JACKSONVILLE – Good hasn't been quite good enough for Foyesade Oluokun.
Yes, the Jaguars' defense through two games has been good in 2023. But if the performance so far has been better than many observers expected, the sixth-year veteran and defensive leader sees it differently.
"We could definitely be playing better," he said.
Oluokun, who signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in 2022, joined senior writer John Oehser for this week's 2023 Week 3 O-Zone Podcast. He discussed multiple topics, including his football journey in which he entered the NFL as a sixth-round draft selection from Yale University – and the camaraderie of a defense that has allowed three touchdowns and forced five takeaways in two games.
"I feel like we're pretty close unit," Oluokun said. "Even when we bring in guys, we kind of usher them along to make sure we're all friends first. At the end of the day, we don't have any bickering and stuff. We bicker sometimes, sure, but it's all fun and games. It's all part of just being friends and stuff.
"I think our friendship comes first, then obviously when you're good friends we all know we have a job to do and we're going to help each other do it."
Oluokun, an inside linebacker who played with the Atlanta Falcons from 2018-2021, has led the NFL in tackles each of the last two seasons. He also has served as a team captain in each of his Jaguars seasons. And if the Jaguars' 2023 defense is said to be outperforming observers' preseason expectations, Oluokun said a unit that returned all starters under second-year coordinator Mike Caldwell doesn't agree.
"I couldn't say surprised," he said. "With everybody coming back, we all play with each other, so we kind of know what it looks like when we're doing things right. We've definitely grown as a whole unit and have a lot of trust in our brothers. Being able to play off of them, that kind of helps you fly around a little bit more.
"We all know the talent we have in our rooms just going out there and executing. Everybody knowing what they're doing [is important]. If you're not in the right place, it doesn't matter if you win a pass rush, if somebody is open in the flat or right. It doesn't matter if you win inside rush if now there's nobody containing and keeping the quarterback in the right spot. Everybody being in the right spot is going to help you win your one-on-one battle.
"When you have talent, you're able to exploit that."
Listen to the entire O-Zone Podcast with Oluokun below. To listen to more episodes of the O-Zone, click HERE.