JACKSONVILLE – Wednesday was a good day for Urban Meyer.
That's because Wednesday was the day the Jaguars announced their seven captains for the 2021 season. The reason there were seven was that was how many players were considered deserving by their teammates. And that was fine with Meyer.
"I know some people do two or three," Meyer, in his first season as the Jaguars' head coach, said upon announcing the captains 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.
"I always like a lot of captains. I've always done that."
Captains for 2021: linebacker Myles Jack, center Brandon Linder, quarterback Trevor Lawrence, safety Rayshawn Jenkins, linebacker/defensive end Josh Allen, cornerback Shaq Griffin and wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr.
Lawrence, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, was the lone rookie captain named. Meyer said he was the third-leading vote-getter in player voting.
"I was impressed that he was up there," Meyer said. "That's a credit to him."
Meyer said Jack received the most votes. The sixth-year veteran was among three players from last year's Jaguars team named captain with Allen and Linder being the others. Griffin, Jones and Jenkins all signed as veteran unrestricted free agents this past offseason.
"He has been that way since we got here," Meyer said of Jack receiving the most votes. "He always has had a very good reputation, but he exceeded that with us so far."
Linder was named captain for a fifth consecutive season, making him the first "gold-star" captain in Jaguars history. That refers to the five stars on the NFL's captain uniform patch when a player reaches that plateau.
Special teams have been a major focus for Meyer since taking the head-coaching position in January, and Meyer on Wednesday praised special teams coordinator Nick Sorenson and special teams assistant Carlos Polk for preparing the unit through a difficult offseason. Brian Schneider, named special teams coordinator in February, left in May for personal reasons and was replaced by Sorenson. "I'd like to credit Carlos Polk and Nick Sorenson," Meyer said. "It was a transition we made in the middle of spring. It was hard. It wasn't very good for a minute. They worked their tail off." The Jaguars retained multiple players on the final roster who are considered special teams aces, a group that includes safety Rudy Ford – who Meyer on Wednesday again praised as one of the best "gunners" he ever has coached. "I think he's the best in the NFL at what he does," Meyer said. The Jaguars signed Ford as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, also signing wide receiver/returner Jamal Agnew. Players such as safety Andrew Wingard, safety Daniel Thomas and end Lerentee McCray are also considered "four-core" special-teams specialists.
Meyer on Sunday's regular-season opener: "This is a tone-setter. This is a setter for everything."