PITTSBURGH — In the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars selected Myles Jack, a linebacker out of UCLA. Now, 6 years later and after 82 starts in the Jacksonville teal, Jack will return to TIAA Bank Field donning the black and gold of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Jaguars released Jack In March to free up some cap space. Shortly thereafter, Jack got a call from the Steelers and joined Pittsburgh.
How will it be for Jack to return to the place that kicked off his NFL career? Not only did it do that, but a young Jack helped be a part of the 2017 defense that led the Jaguars to the AFC Championship game. Jack understands the NFL is a business but admits how weird it will be heading back to Duval County, not with the Jaguars.
“It’s definitely going to be crazy,” Jack said. “Even this past game warming up in a different stadium and everything, but it felt like home once the game started. But this is going to be weird because I don’t even know what the visiting locker room looks like in Jacksonville. It’s definitely going to be weird, but it will be cool to see all of those guys. And it’s all love.”
The culture with the Jaguars has changed a lot, too. Doug Pederson is now the head coach with Urban Meyer out. Jack is going back to understanding that there is a different culture brewing within the organization. It may not be the same locker room that he is walking into as he left.
“I’ve heard that it’s a new regime down there,” Jack said. “The atmosphere, the guys like it better. It’s a change from when Coach Meyer was there before, and they feel confident in what they’re doing.”
Jack was only teammates with Trevor Lawrence for one season, but he is hoping that the Jaguars end up playing the starters. He wants the Steelers starting defense to be challenged by guys like Lawrence and Travis Etienne. Those are just a few of the young guys that Jack has gone up against that he hopes to suit up against on Saturday.
“I’m hoping their starters play,” Jack said. “That would be really cool to get some burn against the starting offense. We want to continue to get better and get ready for the start of the season.”
Even if it is just a preseason game, it will be interesting to see Jack take the field against his former teammates. As he looks to continue building upon a strong training camp and preseason, Jack will have to deal with the rigors of returning back to Jacksonville.