JACKSONVILLE – Evan Engram's feelings are strong.
The reasons are many. His teammates. Coaches. Fans. How he fits in the offense. And yes … the camaraderie that has led to the Jaguars' recent success. All matter to Engram. A lot.
"I definitely feel like I found a home," he said.
Engram, a sixth-year NFL tight end who signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent from the New York Giants last offseason, joined senior writer John Oehser for this 2022 Week 18 O-Zone Podcast. He discussed multiple topics, including Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
"His talent is special; it's really special," Engram said as the AFC South-leading Jaguars (8-8) prepared to play the Tennessee Titans (7-9) for the division title at TIAA Bank Field Saturday at 8:15 p.m.
As much as talent, Engram said what made him believe in Lawrence was how the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft handled adversity early in the season.
"His tough days, he was very open about looking in the mirror: How can he get better, not making any excuses and showing up as the same teammate, the same leader, every day," said Engram, who played his first two NFL seasons with two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Eli Manning. "I had Eli for two or three years. It was a rough time in New York at the end of his career, which was really underserving, and Eli was the same man – the same teammate – every single day.
"Once I got the gist of that, I knew he (Lawrence) had the intangibles to be the great leader that his talent requires."
Engram in his first season with the Jaguars has developed a quick rapport with Lawrence, a turning in a career-best season with 69 receptions for 739 yards and four touchdowns through 16 games.
It was the sort of season for which Engram hoped when he signed a "prove-it" deal last offseason. And while that contract expires at the end of the season, he left little doubt where he hopes his future lies.
"There's something that's being built," Engram said. "And it's being built on a very special, very good foundation. A lot of those things are out of my control, and that time will come. But I really enjoy Jacksonville. I really enjoy this organization. I enjoy the fan base. I can not wait to see them Saturday night, how they come and respond and show up for us.
"It's a really special place. Some really good prayers are being said about the future, for sure."
Click the clip below, to listen to the entire O-Zone Podcast with Engram. To listen to more O-Zone Podcast episodes, click HERE.