How familiar faces could help Eddie Jackson this year originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
After busting onto the scene as the most exciting defensive player in the league over his first three seasons, Eddie Jackson had an up-and-down 2020. It’s important to remember that he had several pick-6s taken off the board due to questionable penalties, but even with those big plays factored in, he didn’t look like the same safety who has terrorized opposing quarterbacks previously.
But one major factor could help him become one of the most impactful players in the game again: familiarity. After Adrian Amos left for Green Bay, the Bears had Ha Ha Clinton-Dix play for one season beside Jackson. Then they replaced Clinton-Dix with Tashaun Gipson the very next year. With Gipson coming back this season, Jackson will finally have the same man roaming the backfield with him for the first time since 2018.
“It’s huge, it’s huge,” Jackson said. “To come back and have that chemistry, man, it’s huge, especially back there. It’s like having two guys on one tight rope with each other. I’m in his head, he’s in my head. The type of athlete that Gip is, he brings a lot of stuff that we can use, me and him together, and also for the defense that Sean can use for disguise purposes.
“I can play this role, he can play that role. We’re both ready to take sacrifices to do what needs to be done to help this team win. But it’s very huge and I’m excited.”
The other familiar face is the aforementioned Sean Desai. He was Jackson’s position coach for the past two seasons before being promoted to defensive coordinator this year.
“I was happy, I was very excited,” Jackson said about his reaction to Desai’s promotion. “Just the relationship that me and Sean have, what he’s been through, he’s been the guy behind the scenes for a long time, even before I got here. Through the process of when I got here, that’s one of the guys who helped me most, of learning the plays, learning the scheme. So for him to get that type of promotion, it’s huge and I feel like it’s well deserved.”
Time will tell if these familiar faces will help Jackson regain his All-Pro form, but for now it seems all of the Bears defense is excited to dominate offenses again.
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