NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Adoree' Jackson wasn't making any excuses.
And after getting his first NFL start in Sunday's preseason game against the Bears, the rookie cornerback was pretty blunt in the assessment of his play.
"I didn't do too good," Jackson said.
But Jackson, the 18th overall pick of the NFL Draft, was hardly down on himself after struggling early in the team's 19-7 loss.
"You just have to keep fighting," Jackson said. "You can't do things like that in a regular season game, so I'm glad I got that out of the way. Everything happens for a reason, so I'm glad I got that out of the way. I know I have room to improve.
"There's going to be adversity throughout games, and you want to make sure you have more ups than downs. I just have to keep getting better."
The Titans opted to start Jackson on Sunday after playing him with the second unit in the team's first two preseason contests. Jackson lined up opposite cornerback Logan Ryan, and he slid inside when cornerback LeShaun Sims came on the field and lined up on the outside in the nickel package.
Jackson gave up some plays in Chicago's first offensive possession. Bears receiver Kendall Wright caught a pair of footballs on third down with Jackson defending, and while Jackson was in good position on a 28-yard completion from Bears quarterback Mike Glennon to receiver Cameron Meredith, the ball was caught nonetheless.
Jackson was also called for defensive pass interference in the end zone, which set up Chicago's first touchdown.
"Just from watching him, I thought a lot of balls were caught on him early, both at the corner and nickel position," Titans coach Mike Mularkey said. "But I thought this what he needed, some experience against some very good receivers. I thought it was good for Adoree."
Mularkey said the Titans have rotated players at a number of position, and made it clear "no one has earned anything yet" when asked about the starters in the secondary leading up to the regular season opener against the Raiders on September 10.
Mularkey hinted he'll also speak to Jackson about his decision to field a punt inside the five-yard line. Jackson was tackled at the three.
"That won't ever happen again," Mularkey said. "I promise you that."
Jackson said he was trying to make something happen.
"I was just trying to make a play, being a competitor," Jackson said. "But you have to understand what was going on out there. It's one of those things where it could be a win-win, or a lose-lose situation, and that time it was a lose-lose."
Jackson promised he'll keep working to be better next time.
Until Sunday, all the attention surrounding Jackson had been mostly positive. He returned a punt for a touchdown last week against the Panthers, and while it was called back, it was eye-opening. In practices against the Panthers and in previous preseason games, Jackson performed well.
Jackson settled down and played better after a rough start on Sunday. He was in good position on a third-down play he broke up later, and he made a nice play vs. the run for a loss. But his struggles stood out.
During and after the game, his teammates encouraged him.
Jackson said he simply has to trust himself more.
"I was there some plays, but I need to trust myself more and understand what was going on," Jackson said. "Once the game slowed down for me I was anticipating routes, but I wasn't sure. … I just have to get better get back in the film room and get better.
"I talked to (LeShaun Sims) about when he got thrown into the fire (last year) against Chicago, and I talked to (veteran teammate) Brice McCain. Everybody else, when they were rookies, their first time getting in, you learn what to expect. To have those guys help me out and mentor me, it helps. They said I didn't do bad - I just have to trust myself and believe."
The Tennessee Titans take on the Chicago Bears in Week 3 of the preseason on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017 at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones Photography, AP)