When he was at the top of his game, Eddie Jackson was one of the NFL’s premier safeties.
Jackson was a takeaway artist, turnover machine, playmaker, and energizer on a defense that was wrecking opposing offenses left and right in his first few seasons. And now, Jackson tells Chicago Bears radio play-by-play voice Jeff Joniak that he’s back in that 2018 mindset:
“This is the type of year I can’t put the numbers on it. I want to do it the best that’s ever been done. I want to have a year that no one has ever seen for a safety to have. I want to set the tone to one of the years that people have never seen.”
Jackson came up with his first interception since the 2019 season in last week’s win against the San Francisco 49ers. That pick might be what sparks a return to greatness for him and the rest of the Bears secondary. But it is clear after watching that video that Jackson is playing for more than just stats.
Jackson has been put through the wringer in recent years. On the field, things have slowed down for the Alabama product. After his NFL career was shot out of a cannon with 10 interceptions, five defensive touchdowns, two Pro Bowl berths, and a first-team All-Pro nod coming in his first three seasons, Jackson endured a lengthy 30+ game interception drought. But off the field, Jackson revealed to Joniak he has been playing through a heavy heart having lost his best friend and his two children. It’s a heavy part of the conversation, to be sure. But an important one. Not just for Jackson, who was clearly going through it. But also for all of us. No better reminder that players are humans with feelings and emotions like a reflective player opening up in this way.
Here’s hoping Eddie Jackson is back in — in all facets of the game (and life).