JACKSONVILLE – These are critical times, and an important week.
That's the state of the Jaguars entering 2023 Week 15. As Evan Engram sees it, how the Jaguars approach the situation matters – and on that front, the veteran tight end likes what he sees.
"We're 8-5, and a lot of teams in this league if you told them they're going to be 8-5 in the middle of December, they're probably happy with it," Engram said. "We're sitting here angry.
"That shows you where we're trying to go as a team and as a franchise and as a culture."
Engram, a seventh-year veteran who in two Jaguars seasons has developed into a team leader on and off the field, joined senior writer John Oehser this week's Week 15 O-Zone Podcast. Among the topics: His mindset in the middle of the best statistical season of his NFL career.
Engram, who signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in the 2022 offseason, has a career-high 84 receptions this season and is on pace with 701 yards receiving to break his career-high of 766 yards he set last season.
"The last two years, it feels like I'm just getting started," he said.
Engram, a first-round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, originally signed a one-year deal with the Jaguars in '22. He re-signed a long-term deal this past offseason.
"God's will is being done in my life," he said. "He just put me right where he's wanted me and right where I'm supposed to be. This is a home because of just the people here – the people I come to work with every single day, coaches, training staff, teammates, cafeteria people, the fans …
"I get so much love from the fans and just the vibe here in Jacksonville in general."
And while Engram this week said the Jaguars' record means there's no reason to panic, he said it's just as true that Sunday's game is an opportunity the Jaguars must embrace.
"It always comes back to be where your feet are," he said. "Where are you right now? Where are you in your preparation today? Are you doing the little things right? Are you locked in on your role, the things you're asked to do within the game plan on whatever side of the ball you play on?
"Right now we're in preparation to go beat the Ravens. What better opportunity than to beat the No. 1 team in the AFC right now? What a great opportunity to go respond this week?"
Listen to the entire O-Zone Podcast with Engram below. To listen to more episode of the O-Zone Podcast, click HERE.