Familiar Focus for Eddie Jackson

Familiar Focus for Eddie Jackson

The Extra Point: Eddie Jackson Aiming '4' Another Big Season

If familiarity leads to success, the former Alabama defensive back should stand out in the Chicago Bears secondary.
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There's a belief that familiarity can be the first step toward complacency, but it obviously can have the opposite effect when it comes to football.

Former Alabama defensive back Eddie Jackson is counting on it this season with the Chicago Bears. Not only has he gone back to wearing the No. 4 he sported with the Crimson Tide, but his position coach Sean Desai was promoted to defensive coordinator. 

"I was happy man, I was very excited," Jackson recently told Bear Digest. "You know, just the relationship that me and Sean have and what he's been through. You know, he's been a guy behind the scenes for a very long time, even before I got here. Through the process of when I was here that was one of the guys that helped me the most, you know, learning the plays, learning the schemes.

"So for him to get that type of promotion man I feel like is huge and it's well deserved."

The Bears are expected to continue running a defense similar to what Desai's predecessor Vic Fangio had, but with Jackson more as a free safety. Last season he was playing closer to the line and didn't have an interceptions. 

"Just the scheme-wise, you know that scheme-wise he likes to do a lot of different things," Jackson said. "I don't want to put too much stuff out there obviously but he does a lot of different things and he emphasizes on the same things that coach Vic emphasized — you know with disguise purposes and just challenging us. You know, coming in and challenging us both on and off the field to be better players and teammates and things like that."

The disguises are what Fangio's especially known for. 

"It's aggressive," Jackson said. "He's coming in and he's holding us to a standard and you know I haven't been here but from what I've heard he's holding these guys out here to a standard: Run to the ball, finish, be in your playbook, run through your keys, be on top of your keys, pursue."

Also aiding Jackson on the familiarity side is having Tashaun Gipson back in the secondary at the others safety spot.  

"It's huge, it's huge," Jackson said. "I haven't played with a safety two years in a row since Adrian Amos. So to come back and have that chemistry, man, it's huge, especially back there."

However, he won't have Kyle Fuller back at the cornerback spot closest to Jackson on the left side, where both had been All-Pros. The Bears let him go to help get under the salary cap. Jaylon Johnson, a second-year player out of Utah, is expected to become Chicago's top cornerback. 

"I mean, I don't really question what the organization chooses to do but what I can say is when you play this game you get relationships with good people, and Kyle is like a brother to me," said Jackson, who after the 2019 season signed to a four-year contract extension through 2024.

He added: "So of course I felt some type of way about it just seeing him leave. But you know, being a professional athlete that's just part of the game. Everybody's not going to spend their time on one team for their whole career so that's kind of how this works.

"You know, I felt some type of way, just the chemistry me and Kyle and how Kyle is built, me and him, he was the last guy that's been here since I got here in the secondary. So to see him leave was kind of frustrating, but now we've just got a lot of young guys who are hungry and they know it's time to compete and time to step up."

The Extra Point is a regular weekday feature on BamaCentral, and often includes video and other elements from our FanNation parters. Other recent segments include:

Steelers Had to Tell Najee Harris to Tone Things Down

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Where Are They Now: Former Alabama Defensive Line Coach Chris Rumph

Could Derrick Henry Have a Major Regression After 2,000-Yard Season?

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Mike Vrabel has a new respect for Nick Saban, Alabama

There's a belief that familiarity can be the first step toward complacency, but it obviously can have the opposite effect when it comes to football.

Former Alabama defensive back Eddie Jackson is counting on it this season with the Chicago Bears. Not only has he gone back to wearing the No. 4 he sported with the Crimson Tide, but his position coach Sean Desai was promoted to defensive coordinator. 

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