NASHVILLE – All gas, no brakes.
The mindset suits a track star pretty well, huh?
So, it's no surprise it's the mentality Titans cornerback Adoree' Jackson has as he heads into his fourth season with the team.
Earlier this offseason, the Titans picked up Jackson's fifth-year option, which means he'll be back for at least two more years. The first-round pick is focused on what he can do to improve in 2020, so he can make the team better.
"It's truly a blessing to be able to get your fifth-year option picked up," Jackson said on a conference call on Friday. "It's just kind of like reassurance that they believe in me, have faith in what you can bring and what you can add to this team. I was thankful when I got the call from JRob (Jon Robinson), I talked to him. That was my first feeling, I was just excited, just smiling and happy. I love being a part of the Titans and being able to play in not just a great city, but with great people and great players. Then with the responsibility factor, just keep doing the work, everyday improve and get better. It doesn't stop, it doesn't change. Nothing does. Just got to keep grinding and keep working and doing what you're supposed to do out there."
Jackson, who missed four games in December because of an injury, played in 11 games during the 2019 season, and he finished the regular season with 40 tackles, two tackles for a loss and seven passes defensed.
He returned for the postseason, however, and played well in the biggest games of the year. Jackson had four pass breakups in the team's win at Baltimore and had nine tackles in the three playoff contests.
"I just kept playing ball understanding that things may not have been going the way that I wanted it to, but never doubted myself or giving up," Jackson said. "Having faith in myself and my game and praying was a big thing. There's going to be ups and downs, and you don't want the downs to outweigh the ups or the ups outweigh the downs. You've got to stay level-headed and that's what I try to remain doing, and knew that things were going to pan out. I didn't beat myself up too much about anything or everything. I have a great family and friends to be in my corner, my area, to keep me positive and uplifted. That's the great thing about playing ball, you don't have to say much, people already know. So, they're used to trying to encourage as much as they can. Down the stretch everything just came into play. I didn't do anything different, didn't change up anything, and that's just how it went about."
This offseason, Jackson has seen plenty of change around him.
Defensive coordinator Dean Pees retired, secondary coach Kerry Coombs left to take the defensive coordinator's job at Ohio State, and teammate Logan Ryan won't be back.
Jackson has been busy getting himself prepared. He spent the early part of the offseason working in California, and just recently traveled to Illinois to spend time with his parents. He said he'll be ready to return to Nashville when it's time for the Titans to begin practicing.
With Ryan's departure, already speculation has begun about Jackson potentially moving into the slot to replace him. Cornerback Kristian Fulton, the team's second-round pick, faced similar questions after the team picked him in the NFL Draft.
Jackson said he's willing to do whatever is asked of him by head coach Mike Vrabel and new secondary coach Anthony Midget.
He's happy for the opportunity.
"At the end of the day, just trying to be the best player you can be and get better every day," Jackson said. "That's pretty much what I'm working on, just improving and understanding that everything may not be perfect. That's what you have to realize playing this game, it might not be perfect, but you've just got to go out there and get the job done."
"… It's a blessing to be in this position, to play this game and to be able to go out there and do what you love with the people that you see every day and you enjoy spending time with. You don't want to let them down and disappoint them, so I think once you understand that and grasp that understanding of the game of football and life, you may take it for granted or you may not, but things can happen in the blink of an eye. You never know. Once you understand that and grasp that, you're out there to go play free and have fun and just enjoy."
Titans Online looks back at CB Adoree' Jackson's 2019 season (Photos: Donald Page)