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Getting to Know Rookie Defensive Lineman Tyler Lacy

0825 Tyler Lacy - Getting to Know

JACKSONVILLE – Tyler Lacy knows he has a lot to prove. You see it in how he practices every day. The defensive lineman from Oklahoma State senses something special building in North Florida and not just because of the quarterback – though he, like most observers, thinks quarterback Trevor Lawrence is a big reason. The defense has a lot of talented players and a season ago the unit was close to being very good. Lacy believes this group has a chance to be very good very soon. Senior correspondent Brian Sexton caught up with Lacy off the practice field in August.

Q: You emptied the tank out there for every practice. Where does that work ethic and intensity on the practice field come from?

A: Just motivation. Just trying to prove to my family I can be here and just trying to prove to myself I can be here. And then just trying to prove to the coaches that I could be here as well. And I'm just trying to give him every drip I have. It has been hot out here, so I've had a lot of dripping sweat. I'm willing to put in the work to be a part of this. I think I still have more left in the tank to give. I work to empty that tank every single day, but I know I have to be ready to give more than I think I have. That's what it takes to play at this level and I am trying to push myself past what I think into what I can actually do.

Q: You look like a guy who could play inside or outside. How critical is the ability to play wherever they ask you along the defensive front? Is that how a fourth-round defensive tackle makes this team?

A: I think so. Being able to go from position to position physically is really important for the defensive staff. It's not just being strong or quick to play somewhere, I need to know what to do, what my job is in any position. It isn't easy to do and it's taking me a lot of time in the film room and in the playbook so that I'm ready when they call my number. That's really the deal. You have to be ready for whatever, whenever they say, "Hey 93!" The coaches need a Swiss Army knife somewhere on the roster and I'm trying to earn that role. It's why I leave the practice field gassed every day, it's a lot of work. But I'm willing to do whatever it takes.

Q:It seems you have a really good group of veterans to learn how to prepare how to play in the NFL.

A: I'm really grateful to have that room full of veteran players. They know the score and that everyone is out here fighting for a job, but they still pour knowledge into me. When you have a (outside linebacker) Josh Allen or (defensive lineman) DaVon Hamilton put their arm around you and show you what to do and how to do it, they're showing me how to prepare for practice and meetings and the game on Saturday. I couldn't ask for anything more, they're a great group of players and people and I am blessed to have been drafted by the Jaguars.

Q:What's it like not having to worry about anything but football? When you were at Oklahoma State, you had to maintain a grade-point average and go to class. Now it's all about ball. How are you adjusting to that and what has it been like?

A: It's been great. Actually having the time to get my body back after a long practice and before the next one or to study the film or the playbook is a big deal. I can focus on ball all day long. It just keeps my mind focused and on the right track. There are so many distractions and it's easy to get off track, especially with more time. But I've worked to eliminate all the distractions, just worry about today, to be mindful of football and worry about the moment.

Q: How about getting your body ready after a practice where you leave it all on the field?

A: This new building (the Miller Electric Center) has absolutely everything you could want. I use it all. Seriously, it's here to be used and it doesn't cost a thing so why wouldn't I take advantage of it all? I use the cold tub and the red-light therapy and everything else they have. I also pay close attention to my nutrition and hydration, I can't let something I can control like getting ready to play keep me off the field. If I can control it, I am going to control it and I have control over how I take care of this body. Plus, I feel so much better and sleep better and they're always talking to us about good sleep.

Q: Is there a coach or a parent, somebody that you would say really got you to this point, a mentor of sorts that always was there to pick you up with things weren't good?

A: I have a trainer back home. He used to train me all the time. He's actually a Dallas police officer, Nate Dragon, and he has been training me since I was in seventh grade. He has been on the ride with me. He has been there for the bumps in the road and helped me when I was down and was there to celebrate when things were good. I've always been able to lean on him. He has been there every day to push me, send me things to work on and encouraging me every day.

Q: How is your family adjusted to having an NFL player in their ranks? Are they enjoying it?

A: Everybody's enjoying this ride. They call, they want me to call them every single day and tell them all about my day. I'm tired talking to them, but they're so excited where I can't be tired and show that I'm tired, so, so it's a great feeling. I'm focused on football. When I get home and I'm lying in bed, I'm thinking, "I'm really putting on a Jag uniform this Saturday and going out there and playing for them in the NFL with a crest on my shoulder."

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