The Bears have been adamant all offseason that 2022 is a blank slate for Eddie Jackson. Matt Eberflus isn’t worried about the poor tackling which drew the ire of fans early last season. The new defensive staff isn’t going to focus on his spectacular 2018 season either. They’re simply going to try to find what he does best, and put him in the best position to play to those strengths, just like they would with any other player.
So far, the fresh start seems to be helping the veteran safety.
“He’s gotten off to a good start,” said safeties coach Andre Curtis. “He's working hard through OTAs and getting better. He’s asking the right questions, he’s being a leader in the room. I like all the stuff I’ve seen from him so far.”
That’s not to say Jackson’s ready to rock in this new defense. Nobody is. The reality is, Jackson had a curious and drastic dropoff in his production from 2018 to recent seasons. Nobody knows that better than Jackson himself, and he’s come prepared this summer with ideas on how to get better.
“Eddie's a pretty savvy veteran guy,” said Curtis. “He realizes the stuff he needs to work on. He brought several things to me as far as fundamentals-wise and stuff that we need to improve upon.
“We'll try to obviously work in that direction and try to maximize his potential and try to put him in a good opportunity to help our defense.”
One of the ways Jackson can help the defense is by stepping up as a leader and taking younger players under his wing. The Bears used a Top-50 pick to select Jaquan Brisker to play alongside Jackson this year, and if the defense wants to take a big step forward this year, they will need to play well together. It sounds like Jackson has taken that to heart.
“We share information,” Curtis said. “Good defenses are made when people share things they know to help others. Because you may have an answer to something that someone else needs, or vice versa. So you can learn from anyone and you can teach anyone. I’ve always thought that’s been a good environment to have, and Eddie’s doing that.
“I don’t know what goes on into the past, but ever since I’ve known him, here, he’s been really good. He’s communicated well, he’s working hard, he’s studying, he’s helping the young guys in the room. I really like what I’ve seen out of Eddie. He’s in a good place right now.”