Bears

EJax owns tackling issues, but doesn't regret spat with Briggs

Bears

Eddie Jackson has often had his name in the headlines, but this year it’s been for missed tackles and social media feuds, rather than incredible highlight-reel plays. On Tuesday, Jackson owned up to some of that criticism, but also said he didn’t regret his spat with Bears great Lance Briggs over Twitter.

“I wouldn't say too much of regret because I feel like it's football and the type of player I am, I feel like you should never question my effort,” Jackson said. “Making the tackle, I know I have to make that tackle. Don't nobody go out there and want to miss a tackle, you know you have to get the guy to the ground. But when it comes to questioning effort and playing ability, we have all been here before, we all as players know how it feels when you go out there laying everything on the line trying to be aggressive, things like that are going to happen. You just have to go out there and make your plays. Like I said, when the effort part gets to questioning, that's the part I have to say something about. I can take direct criticism. I went to Alabama. Coach Saban always coached us on that. You have to learn how to take direct criticism. It's not about that, it's about the effort part. Like I said, we just have to continue to fight, push through and block all that stuff out.”

 

Beyond that, Jackson said he thought he was doing a “pretty solid” job in his quest to become a better tackler. To be fair, he has come up with several critical tackles, including a few that have gone for losses. But he admitted he still has room to grow when making open-field plays, and in making the decision to wrap up a player versus trying a riskier move to generate a takeaway.

“Sometimes when you’re in the game, especially when you’re trying to make a play, you want to go and try to let a big hit on the guy, try to knock the ball out or you’re trying to strip at the ball, but you have to get the guy on the ground. We coach, first and second man to the ball. That’s the type of thing we coach, so we have to continue to stay on top of those keys. That’s something you have to put into your mind when you’re going into a tackle, like, OK, just remember to wrap.

“Sometimes when you’re going out there, you’re just flying around, and you’re just trying to make plays, all of that stuff kind of leaves you, and you’re just going out there trying to be aggressive. Sometimes it can pay off but sometimes it can hurt you, so you have to continue to keep that in the back of your mind, every time you go in, make sure you wrap.”

Then there are times when Jackson said he’s got to keep it in his mind that he’s the last line of defense. It’s a tough balancing act between playing fast and instinctively, while also maintaining all of his keys in his head.

“I can’t let it get behind me, I’ve got to wrap, I’ve got to bring my arms, I’ve got to get them on the ground,” Jackson said. “No matter how much instincts take play, sometimes you want to just come in and knock a guy out, but you’ve got to remember, you’ve got to keep that installed throughout the game. And our coaches do a good job on the sideline reminding us, hey, that was a good tackle, but next time bring your arms. Stuff like that, it’s just reminding you throughout the game.”

Jackson has certainly not played up to anyone’s expectations, and he recognizes that. But he’s also confident that things will turn around, not just with his tackling, but his big play making ability too.

“Oh yeah, mos def. It’s right there. It’s right there, you feel it.

“You know the thing for me right now is, everyone is telling me ‘Just don’t press.’ I’m trying not to press. I just want to continue to play一 just capitalize off the plays that I can make.”

 

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