The New England Patriots Might Have Found Their New Malcolm Butler In J.C. Jackson
Patriots rookie corner J.C. Jackson has been drawing a lot of Malcolm Butler comparisons over the last 24 hrs and rightfully so. Jackson had a huge game on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings including a pair of big plays in the endzone in the second half. One against Aldrick Robinson and the other against the very talented Adam Thielen.
Jackson has shown an ability to put himself in the right position rather than using his hands in coverage which he has certainly shown a lot of improvement in per Head Coach Bill Belichick.
“Well, J.C.’s worked really hard and made a lot of improvement this year, going all the way back to the spring, and coming in as an undrafted player just has really worked his way all the way up to earning a spot on the roster and then earning play time. So, he’s just been very dependable and gotten better every day. It’s not always perfect, but he learns from his mistakes and corrects things. So, it’s taken a little time for him to gain some experience, but he’s doing a good job with it and has good ball skills. He has the ability to get his hands on the ball and judge the ball and make good plays on the ball, like he did on I think it was the third down play where he kind of went up over Robinson’s back to get his hands on the ball and bat it away. So, we’ve seen him do that a lot. He’s got a good knack for timing and getting his hand on the ball.” Said Belichick.
Jackson has certainly impressed the Patriots so far this season and has essentially come out of the woodwork at Gillette being another one of Belichick’s undrafted players who find ways to be productive. Jackson as a rookie was able to be effective out on an island and and gain the trust of his teammates to be able to do that, certainly a big accomplishment.
Belichick when asked about this part of Jackson’s game brought up several comparison, including, well you guessed it, Malcolm Butler.
“Sure. Well, I mean, look, it’s hard for any player to gain that trust. As a new player, as a rookie, whatever your opportunities are, you have to come in and earn that and prove it to your teammates and the team and the coaching staff and everybody else. I mean, Jon Jones did that, Logan Ryan did it, Malcolm [Butler] did it. We’ve had a lot of guys come in and do it at that position over the course of time and other positions, as well, so it’s just really up to each individual guy.” Said Belichick.
As for Jackson and how he is feeling about the start to his NFL career, well he credits his preparation.
“I just felt like I was ready. I prepared all week and I knew I had to come and make plays with the team depending on me.” Said Jackson.
The Patriots and J.C. Jackson take on the Miami Dolphins this Sunday at 1 pm.