Jaguars LB Posluszny endures another losing season
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Paul Posluszny is all too familiar with losing.
The Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker has secured a seventh consecutive losing season. No playoff games. No .500 record. Not even a taste of the postseason picture down the stretch.
It’s been a frustrating career — four years in Buffalo and the last three in Jacksonville — that Posluszny believes will eventually turn, even if he stays with the rebuilding Jaguars (1-9).
“It’s not easy. No one wants their NFL career to be like that,” Posluszny said Wednesday. “But where we’re at now, I’m hoping that they keep me here long enough because, when this thing takes off, it’s going to be a lot of fun.
“I’ve never been more confident in my career that we have all the right people in place with our owner — with his personality and what he’s willing to do — to our general manager and our head coach.”
Posluszny has seen plenty of management styles, too.
He has played under three owners, four general managers and seven — yes, seven — head coaches. Posluszny spent two seasons (2007-08) with Dick Jauron in Buffalo and then played for Perry Fewell (2009) and Chan Gailey (2010). He had Jack Del Rio (2011), interim coach Mel Tucker (2011), Mike Mularkey (2012) and now Gus Bradley in Jacksonville.
“It’s only after the fact that you say, ‘You know what, looking back,’” said Posluszny, a two-time All-America selection at Penn State. “There are reasons a team is that bad. It’s players, it’s the organization. But with the people we have here, we have the right pieces in place.”
Posluszny is certainly one of the cornerstones that Bradley and general manager Dave Caldwell want to build around.
He has 581 tackles, five sacks and two interceptions in three seasons in Jacksonville. He’s been at his best this season, recording 88 tackles, defending eight passes, forcing two fumbles and returning an interception 59 yards for his first career touchdown against Denver last month.
He missed last week’s game against Arizona, sitting out with a concussion. But he was cleared to practice Monday and should play Sunday at Houston.
“It’s good to have him back,” defensive coordinator Bob Babich said. “He is the quarterback of our defense. He can do a lot of things plus he’s been making a lot of plays. So it is good to have him back.”
Posluszny sustained the concussion when he collided with teammate Andre Branch late in the game against Tennessee. He wanted to get back on the field, but coaches and medical personnel advised him otherwise.
“It’s the fourth quarter, got two minutes left, why not finish out the game?” Posluszny said. “But that obviously wasn’t the right thing to do. ... I’m grateful that they’re a lot more intelligent than I am. They made the right call, 100 percent, and I’m glad that they did.”
Posluszny had started 41 consecutive games before the injury. He was back at practice three days after the hit, seeing how his body would respond, but ended up sitting out as a precaution.
“When people talk about concussion, the main thing you hear are horror stories about, ‘I blacked out. I don’t remember anything. I can’t look into light. I can’t be around noise,’” Posluszny said. “I didn’t have any of those severe symptoms. So talking with our doctors and neurologists, they all said the same thing. They said, ‘Very minor. Let’s be smart. You’re feeling good.’ So I wasn’t overly concerned.”
Posluszny is concerned about ending his losing ways. He knows it’s going to take time, especially since Jacksonville is in the early stages of a complete restoration project. But he’s sure it will happen.
“We’re having a tough time now. That’s obvious,” he said. “But I’m telling you this is going to turn and it’s really, really going to take off. I’m hoping I get to be a part of that.”
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