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Jack: 'The standard is the standard'

When newly signed linebacker Myles Jack said it, he honestly had no idea he was dropping the most well-known one-liner uttered by Coach Mike Tomlin.

"The standard is the standard," said Jack, standing in the hallway just feet away from the Steelers locker room at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

When he was told about the line, the smile on his face got even bigger and brighter.

"For real," he said.

Yes, for real.

But that is what Jack loves about the Steelers already. That the standard is the standard.

"To come to Pittsburgh where they have had winning streaks, the foundation is set," said Jack. "The standard is the standard. It's great to be a part of it. You know what's going on.

"It's definitely a close-knit family organization. You can just feel it. People are happy to be at work. People are happy to be a part of it. You can feel it."

Jack's enthusiasm is contagious, and just his energy talking about signing with the Steelers, makes you realize he is going to bring that same passion to the field right off the bat.

"I have a relentless approach," said Jack. "I am going to run and hit. That is what I know. I am going to know the playbook, that is what I have to do. But at the end of the day my job is to get to the football no matter what. I am just going to run and hit. I am here to work. I am here to contribute. I can't wait to get to it."

It's easy to understand why he is so pumped up. The past week has been filled with ups and downs. He was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars just before the start of free agency. It was the team he started 83 of the 89 games he played in during his six years with the Jaguars. In his six seasons he recorded 511 tackles, 19 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, 17 quarterback hits, three interceptions, 15 passes defensed, two forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and two defensive touchdowns.

But the Jaguars releasing him allowed him to find a new home quickly in Pittsburgh after he signed a two-year contract.

"It's been a roller coaster," said Jack. "You get fired one day. You don't know what's going on. You don't know if you are ever going to play football again. You go through all of the emotions.

"It's kind of tough. Once you get through the emotions, the initial shock, it helps. The personal side of me, the emotional side wants to say I gave everything. But at the end of the day the NFL is a business and there are no feelings in business. I feel good that at the end of the night I know I gave everything to Jacksonville. Even when times were slim and gray. Now that I am here, I think a lot of that was for me to get here. Better times are ahead."

Those better times began the minute he talked to Tomlin, calling to talk to him about signing with the Steelers.

"I was fortunate to talk to Coach Tomlin and I knew this was where I was supposed to be," said Jack. "Coach Tomlin said defenses win championships and we are trying to win a championship and we've got to do that through defense. Once he said that, my eyes lit up on the phone and I said let's go ahead and get it done in Pittsburgh. I am excited.

"It was legendary. I grew up watching the Steelers, watching him. Then to get into the league and now to have a chance to be a part of this, I can't put it into words. I know I am going to maximize it as much as I can.

"I want to go home on Sunday night and be happy and wake up on Monday and be happy. I am eager to win and with that comes championships."

Jack couldn't wipe the smile off his face for a second as he talked, just feeling the energy and new life his NFL career now has definitely made him feel electrified.

"It's a fresh start," said Jack. "I feel like I am a rookie in the NFL. I feel like I have everything to prove. I feel like it's Day 1 in the league again. I am excited to be here, to be in a new situation, and I am excited to be uncomfortable again in a new city where I have to prove myself to the fans again. I am just eager to figure things out.

One thing that didn't take him long to figure out, though, is the Steelers history. It hit him the minute he walked past the six Super Bowl trophies on display at the practice facility.

"It really gives you chills," said Jack. "It shows the standard that is set around this organization. When you see six Lombardi Trophies that speaks for itself. You can't say anything. Walking in here you know it's business. I am definitely excited to get to work."

Because, as he now knows, the standard is the standard.