If Jamie Winborn can believe what he's read this week, then he's going to get some playing time at linebacker against the Houston Texans this Sunday. That's why Winborn is spending extra time on learning the Jaguars' defensive system.
Coach Jack Del Rio told reporters on Monday that Winborn could replace either of the Jaguars' two outside linebackers, Akin Ayodele and Daryl Smith, each of whom was judged to have turned in a subpar performance in last Sunday's loss to the Rams. That message was undoubtedly intended to promote competition at the position.
"It's good to have an opportunity to show what I can do," Winborn said following Thursday's practice.
He came to the Jaguars a month ago in a trade with San Francisco. The Jaguars gave the 49ers a seventh-round draft choice for a veteran who would give the Jaguars depth at linebacker and experience on special teams. Now, Winborn may get a shot to prove he can fit in the Jaguars' future.
"The way I'm looking at it is that it's a great team here and I'd love to be here. Being in the middle of the season, you don't get as many reps as you'd like. If they like how I play, then I'd love to be here," he said.
Winborn will become an unrestricted free agent next March, unless the Jaguars sign him to a new deal before then.
He'd like to get a full opportunity to show what he can do, but he knows that will require more learning. Though he will get playing time this Sunday, it's likely to be only situational.
"I was told to stay on top of my game. If I have to play, that's fine with me," he said. "I'm not selfish enough to expect the coaches to limit the game plan because of me. I still have a long way to go. I get in on certain situations; that's how they're using me right now. I think I'll get some plays.
"You're trying to learn in two-and-a-half weeks what people have been learning since March. I'm doing the extra studying. It just takes time," Winborn added.
Ayodele and Smith are likely to handle the bulk of the workload at the two outside linebacker positions. Winborn will provide competition, which has also been a theme at wide receiver this week.
"I want the team to win. If putting me out there is putting the team at a big disadvantage, then I don't want to be out there," Winborn said.
One way or another, his presence will be felt.