Guard A.J. Cann has seen a lot of iterations of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The third-longest tenured member of the Jaguars (behind fellow offensive linemen Brandon Linder and Tyler Shatley), the 2015 third-round pick has started 90 of the 91 games he’s appeared in throughout his career, and he’s had three head coaches and two general managers in that time.
So any quick change to the franchise’s culture would be easily recognized by Cann. He discussed the difference he’s felt during the first offseason under Urban Meyer on an episode of the “O-Zone Podcast” with Jaguars writer John Oehser.
“We know where he wants to go,” Cann said. “He wants to win and he wants to win now. As a team, we’re hungry. We hear a hungry head coach talking like that and working his butt off to give us everything he can to win and increase our value. That makes you want to go out there and give it all you have for a guy like that. He’s been everything and all of that since he has been here.”
Cann is a part of the position group expected to have the most continuity under the new regime. The offensive line is the most experienced unit on the team, and Cann plays between the most experienced member of the offensive line in Linder and the least experienced in Jawaan Taylor, a former second-round pick who the Jags believe has a lot of potential.
Cann discussed his relationship with both on Oehser’s podcast, saying that the group is often on the same page and communicates well due to the amount of time they’ve played together.
“Just knowing who you’re going to battle with, and knowing that person in and out,” Cann said. “I’ve been beside Brandon for a while. Sometimes when we see something, we’ll look at each other and it’s like, ‘You saw that? I saw it, too.’ I just know what he’s thinking about and I am able to think on the same page.
“It’s the same with Jawaan: He can make a point and I say, ‘I’m already watching it.’ That’s a cool thing. You can feel the presence of the group. We’ve got guys who have been there. We made some strides last year. We’re working to build on that.”
Cann remains one of the more consistent members of the Jacksonville offensive line, and it’s why he’s held down a starting job for so long. In 919 snaps in 2020, he allowed only two sacks, per Pro Football Focus. His play, along with the play of his cohorts, will be key in both the development of rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence and building off the strides made in the run game last season.
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