Adoree Jackson has the potential to be a difference maker for the Titans this year, with a skill set that could have a direct impact on just how successful the team will be in the atypical 2020 NFL season. The 24-year-old cornerback stepped to the Zoom podium on Monday afternoon to give Titans fans a glimpse into his offseason.
The position group that has undergone the most change in the Titans’ offseason has undoubtedly been the cornerbacks. After two years with the Titans’ secondary coach Kerry Coombs left his post in Tennessee to take a co-defensive coordinator role at Ohio State. Under Coombs, the Titans secondary quickly developed into one of the NFL’s best units. It was Coombs who coined the acronym MMCNB, or “My Man Catch No Balls,” which his group proudly adopted as their mantra.
Titan Up! pic.twitter.com/oSfYsXlzQz
— Kerry Coombs (@DB_CoachCoombs) January 21, 2020
When Jon Robinson and the team decided to let Logan Ryan test the free agency waters, the Titans made it clear that Jackson would be assuming the veteran’s duties on the outside. The team displayed its affection for the former USC Trojan in the form of exercising Jackson’s fifth-year team option that pays a ho-hum salary of 10-million dollars in 2021.
Since arriving in Tennessee, Jackson has displayed his versatility after spending time in both the nickel and outside corner positions. Whether he was tasked with a taller, stronger wideout on the perimeter, or a quick-twitch speedster on the inside, Jackson has graded well in pass coverage.
And last year was the best version of Jackson that Titans fans had seen yet.
— PFF TEN Titans (@PFF_Titans) June 1, 2020
If Jackson can stay healthy and play up to his capabilities in an expanded role, then the Titans front office will enter 2021 with one of the most valuable contracts in the NFL at a vitally important position.
While Adoree will likely have his hands full in the defensive backfield, he does have help across the field in Malcolm Butler. Not only will he have the hero of Super Bowl XLIX on the opposite side of the field as him, but the Titans also spent their 2nd Round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft on LSU cornerback, Kristian Fulton.
It remains to be seen on exactly how the Titans will use Fulton, but in Mike Vrabel’s defense there is going to be some mixing and matching involved. This is where Jackson’s experience and versatility proves to be an asset.
With his knowledge of multiple positions in this defense, Jackson’s versatility is a great asset to the Titans. “Gotta understand everything that is going on with the defense and not just your specific role,” said Jackson, who will be spending his first year under new secondary coach Anthony Midget’s instruction.
Adoree Jackson said he's been in special teams meetings regarding punt returns. He's working to stay sharp on the setup, etc so if he needs to be back there to field a punt he's able to do so. #Titans
— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) August 10, 2020
The buck doesn’t stop on the defensive side of the ball with Jackson though. Jackson said that he has also been involved in punt return meetings this offseason. However, this training is most likely only to be used in an emergency situation. It is doubtful that the Titans would throw him back there with his plate already full of responsibilities in the defense. If that is the case, though, Jackson doesn’t shy away from the heavy responsibilities the Titans are potentially giving him. “If they put me back there, I know the calls and everything to do,” he said.
Featured image courtesy of Jim Brown – USA Today Sports