It would be easy for Eddie Jackson to feel threatened and uncertain by his new environment. The regime that drafted him back in 2017 is gone. So is the scheme that made him a star at one point. Now he’s left to wonder what the future holds. He’ll play in a brand new defense this season with a ton of pressure to perform. He hasn’t had an interception in two years, turns 29 in December, and carries one of the largest contracts for a safety in the NFL. Another disappointing season could see his run with the Chicago Bears end.
To make matters worse, the new regime of GM Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus wasted no time retooling the secondary, including two 2nd round picks in Kyle Gordon and Jaquan Brisker. The latter had to make Jackson at least a little nervous. Spending a high draft choice on a safety means you’re not satisfied with the current state of the position. While the initial plan is for Brisker to pair with Jackson, that could easily change to Brisker replacing him after 2022.
To his credit, it doesn’t sound like the veteran is letting that affect him.
He has a responsibility as a teammate and leader to help make this defense as good as it can be. That includes helping Brisker make the NFL transition as swiftly as possible. According to safeties coach Andre Curtis, he is throwing tons of advice the rookie’s way.
“We share information. Good defenses are made when people share things they know to help others. Because you may have an answer to something that someone else needs, or vice versa. So you can learn from anyone and you can teach anyone. I’ve always thought that’s been a good environment to have, and Eddie’s doing that.
I don’t know what goes on into the past, but ever since I’ve known him, here, he’s been really good. He’s communicated well, he’s working hard, he’s studying, he’s helping the young guys in the room. I really like what I’ve seen out of Eddie. He’s in a good place right now.”
Nobody can ever say Eddie Jackson is selfish.
As a player, he might have his faults, including suspect tackling and run defense. Yet he has always been a good teammate. The video above is a reminder. He easily could’ve racked up a sack for his stat sheet on that play. Instead, he distracted the quarterback long enough for Robert Quinn to get his 18th sack, breaking the Bears’ single-season record. In regards to Brisker, one thing is clear.
There isn’t a better person to champion the turnover-obsessed mindset than Eddie Jackson. This new coaching staff wants everybody focused on takeaways. Jackson was already like that before they arrived. So having him in the rookie’s ear every day about attacking the football should lead to good things. If things unfold favorably, they have a chance to form a potent tandem on the back end.
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