When you think about different NFL organizations, they each carry with it an expectation with them. For a team like the Pittsburgh Steelers, the expectation every season is to compete for a Super Bowl championship. To make the playoffs.
The flip side to that would be a team like the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars, who have possessed the top pick in the NFL Draft the past two seasons are a team stuck in the doldrums of the NFL.
One might call it being in professional hell.
When putting it that way, getting out of said hell might seem like heaven. That must be why Myles Jack, who was drafted by the Jaguars and played his entire career in Jacksonville, is so excited for a fresh start.
“I was fortunate to talk to Coach Tomlin and I knew this was where I was supposed to be,” Jack told the Steelers official website. “Coach Tomlin said defenses win championships and we are trying to win a championship and we’ve got to do that through defense. Once he said that, my eyes lit up on the phone and I said let’s go ahead and get it done in Pittsburgh. I am excited.
“It was legendary. I grew up watching the Steelers, watching him. Then to get into the league and now to have a chance to be a part of this, I can’t put it into words. I know I am going to maximize it as much as I can.
“I want to go home on Sunday night and be happy and wake up on Monday and be happy. I am eager to win and with that comes championships.”
Since learning of his release from Jacksonville, Jack has said it wasn’t easy, but finding a new home with a team like the Steelers has helped ease the blow of the team who drafted him telling him he wasn’t wanted in the future.
“It’s been a roller coaster,” said Jack. “You get fired one day. You don’t know what’s going on. You don’t know if you are ever going to play football again. You go through all of the emotions.
“It’s kind of tough. Once you get through the emotions, the initial shock, it helps. The personal side of me, the emotional side wants to say I gave everything. But at the end of the day the NFL is a business and there are no feelings in business. I feel good that at the end of the night I know I gave everything to Jacksonville. Even when times were slim and gray. Now that I am here, I think a lot of that was for me to get here. Better times are ahead.”
Jack is embracing everything with the Steelers, including one of Mike Tomlin’s many “Tomlinisms”. When speaking about this new opportunity, he spoke about how he is ready to be uncomfortable again, this when Tomlin has always talked about “not seeking comfort” in many different scenarios in the game of football.
“It’s a fresh start,” said Jack. “I feel like I am a rookie in the NFL. I feel like I have everything to prove. I feel like it’s Day 1 in the league again. I am excited to be here, to be in a new situation, and I am excited to be uncomfortable again in a new city where I have to prove myself to the fans again. I am just eager to figure things out.”
All that is well and good, but what does Jack bring to the Steelers’ defense? He is an athletic linebacker, and could make up the most athletic inside linebacker duo in the NFL alongside Devin Bush. What Jack brings, in his own words, is a relentless approach.
“I have a relentless approach,” Jack said. “I am going to run and hit. That is what I know. I am going to know the playbook, that is what I have to do. But at the end of the day my job is to get to the football no matter what. I am just going to run and hit. I am here to work. I am here to contribute. I can’t wait to get to it.”
When Jack visited Pittsburgh to sign his contract, meet some coaches/teammates and take a look at the facility, he couldn’t help but stop and look at the team’s record six Super Bowl trophies in the hallway.
“It really gives you chills,” said Jack. “It shows the standard that is set around this organization. When you see six Lombardi Trophies that speaks for itself. You can’t say anything. Walking in here you know it’s business. I am definitely excited to get to work.”
The Steelers are hoping he gets to work early and often as a run stopper, and ultimately a playmaker. Jack’s athleticism could be just what the defense needs to take their production to the next level, and when it comes to the arms race which has become the AFC, they’ll need as much playmaking ability on the defense as possible.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of free agency and the 2022 NFL Draft.