Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith set a franchise record when he received his third AFC Defensive Player of the Week award Wednesday.
"It's nice," Smith said. "It's just hard work paying off after all the hard work you put in during the offseason."
The Jaguars linebacker produced 10 tackles and returned an interception for a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 5. Smith not only impacted the game, but changed the momentum in the Jaguars' favor, which led to a 30-9 win.
"I feel like, pound for pound, I'm the best linebacker in the league," Smith said. "And when I say that, I mean, you see it in the run I affect the game, in the pass I affect the game, you look at our blitzes I affect the game on pressures and stuff like that. I consider myself to be an all-around [linebacker]."
In a contract year, Smith is looking for a new deal. If he continues to play at the level that he has so far, Smith should be heavily rewarded with a new contract in the near future.
"I don't worry about it [because] when you know your value as a player, you don't have to worry about it, you just go out and play."
Jack looks back at college matchups against Goff
Jaguars starting strong-side linebacker Myles Jack has a history with Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff.
The two faced off during Jack's freshman and sophomore years in college. The defender was impressed by the young quarterback at the time.
"[Goff is] the real deal," Jack said. "[He's] a really talented guy."
Jack's UCLA Bruins blew out Goff's California Bears, 37-10, in their first meeting. In the second matchup, the Bruins won again, but the game was much closer at 36-34.
In both games, Goff made plays with little talent around him. Jack saw how Goff put Cal on his back in those contests.
"The talent around him at Cal was terrible, but [he] literally carried the team by himself," Jack said. "I'm glad he's really shown what he can do this year because he's very capable of [playing well]."
The two will meet for the first time in three years on Sunday. Goff has significantly more weapons these days.
The quarterback has wide receivers Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins and running back Todd Gurley to lean on in Los Angeles.
Jack will look to stop Goff from carrying the Rams to victory. He is hoping history repeats itself with his third-straight win over the quarterback.
Shatley talks about his first start of the season
Jaguars backup center Tyler Shatley only had about 48 hours notice prior to his first start of the season in Week 5 against the Steelers. The veteran interior lineman was told on Friday following the conclusion of the daily workouts.
Shatley had competed for a starting spot in the early days of training camp but eventually returned to his role as the top interior backup. Starting center Brandon Linder signed a massive extension during the offseason and cemented his spot at the top of the depth chart.
Linder dealt with an illness last week, which forced him out of action against the Steelers. The decision was made very late in the week, as Linder was still listed as questionable Friday afternoon.
Shatley had a bittersweet feeling about filling in for his longtime friend.
"It was definitely good to start and play," Shatley said. "Obviously, I hate for it to be under those circumstances, with Linder being out, but it was definitely good to get out there. Always good to get a win."
Shatley was instrumental in the 30-9 victory over the Steelers at Heinz Field. He helped the Jaguars establish a ground-and-pound attack on offense, which hit its peak in the fourth quarter. The Jaguars ran the ball 18 times in the fourth quarter and didn't attempt a passing play following their first series of the second half.
"It was very nice and it's kind of what we talked about all early this season," Shatley said. "We want to establish the run, that's the kind of team we want to be. It was nice to kind of see that happen."
The Jaguars rotated linemen during training camp and the preseason in order to get the entire unit accustomed to playing with each other. Shatley received reps with guards Patrick Omameh and A.J. Cann during training camp, which helped the trio connect when it counted.
"That always helps," Shatley said. "It's good to get in there and just get some plays with them and stuff. Obviously, we've done it in practice too. We practice a lot of situations where guys rotate in-and-out, just to make that all mesh better."
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.
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