Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny will face off against his first NFL team Sunday during his first-ever playoff game.
Posluszny spent his first four seasons with the Buffalo Bills after he was selected in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft. The linebacker established himself as a leader and a sound run-defender while playing in Western New York.
When his rookie contract ran out in 2011, he looked to re-sign with the Bills. However, Buffalo's then-general manager Buddy Nix had other ideas.
"We changed general managers, so I wasn't one of their guys," Posluszny said Thursday.
"We were running a 3-4 [scheme]. I remember when I had my exit meeting the previous season, I was talking to the general manager about what I could do to stay, to get better. He said 'we'd like to have you around 245-250 [pounds].' To me, that [meant] I'm not their fit."
Posluszny became a free agent during the most recent NFL lockout. When the lockout was lifted, free agents were forced to make quick decisions prior to the start of training camp in July.
The NFL veteran ended up signing with the Jaguars without the glamour and glitz of a free agent visit. He spoke with then-general manager Gene Smith over the phone.
He found out that he was a better fit with the Jaguars than he was with the Bills.
"I still didn't want to [leave] because I was still young and naive enough that you say you'd like to stay with one team your entire career," Posluszny said.
"I just wasn't good enough to do that. Kyle Williams from the Bills is. He can fit multiple schemes and multiple general managers said this is one of our guy. I would have liked to have been that type of player but I wasn't."
Posluszny and the Bills are now experiencing success for the first time in quite a while.
Posluszny has reached the postseason for the first time in his career. Buffalo has reached the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
The veteran believes the Jaguars and the Bills' newfound success isn't just a good sign for the two once-struggling franchises. He believes the success is important for the overall NFL product.
"Just the fact that two organizations that have had a difficult time as of lately get back to the playoffs," Posluszny said. "It's great for the entire NFL to have that situation where you finally get teams that haven't had a chance to compete for a championship, now you get them in."
Dareus on McCoy, Taylor
Jaguars defensive tackle Marcell Dareus knows a thing or two about the Bills' offense.
Dareus spent the entire summer going up against Bills offensive coordinator Rick Dennison's scheme and players.
He knows that the Jaguars will need to bring a lot of pressure against quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Setting the edge won't be enough, the Jaguars will need their interior pass rush to make Taylor uncomfortable as well.
"It's extremely important," Dareus said, regarding the interior pass rush against Buffalo.
"Tyrod has a pretty good deep ball and if you let him sit back there [in the pocket] and if he gets a timing clock going, he may take off running but if you have an inside push, he can easily slide out of there. You've got to put some pressure on him and got spread him a little bit, just kind of contain him the best way we can."
Along with Taylor, running back LeSean McCoy can cause problems for an opposing defense.
While the veteran playmaker hasn't participated in practice this week due to an ankle injury, there is still a chance he suits up for the wild-card round matchup against Jacksonville.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said earlier in the week that the team planned to prepare for McCoy regardless of his status entering the weekend.
Dareus said the team needs to prepare for all aspects of the Bills' rushing attack.
"It's a business, I'm pretty sure they're going to make some adjustments and they're going to alter some things that we have to be prepared for," Dareus said.
"You all watch football. You all know how important Shady is. Not just to their team, on any team, he's money. He's a pretty dynamic guy, you can use him in numerous ways, so I just hate that things happen the way it did for him."
More News and Notes
- Wide receiver Marqise Lee (ankle) and running back T.J. Yeldon (illness) missed practice for the Jaguars Thursday.
Lee hasn't practiced since Week 16. Yeldon is a new addition to the injury report.
Tight end Marcedes Lewis (ankle) and linebacker Donald Payne (quad) were limited participants after being held out of practice Wednesday.
Center Brandon Linder (shoulder) is another new addition to the injury report. He is listed as a limited participant.
- McCoy missed his second consecutive practice for Buffalo Thursday. He has been sidelined due to the ankle injury he suffered during the season-finale against the Miami Dolphins.
Cornerback Shareece Wright (concussion) and linebacker Matt Milano (hamstring) were also held out of practice for a second straight day in Buffalo.
- Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell won the 2017 Jaguars Media Good Guy Award this week.
The award is voted on every year by the Jacksonville media. The criteria includes being consistently available for interviews, easy to work with and providing good insight for the media.
Past winners of the award include Posluszny (2013), wide receiver Cecil Shorts (2014), wide receiver Allen Hurns (2015) and quarterback Blake Bortles (2016).
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.