence.
As for Jack, he may have seen the last losing season of his career because Tomlin never had a season below .500. And while Jags fans have a big rivalry with the Steelers, it would be understandable to see some of them supporting the black-and-gold No. 51’s individual success.
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