Eddie Jackson

Eddie Jackson left off Top 10 NFL safeties list, latest Bears snub

Eddie Jackson left off Top 10 NFL safeties list, latest Bears snub

It’s been incredibly trendy to put down the Bears on the Internet lately. Whether it’s saying they have the worst QB room in the NFL, or projecting the team to go 3-13, it seems the whole football world thinks the Bears are doomed to take another step back in 2020.

But when you start disrespecting Eddie Jackson, you’re going too far.

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So disclaimer, you may want to sit down before taking a look at this list.

That’s right, according to CBS Sports, Eddie Jackson is NOWHERE to be found on the Top-10 list for NFL safeties.

RELATED: Ever wonder how Bears, and not Cardinals, became 'Monsters of the Midway?

Maybe since CBS typically carries AFC games they missed the 10 picks, 26 passes defended and FIVE touchdowns Jackson has racked up in only three seasons?

To give you an idea of how ludicrous that TD number is, the Nos. 3 - 10 players on that list combined for six touchdowns since 2017, when Jackson entered the league. That surely has to buy him a spot in the top-three, right?

Maybe putting points on the board isn’t your thing (although why would that ever not be your thing)? Maybe you like getting to the QB more?

Ok, Eddie Jackson only has two sacks, far fewer than Tyrann Mathieu who has six since 2017. But Jackson’s two sacks match Earl Thomas’s two sacks over his 10-year career. It’s only one fewer than what Devin McCourty has racked up over 10 years. And it’s two more than the *zero* sacks Anthony Harris or Minkah Fitzpatrick have to their name.

For those who still need to check the tape, we’ll just leave this here:


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Bears' Eddie Jackson explains just how ready he is to start 2020 NFL season

Bears' Eddie Jackson explains just how ready he is to start 2020 NFL season

A lot of people miss football right now, but Eddie Jackson, like, misses football right now. 

"I flew back to Chicago yesterday but it's been, it's been, it's been different man," he told reporters on Thursday afternoon. "You know I really miss football and it's like I don't know if I can say it enough: I'd give up anything right now just to go sit in a meeting room right now, just to watch film with my teammates. It's just so crazy because you know you get a break, you want a break and then alright you by the field, you start missing football. Now it's just we went this long? I feel like this is the longest I've ever went without having football ... "

You know things are bad when players are openly talking about how much they miss meetings. There's nothing worse than a meeting – simply think about what you want to say and send it in a three-line email instead. Meetings exist solely to force you into eating lunch way earlier than you'd like; whoever said there's no bad idea in a brainstorm had very clearly never brainstormed. Still, someone get Eddie Jackson in a meeting. Send him that Outlook invite. 

Eddie Jackson's instincts similar to Ed Reed, according to Rodney Harrison

Eddie Jackson's instincts similar to Ed Reed, according to Rodney Harrison

There aren’t many analysts out there who know safety play like NBC’s Rodney Harrison; the two-time All-Pro and two-time Super Bowl champion played at a high level for 15 years split between the Chargers and Patriots. So when NBC Sports Chicago Bears insider JJ Stankevitz caught up with Harrison for a recent edition of the Under Center podcast, Eddie Jackson naturally was a major topic of conversation, and the current NBC Sports NFL analyst wants to see the Bears deploy Jackson a little differently than they did in 2019.

“I think this young player is a terrific player,” said Harrison. “Good size, great instincts, everything that you want in an all-star caliber safety. I thought he played a little out of position last year, playing a little more strong safety, I think he’s a more of a natural, ballhawking free safety. They need to bring somebody in to play that (strong safety) position. Just let him roam with his athleticism.” 

The Bears did bring in some new faces to compete for the second starting safety spot, most notably 8-year veteran Tashaun Gipson. The biggest reason in favor of accommodating Jackson’s play style? The Hall of Fame safety to whom Jackson is comparable, according to Harrison.

“I think Eddie Jackson needs to go in the middle of the field, because he’s got so much range and so much vision,” explains the former Patriots team captain. “You look at the vision and the instincts, it’s like Ed Reed. Why would you take him out of the center of the field, and put him as the strong safety? If you’re going to do anything, send him off the edge, bring him, blitz him, disguise, move around, do all those different things.”

RELATED: Tashaun Gipson is right: He and Eddie Jackson can be ‘deadly’ pair'

Harrison’s thoughts are backed up by the numbers; while Jackson enjoyed a solid season in 2019 and made the Pro Bowl for the 2nd time, his explosive plays dipped significantly. Jackson recorded two interceptions after 6 in 2018, and his passes defended dropped from 15 to 5, and in light of that, Harrison offered some free advice to the Bears defensive coaching staff.

“A guy goes from getting his hands on the ball, strips, INTs, pass breakups, and then you take him out of the center, where he was a first-team All-Pro, and I actually voted for him, and you put him in the box? It’s crazy. You don’t have to pigeonhole him, but don’t put him in the box solely, because you just limit his ability and what he can do.”