Jonah Jackson Learning Seventh New Offense in Seven Years

Detroit Lions left guard Jonah Jackson shares his thoughts on learning so many new offenses during college and the NFL.
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Detroit Lions left guard Jonah Jackson is about to embark on learning his seventh offense in the past seven years of playing football. 

Jackson, 24, began his collegiate career at Rutgers, and experienced playing for a new offensive coordinator each of his four years. 

For his final college season, Jackson transferred to Oho State, and ended up playing in five different systems in as many seasons.

His rookie campaign in the NFL saw him emerge as a reliable guard who can play multiple positions along the offensive line. 

“The scheme is the scheme. It’s just a matter of being able to execute the assignment and being able to do it properly. You learn from your coaches. You install, and they help you understand the play philosophy," Jackson said early his rookie season. "I wouldn’t say it’s too much of a transition, if you’re locked in and you know what you’re doing."

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Appearing on SiriusXM Radio on Saturday, Jackson elaborated further when asked about the challenges of learning new offenses every single year. 

"Just being diligent and taking notes and studying with the help of your coaches," he said. "The installs and the new playbook -- everything the same. Guys are going to run the ball, guys are going to pass. It's just a matter with the words, numbers. Whatever the play is going to be called and being able to execute it. Even though I've had several different coordinators in my time and different offenses, I feel like most of the time all the plays marry up together and just the matter of what it's called." 

Entering his second season, Jackson has now met Detroit's new franchise passer. He explained the similarities that he noticed between Stafford's and Goff's personalities. 

"Both of those guys, they're great quality guys and outgoing dudes," he said. "The first time I actually met Jared, I was in the middle of my squat set. I just finished up, and somebody came up behind me and was like, 'Let me hop in.' I turned around, and it was him. He's a little bit of a jokester, but he helps us. I can definitely tell he's got a good personality to help his team."

New Lions head coach Dan Campbell has already left quite an impression with many who have heard him or interacted with him. Jackson expressed that players can play more freely, when they know the coaching staff is emphasizing the importance of a "gritty" offensive line.

"He wants this thing to be like the city. Detroit's a gritty, hard-working and blue-collar city. That's exactly how he wants his team to be," Jackson explained. "Gritty and fight to the end. No remorse, and just a constant, nasty attitude -- especially with the guys up front. Being able to have somebody like that who pushes the demeanor of finishing and being nasty and being a great offensive line, it gives you confidence. You feel like you play more free with somebody like that behind you."

While at Ohio State, Jackson was able to observe the skill set of new Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields. Now that he has entered the league, Jackson is excited to observe what the rookie can accomplish with the Lions' divisional rival. 

"He's definitely somebody we've got to get ready for and game plan for. He's a very talented quarterback," Jackson said. "I'm excited for his future and what lies ahead for him in Chicago. Hopefully, we don't got to worry about him too much every year. He's definitely one of the more talented guys I've seen in my time of playing, and I can't wait to see what he does."