PONTE VEDRA, Fla. -- His comfort level is increasing.
That's an important point about Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny's transition, but he's also not as comfortable as would be ideal.
And to Posluszny, that makes the coming weeks about as critical as he can imagine.
"It's a completely new position, so just the fact that I've never lined up at the position … these will be extremely important weeks," Posluszny said Sunday shortly before a dinner kicking off the 22nd Annual Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Celebrity Golf Classic in partnership with THE PLAYERS.
Posluszny, an 11-year veteran and the Jaguars' starting middle linebacker the past six seasons, is moving to the strong-side position for next season. Second-year veteran Myles Jack is moving from strong to middle.
The strong-side position in the Jaguars' defense previously was known as the Otto position. Posluszny, who said he has gained comfort with the move in recent weeks during Phase 2 of the Jaguars' offseason program, said the role will be different from years past when it was played by players such as Dan Skuta and Jack.
"We tried to have that guy be another [pass-]rusher – like Dan Skuta tried to go down and rush," Posluszny said. "That's obviously not my skill set. I won't have to do that."
Posluszny said coverage responsibilities will remain similar, with the position being asked to cover tight ends at times.
"Nothing that we haven't done before," Posluszny said.
Posluszny upon learning of the position switch earlier this offseason said it would be the toughest challenge of his career. That makes the repetitions he will get during OTAs important.
"Mentally, I can say, 'Yeah, I understand the position and where I'm supposed to be,' but doing it live in a competitive environment, that will be the challenge,'' Posluszny said. "So, I'm excited about OTAs."
AROUND THE JAGUARS
*Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell also attended the Jay Fund dinner. Asked about the upcoming OTA period, he reiterated what he said following the '17 draft – that while the Jaguars appear to have improved there remains work to be done. "Right now it's all on paper," Caldwell said. "It's up to the players to come together – and let's just find out what they can do. Caldwell also said he has seen improvement in quarterback Blake Bortles during the early on-field part of the offseason program. "I think he's getting better day-by-day," Caldwell said, adding of Head Coach Doug Marrone saying last week the Jaguars will increase Bortles' offseason repetitions, "The more reps anybody has, the better. Doug's got a good plan and, as we go forward, hopefully you'll see improvement." Asked if this was a key offseason for Bortles, Caldwell said, "Every day's important; not just for Blake, but for everyone."
*Jaguars third-year guard A.J. Cann said he has been working at both left and right guard during the team's offseason conditioning program. Cann, a third-round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, has started primarily at right guard for the Jaguars after playing mostly left guard collegiately at South Carolina. "Whatever side they put me on, wherever they tell me to work, I just have to take advantage," Cann said at the Jay Fund dinner. "I really don't care which one. Even though people ask me because I played left in college and right my first two years here … I don't prefer either side." …