Calais Campbell agrees with Malik Jackson: Jaguars going to Super Bowl

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Calais Campbell is on board with teammate Malik Jackson's prediction of a Super Bowl appearance for the Jacksonville Jaguars this season.

Campbell on Wednesday called the Jaguars a special team with everything in place to win the AFC and play in the first Super Bowl in franchise history -- though he didn't go all-in with Jackson's prediction of an undefeated season.

"It's a tough task. You have to have a lot of pieces to the puzzle in place," Campbell said. "I feel like we have those pieces. Now it comes down to execution. It's a long road.

"This is the start and we have a lot to prove and it comes down to just getting better every day, executing and winning the day, and that's all we can control right now. So we go through camp the best way we can and try to put ourselves in position."

Campbell's words are just as surprising as Jackson's prediction on The Simms and Lefkoe Podcast on Bleacher Report. Jackson used the 2015 Carolina Panthers as an example. They went 15-1 and reached the Super Bowl one year after finishing 7-8-1.

"That's what I believe. Until we lose, that's when I'll believe differently," Jackson said. "The Panthers did it. If the Panthers can do it after the season they had -- but we're going to win the Super Bowl. If they can do it, why can't we?"

For starters, the Jaguars have won just 11 games over the past three seasons. There are major questions about quarterback Blake Bortles, who has an NFL-high 63 turnovers since he came into the league in 2014. Since Maurice Jones-Drew led the league in rushing in 2011, the Jaguars have averaged the fewest rushing yards per game (92.1) in the NFL.

The defense finished sixth in yards allowed last season but forced just 13 turnovers. The unit ranks 31st in the NFL in points allowed (26.3) from 2014-16.

And then there's this: The Jaguars haven't had a winning season since 2007, the last time they made the playoffs.

The Jaguars have picked in the top five of the NFL draft for a record six consecutive seasons. The first two of those picks -- receiver Justin Blackmon and offensive tackle Luke Joeckel -- are no longer with the team, Bortles is entering a make-or-break season and defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. is more known for his off-field issues than his play.

Yet Campbell, who along with cornerback A.J. Bouye and safety Barry Church joined the team as free agents in March, isn't backing down from Jackson's prediction.

"I know history doesn't say a lot of good things, but from what I see, all the pieces are in place and I'm going to go out there and do everything that I can to make sure I put myself and motivate my teammates to put themselves in position to get the job done," Campbell said.

"The biggest thing is just winning the division so you can get your opportunity. Like Malik knows -- he's won a Super Bowl, I've played in one -- it's really just getting to the playoffs, winning your division and getting that home game and then from there, anything is possible.

"We have some division games early, so the whole training camp is about focusing so we can start fast. If we can start fast, anything is possible"

About starting fast: Since the 2007 season, the team is just 5-24 in September, including 1-13 in the season's first month the past four years.