Adoree' Jackson seeking to play more on offense in 2018
Tennessee Titans cornerback Adoree' Jackson is among an increasingly rare breed of professional football players: The kind that you can't get off the field. In his rookie season of 2017, Jackson came only one snap away from leading the league in snaps played, playing on defense, special teams, and on offense. If he has things his way, Jackson will have even more of a presence on the Titans offense in his sophomore year.
Speaking Friday morning on NFL Network's Good Morning Football, Jackson stated that he is pushing for new Titans head coach Mike Vrabel to let him play more snaps on offense.
"I'm that bug in his ear just trying to make sure I keep being out there if I can," said Jackson in a report by NFL.com's Chris Wesseling "Whatever he needs me to do. Focusing on defense and special teams as in returning, but if he throws me out there I'm going to be excited and fired up."
Jackson has a long history of playing on both sides of the ball. In college with the USC Trojans, Jackson took 13 handoffs and caught 38 passes with six receiving touchdowns. In his first year with the Titans, Jackson played running back five times, rushing for 55 yards. In doing so, he became only the second NFL player in the Super Bowl era to start at least eight games on defense and record more than 50 rushing yards on offense, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer and Dallas Cowboys great Mel Renfro (As noted by Football Perspective).
If there is any head coach that could allow Jackson to thrive as a player on both offense and defense, it could very well be Vrabel. With the New England Patriots, Vrabel was used as a situational tight end in the red zone alongside of his linebacker duties. All ten of Vrabel's career receptions were for touchdowns, and he added two more in both Super Bowl XXXVIII and Super Bowl XXXIX.
On defense and special teams, Jackson proved impressive as a rookie. Jackson had 70 combined tackles on the 2017 season with 17 passes deflected and three forced fumbles. In addition, he had 868 return yards on special teams. Following that campaign, the NFL at-large has taken notice of the Illinois native. In attempting to project new Pro Bowlers for the 2018 season, NFL.com's Gil Brandt noted Jackson as a player to watch from the Titans.
"He's a playmaker -- as evidenced by his eight touchdowns on kick and punt returns in college -- and that should continue to serve him well in the NFL," wrote Brandt.
Regardless of what contributions he makes on offense, Jackson will be expected to continue playing a role in an emerging young secondary. Jackson is a key piece of the Titans' defensive backfield, as he was the No. 18-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.