Other than speaking to his 2-year-old daughter by phone, Malik Jackson planned to shut off most of his communication to the outside world this week.
It’s his way to focus solely on Sunday’s wild-card game against the Buffalo Bills at EverBank Field, the Jaguars’ first home playoff game since 1999.
On Jackson’s boycott list for the next four days are Twitter, Instagram and his other social media accounts.
Three seasons ago, when Jackson won a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos, he said one of his coaches used to mention frequently that NBA star LeBron James would cut off his phone and avoid social media throughout his team’s playoff run.
Jackson plans to share that same message with his Jaguars’ teammates, especially to the ones making their first postseason appearance.
“If you can disconnect from that (social media) and truly embodied yourself into the whole football world, meaning watching film, getting your body right and just sitting at home and putting yourself in playing situations, it will be help you to be ready,’’ Jackson said. “At this point, everything is important.
Of the 53 players on the Jaguars’ active roster, 42 have never been to the playoffs before.
So veterans players like Calais Campbell, Barry Church, A.J. Bouye, Brad Nortman and Jackson are sharing their previous playoff experiences with their teammates.
With a Super Bowl ring, Jackson has the second-most playoff experience, having appeared in eight postseason games.
That total trails only Campbell, who has played in nine playoff games during his 10-year career.
“It’s definitely a big deal to pass down that knowledge to the younger players that haven’t done it. It could be overwhelming for some,” Jackson said.“I’m focusing on what I have to do and I will embrace that message to the guys.’’
“I’m watching film of Buffalo all day Wednesday and after practice when I go home. I’ll be doing the same thing Thursday, Friday and some on Saturday. This time of year, it’s not about physical. We already have the muscle and memory. Now it’s about that mental aspect.”
The Jaguars earned their way to the postseason for the first time since 2007 because of an opportunistic defense that led the league with 52 sacks and allowed just 173.5 yards passing per game.
At 10-6, the Jaguars finished with their most wins in the regular season since going 11-5 in 2007. They also won their first divisional title since 1999.
Now, Campbell said they have to reset the button — none of it matters now.
It’s single elimination — win Sunday or the season abruptly ends.
“A lot of guys want to go above and beyond but that eventually gets you uptight,” Campbell said. “At the end of the day, I’m telling the guys to just do what you’ve been doing, but just be more focused, a little more intense. You don’t have to do anything extra or anything spectacular because it’s going to happen naturally. I’m confident we’re going to handle business.”
Unlike regular-season games, Jackson said the game tempo for playoff games is faster.
“Because every play is critical is what makes it that much faster and that much more important,” Jackson said. “It’s playoff football. We have to continue to grow, critique our games and be better. You can’t stay stagnant; our people will figure you [out].”
The Jaguars are facing a Bills team that’s back in the playoffs for the first time since 1999. Buffalo landed the sixth seed on Sunday after beating the Miami Dolphins 22-16 and then got help from Cincinnati when it beat the Baltimore Ravens, 31-27, to eliminate them from playoff contention.
“I will say for a playoff game, everything is ramped up a little bit,” said Jaguars punter Brad Nortman, who was the Carolina Panthers’ punter when they lost to Denver 24-10 in Super Bowl 50. “There is a little more energy to it, but in the end it’s just playing football. I approach every punt the same, every week the same. That way, there is stability and consistency.”
Knowing that he doesn’t have an experienced playoff team, coach Doug Marrone plans to emphasize normalcy and keeping his practice schedule the same as it was during the regular season. The Jaguars are set to practice in full pads only on Thursday.
“It is like you do every week, but you are just checking the boxes, just one more time,” Marrone said.
“That is probably it. To say, you want to make sure everything is clear, the plan is clear, what we want to do is clear. Everyone understands and the reason why. That is a big thing is because when everything is clear, you can play harder and play faster. Those are the things you want to do. You don’t want to say that is not what we have been doing during the year.”