Eagles defensive lineman Malik Jackson played just 34 snaps in 2019, his first year with the team, because of a season-ending injury. It was a disappointing start to his three-year, $30 million deal with the Birds.
But while Jackson rehabbed his Lisfranc injury, he got an interesting and unusual introduction to the Eagles' organization: he was a player, but he was also an observer.
And Jackson, who has played for five head coaches across his nine years in the league, says he came away extremely impressed with his first year in Philly.
Jackson jumped on the Adam Lefkoe Show this week to chat about his first year in Philly, his time in the NFL to this point, and what he expects from the 2020 season. It was a fascinating chat with very little filler from Jackson.
Now on his third team, Jackson has seen his share of locker rooms, and Lefkoe asked him to discuss the differences in cultures between Denver, Jacksonville, and Philly.
Jackson's answer was extremely interesting:
I was able to come into Denver with coach John Fox, great guy, and I go up to him one day and I asked, 'Coach, how do you see us as players?' And he said, 'I see you guys as my younger brothers.' And I was like, okay, because the way he talked to us felt like a relationship like that, felt like he was the older brother.
Jacksonville, you got there and you felt like [laughs] you were the red-headed step child, so to speak. You couldn't do anything right. You had to kind of do this, do that, do this. Very military-style. Not saying that's wrong, just very military-style.
The Eagles? Very fun, very chill, very relaxed. I think it's a little bit of everything in there, though. It's something where, you have an older team, and the Eagles are a very established program, so when you come in here you understand who they are.
I'm not an NFL player, but that's basically exactly what I'd like to hear about a prospective team before I join.
And his answer about Jacksonville just echoes everything we know about the Jaguars' organization, and why defensive end Yannick Ngakoue wants out ASAP. Maybe he's been talking to Jackson about how much more fun the Eagles would be.
Jackson also gave a great answer about what he saw from Eagles head coach Doug Pederson in 2019, a season during which Pederson dealt with a rash of injuries, and an occassionally-rocky locker room.
"I just learned how [Doug is] able to win, how he treated players. I was able to sit back and not be a part of what he was saying, who he was talking to, seeing how he talked to guys, seeing how guys responded - it was very impressive. And the way he coached, putting guys in position and really winning, being that offensive corordinator - I was impressed, man. It's rare you see coaches like that."
Sounds like nothing but roses for Jackson in his first year with the Birds.
Here's hoping his first year of fully playing goes the same way.
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