Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Jaguars’ Arik Armstead adjusts to Jacksonville, new teammates

By meerna Jul11,2024
Jaguars’ Arik Armstead adjusts to Jacksonville, new teammates

Armstead also revealed why he got into podcasting and what his goals are as a podcaster.


Despite being a rookie with the Jacksonville Jaguars, defensive lineman Arik Armstead is already adjusting well to a new city and a new team.

The 10-year NFL veteran has been very active this offseason since moving from San Francisco, where he began his career with the 49ers, to Jacksonville.

He went to Publix to try out their famous subs and documented it on his social media platforms. And the Jaguars’ social media team posted a video of Armstead, pass rusher Josh Hines-Allen and linebacker Foye Oluokun hanging out and getting to know each other better.

“It’s been great getting used to the city. Getting to know my new teammates and coaches,” Armstead said at the end of OTAs. “It’s been a great transition. I’m excited about this year. I’m excited about the team we have. I think we have a great team that can do a lot this year. And those are the building blocks.”

During OTAs, Armstead highlighted former first-round pick Travon Walker and paid the pass rusher a huge compliment. He said Walker could become the best edge rusher in the league.

But it wasn’t just Walker, Armstead was impressed by many of his new teammates.

“We have some great guys on the team. Some great guys on defense and it’s definitely a family atmosphere, which is great,” he said. “Getting to know them and being around them. We talked about this year and how important it was for us to have continuity, stick together and trust each other.”

Armstead was brought in by the team as part of a group of free agents who could fill dual roles for the franchise. They are valued players on the field, but they also bring an experienced presence and leadership that the Jaguars lacked last season.

“Not so much in training camp, I’m looking down in December and January, what it’s like at the end of the season. So there’s no repeat of what happened last year,” head coach Doug Pederson said of Armstead during OTAs. “You need guys like that. That’s all I can say, but when you put it in the hands of the players and the guys who’ve been there, done that, it means more comes from them.”

‘Be Yourself’: Armstead Joins New Team With Same Attitude

Armstead is entering uncharted territory in his career, having spent nine years with the same team, making an impact on and off the field in the Bay Area.

Appeared in 116 games for the Niners, recording 177 solo tackles, 33.5 sacks and three forced fumbles on the field

Armstead played on Super Bowl teams and was a mainstay of the league’s best defenses. He is also a four-time nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, considered the sport’s most prestigious honor.

As he moves into this new phase of his career, he will continue with the same approach that has led him to all of his successes to date.

“My attitude is just being myself. I think that’s what got me here and meeting new people, I want to be myself. Be authentic,” he said. “I don’t believe in coming from somewhere and coming here and thinking, ‘Oh, that’s how we did it there,’ and blah, blah, blah.”

Being himself, Armstead understands the position he finds himself in when he joins the Jaguars. He understands that the roster is largely unproven and that he will be pressured to lead, especially by younger players.

With new defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen, the actual play on the field is still largely unknown. There have been hints and crumbs of what the scheme will look like this offseason, but until the actual competition, it’s all speculative.

Nielsen spoke about versatility and giving players the freedom to play multiple positions. Armstead is someone who could thrive in that role, lining up on the edge and inside the defensive line.

“We have a great team,” Armstead continued. “It will always come down to execution and discipline when you’re trying to reach new heights.”

Those new heights won’t come easy. The AFC South is reloading this offseason, and with the Jaguars looking to reclaim their title, there will be challenges.

Houston added players like Stefon Diggs and Joe Mixon on offense, the Titans added Calvin Ridley and the Colts hope to start the season with a healthy defensive line of Anthony Richardson and Jonathon Taylor.

But Armstead is looking forward to enjoying the waves and helping his new team reach the top.

“There’s going to be a lot of adversity along the way and how you respond to it to get over that hump,” Armstead said. “That’s what we’re all excited to try to do this season and move forward with our team. I have experience doing that.

“I was 2-14 in this league, I was 13-3 and went to the Super Bowl, so I know what that looks like. I was part of that journey to get over that hump and I’m happy to try to help do that here.”

Third and Long: Armstead Expands in Podcast Space

Earlier in the offseason, Armstead hosted Hines-Allen on his Third and Long podcast from EverBank Stadium to talk goals and expectations for the upcoming season.

He entered the podcasting space before the 2023 season began and has continued to branch out into the audio media space. According to Armstead, he wanted to get into podcasting for a few reasons.

“I always challenge myself to do things outside of my comfort zone,” he began. “I challenge myself if I have an idea, I want to do something to implement the plan and make it happen. So I had the idea that I wanted to do a podcast.”

Another reason for the podcast was to provide a first-hand perspective on what happens on the football field, especially what happens in Armstead’s games or when it comes to his team.

“I was really tired of going online, going on social media and generating content about me and my team,” he continued. “I know what’s real. I know what’s going on. I’m just tired of everything. Every time I go online, someone’s talking about me, my situation, my team, or my teammates, not me or someone on the inside.”

And finally he wanted to teach people how to play football.

“I wanted to teach them how to play, I wanted to show them a different side,” he said. “To show people what was going on in my head and what really happened between those white lines.”

Armstead isn’t the first professional athlete to start a podcast while still actively playing, and he likely won’t be the last. But he’s proud of the progress he’s made in the field and looks forward to continuing to grow.

“I’m getting better at expressing that and what’s going on there,” he said. “I just wanted to bring the game to people and be a new voice and a new presence in that space.”

Juston Lewis is the Jacksonville Jaguars reporter for the Florida Times-Union. You can follow him on the website formerly known as Twitter at @JustonLewis_.

By meerna

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