New Steeler Myles Jack addresses specific concern about his game coming from Jacksonville

After linebacker Myles Jack signed a free-agent contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers in March, a concern emerged from his days with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

A few outlets noted that Jack wasn’t particularly effective wearing the green dot communication helmet. Many Steelers fans had hoped Jack would be a natural for that duty and perhaps alleviate the need for Devin Bush to have those responsibilities so that Bush could just concentrate on making plays and improving after a rocky 2021.

After all, Jack does come with a reputation of being an intelligent player and seems to be a good communicator.

But as News 4 Jax television reporter Jamal St. Cyr told me during an appearance on 105.9 The X, for whatever reason, Jack just never adapted to having the communication device assignment.

“The Jaguars defensive coordinators kept wanting to put this leadership role (on him). Make him the Mike (middle) linebacker. Give him the green dot (communication helmet). They even did it last year. And Myles Jack does not play well when he has to think, and you put him in charge of other players,” St. Cyr said.

St. Cyr stressed that he “wasn’t taking a shot” at Jack with that comment, insisting that Jack is a very instinctive and smart player. But having the green dot helmet tended to slow him down and dull his instincts.

“He just doesn’t play well with that green dot,” St. Cyr continued. “When he is in charge of lining up other guys, making that play call, his play tanks. As soon as you take that green dot away from him and say go out and do your responsibility, it’s like a light comes on.”

St. Cyr pointed at 2020 when he said one-time Steeler Joe Schobert had the play-calling duties and Jack had 118 tackles, five pass deflections, a sack, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and an interception.

When Schobert left for Pittsburgh, coach Urban Meyer and his staff gave Jack the green dot back and his play slipped. When they took it away again after the first five weeks of the season, his play improved. But Jack still didn’t have a single fumble recovery, forced fumble, pass deflection or interception all season.

On Wednesday, I asked Jack about the green dot topic. He said a decision has yet to be made about who will have that helmet between him and Bush.

“That hasn’t been decided yet,” Jack said. “Right now, we both have the green dot. So we are both just communicating on the field. But if I was called to do it, I could do it.

The player with the Jags last year who ended up with the dot was Damien Wilson, who took over for Schobert when he came to Pittsburgh. So the initial thinking was to have Jack wear the dot and get the calls to him. Jack relayed them to Wilson, who was just learning the defense after coming from Kansas City. And Wilson would bark them out to the rest of the defense.

Jack said that just became too cumbersome.

“In the preseason, Schobert had it. Then we traded Schobert (to the Steelers),” Jack explained. “And they just kinda threw it on me. But I was the Will. It created communication issues because the Mike is sitting there waiting for me to give him the call and make the closed call. So eventually they switched it over (to Wilson).

“They felt like me playing Will (weak-side linebacker), they felt like the Mike should have the green dot. That was the miscommunication (in Jacksonville). But if (the Steelers coaches) needed me to do it, I could do it 100%.”

From the matter of preference, Jack says it’s easier not to have the dot. But if head coach Mike Tomlin and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin assign him that job, he’ll willingly accept it.

“It’s obviously cool just hearing the call and just playing,” Jack said. “But if I have the responsibility of getting people lined up, that’s not hard to do. It’s one more thing but I don’t think it will slow me down by any means. If they name me the Mike and give me the green dot, I can do it.”

You can read our full conversation with St. Cyr and hear the interview about Jack from March by clicking this link.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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