Eddie Jackson’s defense gets recognition for being offensive in his 2nd season
LAKE FOREST – Praise has come from a number of directions for the Bears’ second-year safety, but nothing is better than when it’s from one of you teammates.
Especially when the fellow defender is arguably the best at his position in the entire National Football League. But it’s safe to say Khalil Mack believes one of the players in his secondary is on the way to making that happen.
On a Tweet by Fox Sports pointing out Eddie Jackson’s prowess for defensive touchdowns, Mack wrote “DPOY” above it. That’s for Defensive Player of the Year, an honor that the linebacker earned with the Oakland Raiders back in 2016.
It’s still a bit early for that conversation, but another successful game did earn Jackson the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Week honor for his efforts against the Lions. Then on Thursday, the league gave him the honor for best defensive player in the conference for the month of November.
Once again, it came from a touchdown, as his “Pick 6” of Matthew Stafford provided the winning points in a 23-16 Thanksgiving Day victory over Detroit.
As the above Tweet from Fox Sports points out, Jackson has five defensive scores since the start of the 2017 season, three more than any other player in the NFL. The second year safety out of Alabama is letting his offense on defense do the talking, and its cause some chatter from his teammates.
“I’ve never seen anything like him,” said defensive end Akiem Hicks of Jackson. “He can cover the entire field sometimes, it seems like. He knows how to get the ball in his hands, and when he gets that ball in his hands, he can make his way to the endzone.
“So it’s awesome.”
Getting six points for his team is something Jackson has picked back up over the last month, having scored two touchdowns against the Panthers in his rookie year of 2017. He had a fumble return for a touchdown against the Bills in a victory on November 3rd, then had his first interception score against the Vikings just two weeks later.
Add in the one against the Lions, and Jackson’s ability to reach the endzone has caught the attention of many in the NFL, especially the fans. Right now the safety is one of four on the team leading the fan vote at their position for the Pro Bowl.
It’s quite a rise for a player who fell to the fourth round of the draft after a serious leg injury during his final year at Alabama. It’s turned out to be a fortunate break for Jackson, who has found a team that he can showcase his skills and reach his own lofty goals.
“To be honest with you, not really. I knew I wanted to come in here dominate but one thing I’m very blessed and grateful for is the team and the place I ended up landing,” said Jackson when asked if his early success surprised him. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere but here with the type of guys and the teammates that I’ve got because I feel like being on the same team as them makes me better and had made me step my game up.”
Those guys would agree that he’s done so – especially the guy who won an award that Jackson might be chasing sooner than later.