Myles Jack has dealt with position shuffling for the majority of his football career.
He played several roles at UCLA and was forced to learn all three linebacker spots during his rookie season with the Jaguars.
After spending the entire summer adapting to the responsibility of being a full-time middle linebacker, Jack's hold on normalcy took a bit of a turn.
On Sunday, Jack was moved back to SAM linebacker, his most prevalent role as a rookie. Veteran Paul Posluszny received reps at middle linebacker, a position he has played his entire career.
The plan all offseason was to convert Posluszny to SAM linebacker, a position he had never played but actually fared well with during the offseason program and training camp.
Jack was moved to middle linebacker without the benefit of competition, a decision that raised some eyebrows.
The switch - which may be temporary - comes after Jack had presumably struggled throughout the Jaguars' first preseason game against the New England Patriots. He took some poor tackling angles and appeared to be out of position against the Patriots' passing game.
He admitted after the exhibition game that he needed to be better at finishing on tackles.
While some may see the switch as a demotion, the Jaguars are treating Jack's move to SAM as a game-by-game situation. The team wants to figure out its best base combination on defense.
They'll take another long look at last year's set up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night.
“For this game, and then we’ll look at it and see what’s going on and get ourselves in the best situation because, like I said before, Myles is playing the SAM," Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said. "He’s played the middle. He came off his best game at middle. Then we put Poz [Paul Posluszny] there, who was playing SAM."
While Jack is returning to SAM linebacker, which is typically a two-down role, the second-year player won't leave the field in passing situations. He is still the linebacker in charge of dishing out the plays.
“Myles is the MIKE," Marrone said. "Myles has the green dot. Myles calls the defense because he is a three-down backer, no matter where he plays.”
If Posluszny and Jack switching spots offers the Jaguars a better look on defense, it won't impact the latter's growth. Calling the defense is a major responsibility.
Giving Jack partial responsibilities at middle linebacker may benefit his stance at the position in the long-term.
He was given the role. Now we will need to show he deserves it.
Perhaps, a step backward could lead to an eventual step forward for Jack.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.
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