NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans roster is full of young personalities but few more whimsical than cornerback Adoree’ Jackson.
A third-year pro out of USC, Jackson has been working his way back from a foot/ankle injury that he sustained during the 2018 season and has been limited participant at OTAs this Spring. But Jackson’s focus transcends the physical elements of getting right this offseason.
The young corner is working on “being at peace” with himself.
“Not tripping,” Jackson explained. “Not caring about what everybody else says or what’s going on outside. Just worrying about me and what I want to do. Whatever I need to do to help the team by being the best ‘me’ I can be. That’s the best that I can do. I’m not worried about being the next somebody or compare myself to anybody else.”
Mental toughness is difficult to maintain in any sport but particularly while playing corner in the NFL. Teams target Jackson constantly last season, getting thrown at 105 times over the course of last year. There were ups, such as holding Josh Gordon to four catches on 12 targets in a win over the Patriots, and downs like getting taken for a ride by T.Y. Hilton (9-9, 155 yards and two TDs) the very next week. But Jackson held up consistently, allowing a catch rate of 62.9 and had seven pass breakups according to PFF.
Jackson knows, though, how easy it can be to get shook.
“You’re gonna hear a lot of stuff, you’re gonna see a lot of stuff,” says Jackson. “But, at the end of the day if you know you’re doing whatever you can do, I got my family, my mom to help me out, my old lady. They always keep me rooted and make sure that I stay positive. It’s just life.”
Look no further than Jackson’s teammate Malcolm Butler, whose first year in Tennessee as a free agent acquisition started rough and continued to spiral because of the way the noise and criticism got in his ear. Butler finished strong in 2018 and Jackson does not (yet) have the second contract to live up to that Butler does but his self-awareness is promising for a player his age.
One thing that we do know, however this season goes, Adoree’ Jackson will not be bothered.
Featured Image: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports.