Speed. Anticipation. Strong hands. Those are all qualities that surely make life easier as an NFL corner — yet none of them appear on William Jackson III's must-have set of skills for anyone who wants to truly succeed at his position.
Instead, during his recent stop on the Washington Football Talk Podcast, Washington's new defensive back identified the trio of traits he personally believes are crucial when limiting the league's wideouts, and all three of them are intangible.
And two of them — though they sound exactly the same — aren't, according to him.
"Confidence, swagger and attention to details," Jackson told the podcast when asked to construct his list.
But, uh, William, what separates those first two, exactly?
"Confidence and swagger are two different things," he asserted. "Confidence [means] I'm going out here and locking this dude up. The swagger is how you look on game day. You've got to look good to play good. It's two different things."
The man makes a compelling case.
Later in the interview, he did convey that he absolutely possesses the first attribute he laid out.
"I don't model myself after no one," he said in response to a question about whom he borrows from or tries to mimic. "I was never that guy. I'm me. Everything I do is me. I don't want to play like nobody or none of that stuff. I just got out there and do me."
Remember, too, he explained to local reporters in his March introductory press conference that anyone doubting his talents because of his low interception numbers should "watch the tape."
"I wasn't getting thrown at a whole lot, I wasn't a guy that got picked on, so I'm assuming that's a good thing I only got three [picks]," Jackson said.
That sort of moxie will come in handy in his tenure with the WFT, one that could include shadowing the opposition's top target every week, as Ron Rivera indicated last month may happen come Week 1.
As for how leaving Cincinnati and joining Washington will go — both on the field in terms of getting used to a new scheme and off the field in terms of moving to an entirely new area — Jackson sounded at ease about it all. Overall, that feels like it'll be a running theme anytime he gets together with the media.
"I think it's going to be smooth," he said. "Everything has been smooth up to this point and I'm just ready to get there, play and have fun. I'm ready to get back to that, having fun."