JACKSONVILLE – This was important to Myles Jack.
That was clear when he was asked Wednesday afternoon about being named a Jaguars captain for 2021. Yes, the veteran linebacker told the gathered media, this mattered. A lot.
"I just feel like it's one of the highest honors, especially in the NFL," Jack said Wednesday as the Jaguars prepared to play the Houston Texans in the 2021 regular-season opener at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, Sunday at 1 p.m.
Jack, entering his sixth NFL season, was among seven players named captain Wednesday: Jack, center Brandon Linder, quarterback Trevor Lawrence, wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr., cornerback Shaq Griffin, safety Rayshawn Jenkins and defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen.
Players voted on the captains, with Head Coach Urban Meyer saying Jack received the most votes.
"He has been that way since we got here," Meyer said of Jack. "He always has had a very good reputation, but he has exceeded that with us so far. [Assistant Head] Coach [Charlie] Strong and him are extremely close. We're seeing a side of him that we've pulled out of him, I hope.
"We always say, 'You have to lead yourself before you lead others.' He's stronger than he ever has been. His body is right. He's in a good place."
Jack was among three returning players named captain for a team that currently has 22 of 53 players who weren't with the team last season.
"To be in your building and have people feel like you deserve to be a captain … I truly appreciate it," Jack said. "Especially with so many new guys. It's a brand-new team. To have that kind of respect and people think that highly of you, it means a lot. It's really cool."
Jack, a second-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, enters his sixth NFL season as the longest-tenured player on the Jaguars' defense. And whereas he began his career with players such as former middle linebacker Paul Posluszny serving as veteran leaders, he now is in that role.
"It's cool," Jack said. "As human beings, when you get a piece of information your job is to pass it down to the next generation so that way, they can kind of speed through what you messed up on. That's what I try to help [second-year linebacker] Shaq [Quarterman] with.
"When you're young, there's days when it's good, days that it's bad and there's hard days of practice. You just have to embrace it. You're not going to go out every day and have a fantastic practice, but that's the point of it. You learn from it, get better and go from there."
Jack on entering his sixth NFL season: "It's been a really cool journey. I couldn't imagine it going like this. I've enjoyed every second of it. It's been great. Hopefully, Year 6 – we can kind of start to turn that Jaguars name around. We've shaken up the whole building top to bottom. It's going to be really exciting. … We have great talent. We have the pieces. We're gelling together so everybody trusts everybody. It's a great position to be in."