From the Jaguars' Locker Room: Players discuss causes behind cleats, Brown ready if Smith can't play

Jaguars HC Doug Marrone discusses CB Aaron Colvin's performance

The NFL's "My Cause, My Cleats" campaign will launch in Week 13.

The Jaguars will have over 40 players take part in the initiative that allows individual causes to be highlighted on cleats for one game per season. The Jaguars' players will represent dozens of different causes this Sunday, from diabetes to child welfare to pet adoption.

Several players chose their causes based on personal experience. 

Free safety Peyton Thompson's mother has suffered from multiple sclerosis since he was in middle school. His cleats are orange and have a "Mother's Strength" inscription.

"Since I was maybe 12, my mom has had MS, so that's been something she's struggled with," Thompson said.

"MS attacks the body and shuts down the body and its muscular function, all of its functionality. It's just something you have to fight through and a lot of people can't fight through it because it really does shut your body down. It's just something I've always watched my mom go through and I've never heard her complain."

Cornerback Aaron Colvin's cause is very personnel as well. His grandmother suffers from Alzheimer's disease. The illness has taken a toll on his family.

He will wear purple cleats with his grandmother's name inscribed on the shoe. 

"It's huge for me," Colvin said, regarding his cause.

"It was a back-and-forth [decision]. I lost my brother to sickle cell [anemia] as well. Those two things but I just really wanted to support my family. [My grandmother] has been battling Alzheimer's, so my family has been through tough times with it and they still struggle with it now and it's kind of sad because it feels like we lost our grandmother somewhat but she's still here and these cleats are definitely for her."

Tight end James O'Shaughnessy's uncle has Stage 4 prostate cancer. His uncle has a saying "Faith Over Fear" and the tight end has that phrase written on his cleats.

"This is more or less a tribute to anyone battling cancer but specifically my uncle," O'Shaughnessy said.

"That was his logo that he designed [on the cleat], which he made a whole bunch of stuff for the family, clothing and blankets and stuff like that. It's a constant reminder of something he had to remind himself to push through those tough times."

Not all causes reference a disease or ailment. Fullback Tommy Bohanon is representing the Jacksonville Humane Society Sunday.

"Me and my wife have two rescue dogs," Bohanon said.

"I'm really big into helping local shelters and everything like that. I really wanted to have that on my cleats, and like I said, my two dogs are rescues and I think that's all we'll ever do is get rescue dogs. As many animals as the shelters help, it's a great cause to get behind."

Defensive tackle Eli Ankou, who will be supporting the U.S. Navy, believes the "My Cause, My Cleats" campaign is an encouraging endeavor for the NFL. The rookie is proud to take part in the initiative.

"I think it's very important - and to me personally - it inspires me to step forward and kind of step up to the plate in terms of what I find important," Ankou said. "These guys are giving it their all for their own causes and I think that for me that would be very important for me to do as well."

DOWNLOAD: The free First Coast Football App for stats, scores, analysis, stories and more

Brown ready to step up if needed

Jaguars starting weak-side linebacker Telvin Smith suffered a concussion during the first half of the team's Week 12 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. He was replaced by a combination of veteran middle linebacker Paul Posluszny and rookie Blair Brown in the second half.

Posluszny handled Smith's role in the nickel formation, while Brown joined him and Myles Jack in base looks.

Brown played 10 total snaps on defense. It was his first work on defense since the Week 3 win over the Baltimore Ravens in London.

"It felt pretty good to just get out there, get my feet wet and get a little bit more comfortable with the game and everything," Brown said Monday. 

With Smith now in the league's concussion protocol, Brown may be poised for more work on defense. With Jack handling the strong-side and Posluszny working the middle during base sets, the team will need a new starting weakside linebacker if Smith has to miss some action.

Brown believes he has something to offer in that role.

"Definitely," Brown said. "I'll be ready if my name is called."

Brown was a prolific tackler during his college career at the University of Ohio. The fifth-round pick's tackling ability could be an asset for the Jaguars if the team is forced to use him heavily on defense.

Brown has also studied those in front of him on the depth chart. He knows his potential role because of the veterans on the roster.

"I've learned a lot from Telvin, Myles and Poz," Brown said. "I've learned so much to the point where I can go out there and actually know what I'm doing and then see other types of keys on the [opposing] offense."

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment
More Stories