Posts Tagged ‘Malik Jackson’

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It’s been nine seasons since the Jacksonville Jaguars last experienced playoff football, and they’re one of 13 teams who’ve never raised the Lombardi Trophy.

Jaguars star defensive tackle Malik Jackson believes both unenviable streaks will end very soon.

Jackson told “The Simms and Lefkoe Podcast” that he’s confident of adding another ring to his collection this campaign after winning the Super Bowl in 2015 with the Denver Broncos.

“That’s what I believe and, until we lose, that’s when I’ll believe different,” Jackson said, according to NFL.com’s Marc Sessler.

“The Panthers did it. If the Panthers can do it after the season they had (going 7-8-1 in 2014) … But we’re going to win the Super Bowl. If they can do it, why can’t we?”

Jackson believes the Jaguars’ positive changes will stem from improved leadership.

“I’m very confident. It truly feels different … I think it’s a lot of guys coming in here and coming to Jacksonville saying, ‘I’m gonna change this. I’m gonna do this. I’m gonna do that,'” Jackson said. “We have leaders. We have a lot of great players. We just need to be consistent, and that’s on all three sides of the ball: offense, defense, and special teams.”

He added: “I think having that and being who we all are, it should be a great year. After the Super Bowl, we’re going 16-0, we’re going all the way.”

The offseason lull before training camp is a time for optimism, with many players expressing their confidence that they’ll enjoy a successful 2017 season.

So while Jackson shouldn’t be ridiculed for the prediction in a time when all players are feeling hopeful, the Jaguars need to prove there’s substance to go along with the hype.

Last offseason, after an impressive year for the offense and with the addition of Jackson, many expected the Jaguars to finally make good on their potential. Instead, the Jaguars finished 3-13.

Another impressive draft and free agency have caused some to jump back on the bandwagon, but with questions about Blake Bortles‘ ability to be an effective NFL starter and how the defensive talent will gel, the Jaguars should probably learn how to walk before they take a run at a championship.

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NFL: OCT 12 Broncos at Jets

Denver Broncos safety T.J. Ward thinks the defense that dominated the NFL en route to a Super Bowl 50 victory is being undervalued.

When asked by reporters on Monday what keeps the team motivated coming off a championship, Ward cited the media’s underestimation of the league’s best defense as fuel for their fire.

“Seems like a lot of the media is doing that for us,” Ward said. “We still don’t get the credit. I don’t know. (We just want to be) better than last year. That’s what we want to do. Be better than last year. We were learning the defense coming in and it’s so much easier coming in that second year (under coordinator Wade Phillips) when you already have the defensive plays and you know what you’re doing.”

The NFL’s consensus best defense held opponents to the fewest yards in 2015 and led the league in sacks. But losing Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan has led some to question if they’ll be able to return to their dominant form.

Ward wasn’t able to cite specific examples of criticism though, alluding to more of a general feeling about the 2016 Broncos.

“I don’t know, but it really doesn’t matter,” Ward said. “We’re going to the White House in a few weeks. It’s a new year. It’s a new season. We lost a couple guys on defense. Maybe they like us to play with a chip on our shoulders. It’s more entertaining that way.”

May. It’s never too early to play the underdog card in the NFL.

The Denver Broncos appear set to use the franchise tag to retain Von Miller heading into free agency.

Denver isn’t expected to reach a long-term deal with the star pass rusher in advance of the March 1 deadline to utilize the one-year tender, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Miller, arguably the NFL’s top pass rusher coming off a Super Bowl MVP performance, was never going to hit the open market.

The sides will now take their time to work out a long-term contract, in the hopes of reaching an agreement over the summer.

Signing Miller to a long-term contract before the franchise tag became necessary could’ve allowed the Broncos to use the designation on one of the club’s other key players.

Barring contract extensions in the coming days, quarterback Brock Osweiler and defensive lineman Malik Jackson should have the opportunity to test the open market.

It remains to be seen whether the Broncos will be able to make competitive contract offers for either during free agency.