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Paul Posluszny needs more time to handle move to outside linebacker

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Nothing looks right on the football field to Paul Posluszny.

His perspective is off. His view is different and much smaller, and it’s going to take a while before he gets used to it.

Posluszny expected this with his move from middle linebacker to strongside linebacker, but that hasn’t made the transition easier.

"Playing [middle] linebacker, I’m 5 yards off the ball, I’m looking right at the quarterback, running back, center, guard," Posluszny said. "That was my field of vision. Now it’s seeing things from the edge or reading the tight end as my key and gaining all of my information from that. That’s been the most challenging thing for me.

"... I’m not reading and reacting as fast as I need to be. That needs to continually get better and better."

Posluszny was moved from middle linebacker -- where he’s played his entire 10-year NFL career -- to strongside linebacker to make room for second-year player Myles Jack, the Jaguars’ second-round draft pick in 2016. Posluszny was clearly unhappy about the move when it was announced, but he has embraced the change and immersed himself into learning as much as he can about the position as quickly as he can.

The change may not sound significant, but it is. Posluszny has been a middle linebacker since he was drafted in the second round of the 2007 draft. The only time he didn’t play in the middle in his football career came in his first three seasons at Penn State, when he lined up at weakside linebacker. The duties there are similar to middle linebacker, but that’s not the case at strongside linebacker.

Posluszny will now line up closer to the ball, often adjacent to the tight end, instead of 4-5 yards off the line of scrimmage. The pre-snap keys and reads are different and he’ll have more pass-rush and coverage duties.

"It’s going good," Posluszny said. "It’s coming along. I need a lot of work. I need a lot of improvement. We’re not at a level of play where it’s acceptable to us yet, but definitely moving in the right direction."

Posluszny has been one of the Jaguars’ best players since he signed as a free agent in 2011. His 918 tackles are second on the team’s all-time list and he’s 171 behind leader Daryl Smith (1,089). He’s led the Jaguars in tackles for five of the past six seasons (he missed nine games in 2014 with a pectoral injury).

Posluszny said the time between next week’s mandatory minicamp and the start of training camp in late July will be critical for his transition. He said he’ll be watching cut-ups to see the nuances of how plays develop and what things look like from his new perspective on the field. At some point he said he’ll be comfortable playing outside.

"I have a lot of improvement that I need to make and a lot of technique things that I need to work on," he said. "I just don’t have the time on task that I’ve had at a different spot. I need to get fast with that. There’s no reason why we can’t have success with this change."