JACKSONVILLE – He can feel and see the difference.
That's a good thing for Travon Walker, because the Jaguars' outside linebacker is a second-year player now. That means he's not a rookie anymore. As he sees it, the difference is real.
"It just means a lot of growth," he said.
Walker, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, joined senior writer John Oehser for this week's 2023 O-Zone Podcast. He discussed multiple topics, including expectations as the 2022 AFC South Champions move into the 2023 season.
"We all want to win and that's something that's coming from us playing with each other last year," Walker said. "We all have a standard and the main standard to us is to win. We all have an understanding with individual goals. It comes with winning.
"Once we get the winning and just prove our self as a team, then that just accelerates a lot more things for individual accolades."
Walker, who registered 3.5 sacks as a rookie last season, registered another in the Jaguars' 31-21 Week 1 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
"I'm in the stage of my career where I'm just playing and not doing a lot of thinking as I was in my rookie year," he said. "I'd definitely say from rookie year to the second year, I've seen enough of what can happen in the league -- formation shifts and things of that nature – just to be able to recognize and have some sort of idea of what's going to happen other than just being out there fishing blind, not knowing what's going to happen. I can kind of predetermine some things."
Walker also discussed the difference in the Jaguars now compared to early 2022. They lost six of their first eight games last season. They have won nine of 12 games since, with two losses to the Kansas City Chiefs and one to the Detroit Lions.
"It was definitely the simple fact of obviously us learning how to win, but also last year was the coaches first year," Walker said of a coaching staff that was largely in its first season last season under Head Coach Doug Pederson. "A lot of players were in their first year playing together.
"Coming in into Year Two a lot of us have played together or been coached by the same coaches. We have that chemistry amongst each other now to where we all on the same page and we're not out there out there just running around trying to make plays."
Listen to the entire O-Zone Podcast with Walker below. To listen to more guests on the O-Zone Podcast, click HERE.