In his preseason debut against the Atlanta Falcons, Devin Lloyd made a great first impression in his first action as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars. His teammates seemed to recognize that they were witnessing something special, especially veteran linebacker Foyesade Oluokun, who commented on Lloyd’s performance at Monday’s press conference.
After fielding questions about the defense at large, Oluokun made sure to praise the rookie linebacker for his effort, noting the ease with which Lloyd has transitioned to the pace of the NFL.
“It’s good for him, for sure,” Oluokun said of Lloyd’s usage against Atlanta. “Now he gets to work off what he put on tape. He’s a great athlete, and I think he has potential to be really special. I was just happy to see him running around out there, get that confidence in and be able to make plays on the ball and keep building off that, so I’m excited for him.”
This season will be a test of Jacksonville’s mettle as they seek to prove they’re better than last year’s squad. Two failed seasons in a row have left the Jaguars with a reputation as the league’s doormat, but after loading up on talent in free agency and the draft, the team hopes it’s primed for something special in 2022.
The contributions of Lloyd and Oluokun will be critical factors in the success of the defense, and if the comments from Monday’s media availability are any indication, the players are on track to live up to their potential this season.
It will take a full team effort, though, and only in conjunction with the new coaching staff will the defense find itself as one of the NFL’s premier units. From top to bottom, the Jaguars have looked to revamp what their team looks like on both sides of the ball, but with a second-year quarterback in his first year of a new system, the onus is on the defense to make Jacksonville a competitor this season.