Lou Anarumo Discusses William Jackson III's Season With Free Agency Looming

"He's a valued guy at a valued position"
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CINCINNATI — The Bengals are expected to retain defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo in 2021. 

His opinion could impact the way the team handles pending free agents like defensive end Carl Lawson and cornerback William Jackson III. 

Anarumo praised Jackson during an appearance on 700 WLW's Bengals Line.

"I thought Will took some strides this year for sure. It's a tough position that he plays these days in the NFL at corner where everybody sees every mistake you make, as well as the good plays," Anarumo said on Monday night. "He definitely made strides and I think Will had his best year in my opinion in terms of being in position. Not just 'hey when the throws are at him.' That's when these guys are judged, but I think all downs when the cameras not on him he was in position more than out of position. He's a valued guy at a valued position. I thought he did well."

Jackson had a career-high 45 tackles in 14 games. He had one interception and 11 passes defensed. 

He may not have been as great in coverage as he was in 2017, but Jackson's tackling was much more consistent this season. He received a 71.4 overall grade from Pro Football Focus, which includes a career-high 77.3 tackling score. 

He was easily the Bengals' best cover corner in 2020. 

Re-signing Jackson should be high on the Bengals' list of offseason priorities. The 27-year-old could pair with veteran Trae Waynes to give the Bengals a nice 1-2 punch at cornerback.

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