WATCH: How a More Aggressive Eddie Jackson Has Leveled Up in 2022

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WATCH: How a More Aggressive Eddie Jackson Has Leveled Up in 2022

Chicago Bears

After a multi-year slumber, the Eddie Jackson we remember in 2017, 2018, and 2019 has awaken.

Jackson is back to stuffing the stat sheet like he did when he was a Pro Bowler and first-team All-Pro. Through four games, Jackson has been looking like his old self. Three interceptions in four games after going two seasons without one is a welcome sight. And he is breaking up throws, too, with three passes defended. Jackson has also chipped in with a forced fumble, tackle-for-loss, and 30 total tackles (including 19 solo!). It’s been a revelation watching Jackson this year. Not to mention a wonderful change from what recent history has shown.

Jackson says he is back in a 2018 state of mind. And Bears Radio analyst Tom Thayer breaks down how he has gotten there by adding a new wrinkle to his game:

What makes Jackson’s renaissance most interesting is that Matt Eberflus, Alan Williams, and the rest of Chicago’s defensive brain trust are using him in a variety of areas. That we’re seeing Jackson in the run game is a testament to the trust this staff has in him, as well as the player himself. In one clip, he is lined 10+ yards off the line of scrimmage. In another snap, he is sneaking up to blitz a run gap. And in another one, Jackson is sliding into the linebacker level to attack in run help. It’s all just so much fun to watch. Especially when the odds are opposing teams aren’t expecting it. We’ve all grown so accustomed to Jackson in coverage that it really pops off the screen when he attacks the line of scrimmage.

I’ve long felt there was a common misconception about how to best deploy Jackson. Traditionally, you might want Jackson to only play center field and ballhawk as a safety. But because Jackson has a good football IQ and tip-top skills, being active in using him in different ways can get more out of him than you’d otherwise expect from a regular free safety. Moreover, we might be seeing the best of Jackson because he isn’t just a rover deep in the secondary.

Offensively, the Bears have been a tough watch. And even though the defense still has things to work through, Jackson is doing his part to make sure any drop-off isn’t as sharp as it could be. I hope he keeps it up. Who doesn’t love seeing a good comeback season from a fallen star?

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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.