What he and the rest of the Jacksonville Jaguars (9-4) have to do to beat Sunday’s opponent is much more important to him than last week’s victory over Seattle, which allowed him to accomplish something he’s never done before in his 11-year NFL career: Play for a winning team.
“I haven’t really thought about it that much,” Posluszny said Wednesday. “Now, years from now, when I’m not playing anymore, it will be exciting to know that, yeah, I had the opportunity to experience that as opposed to, ‘Yeah, I played in the NFL for a long time, but I never won.’
“I know I’ll be very appreciative of that.”
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Posluszny was one of only two current players in the NFL who had played 11 or more years and had not played for a winning team. The Jaguars’ 30-24 victory over Seattle last Sunday, in which he had four tackles (two for loss), now leaves only one: Buffalo guard Richie Incognito.
Posluszny never won more than seven games in four seasons in Buffalo and went 4-12 in his final season. He signed with the Jaguars in 2011 and though he played at a high level (he’s second in franchise history in tackles, has 11 interceptions and went to the Pro Bowl in 2013) the Jaguars never won more than five games until this season.
“How many times have we walked into a training camp and we said, ‘Man, we’re really excited,’ and then for whatever reason it didn’t work out?” Posluszny said. “Now, going through the offseason we did and the training camp we did, well, now you know what it truly takes, what hard work really is, so when it comes to that, it was a great learning experience.”
Tight end Marcedes Lewis is the only player on the current roster who was with the Jaguars the last time the franchise had a winning record (2007). That was his second season, so he understands just how significant last Sunday’s victory to get to 9-4 will be to Posluszny.
“It’s amazing,” Lewis said. “It’s whack because I know that it [the team not winning] hasn’t been because of him. You get what I’m saying? It sucks that a really good player like that — who does everything right, has never been fined, never complains, unselfish — has never had a winning season. You’ve got guys that don’t even care about the game as much as he does riding the wave on some teams.
“It’s good that he’s experiencing this and is a pivotal piece of our team. That’s one of the most important parts. He’s not just a guy happy to be on a team with a jersey, barely making the team, on the bubble. No, he’s a contributor and doing his thing. That’s dope.”
The Jaguars decided in the offseason that second-year player Myles Jack would take over as the Jaguars’ starting middle linebacker, which drastically reduced Posluszny’s snaps. He’s playing on special teams for the first time in his seven years with the Jaguars and was getting spot duty on defense, but started the last two games in place of Telvin Smith (concussion).
Now that Posluszny is finally guaranteed to play for a team that finishes with a winning record, there’s one more thing he wants to cross off his list: Making the playoffs. That can happen Sunday with a victory over the Texans (4-9).
“When I got here in 2011, I thought we were going to the playoffs because David Garrard was going to be our quarterback and we were going to have a great defense and it just didn’t unfold the way you thought,” Posluszny said. “We did play well defensively. To be at the bottom and to finally fight our way, work our way and get back up, just to be in the position that we’re at now, it’s great and it shows you that we’ve finally started to earn the right to win.
“Now we want more.”