Cornerback Adoree' Jackson
Q: Can you talk about (Cowboys wide receiver) CeeDee Lamb. You've obviously had some great matchups with him over the years, played him tight last year, the one-handed touchdown catch he made, how difficult of a receiver is he? What makes him unique?
A: Just exceptional talent and I think when you have a quarterback and receiver that are on the same page, you can look at numerous duos and they are there favorite target and give them the ball, a lot of things can happen. I think he's a tremendous talent, a tremendous athlete and works hard and does the right things right for the organization over there.
Q: How much of the move into the slot, do you think had to do with this matchup? You face the Cowboys twice every year, he's their best receiver, you are your team's best cornerback, how much when this idea came about was, we need Adoree' to help us against CeeDee Lamb?
A: I don't think this game in particular, I think it was just about the season in general. The long haul, obviously just trying to go 1-0, but I think it was more of just a trajectory of what do we want to do throughout the season and to experience and get some trial out at the nickel position.
Q: You have obviously done it a little in your career, but it looks like you are going to do it more than usual, how comfortable are you right now after a whole camp with the nickel and having to go basically defend left and right without no boundary next to you?
A: I feel good. Doing it, being able to go out there, practice and compete. You know, watching a lot of film. Obviously, I have (cornerback) Darnay (Holmes) and (cornerback) Cor'Dale (Flott) to help me out a lot when I need pointers or have questions with Rome (defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson) and Mike (safeties coach Michael Treier). But to have the safeties and the linebackers, us being on the same page, we always talking about playing football and having that awareness of different splits, formations, a different alignment. Just trying to tie all that in and us all being on the same page, makes me feel good out there.
Q: I mentioned that one handed catch he (Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb) made for a touchdown on you last year, is that something that sticks with you, is that one of those, just tip your cap to a guy who makes a great play, anything you remember about that play?
A: It was a great throw and catch. Caught it kind of, not on his helmet, but dang near. Threw that way. We always talk about when we are playing in the red zone make sure that they throw it to the back pylon, which they did, you don't want to have anything cross your face or be anything in front of you, playing low to the hip. Just a great throw and catch, it's just one of those things you just nod your head, tip your hat off to them and just keep back lining it up.
Q: When you look at the team you guys put on the field last year for the season opener and the team you are probably going to put on the field this year for the season opener, I mean as a whole, do you think it's a better group, a better roster, stronger? Every year, the goal, personally and as a team is to improve. Do you think this group is improved?
A: I think so. Especially being under (defensive coordinator) Wink's (Martindale) defense for another year and then having (head coach Brian) Daboll to be able to orchestrate us for another year, I think that helps out a lot. I for sure think we are better than we were last year.
Q: That's the coaching and your familiarity, but how about just, you are not giving me a rundown of each player, but just as far as a unit? Like the defensive unit that's your expertise right now, you know inside linebackers are different, you have rookie cornerbacks now, is this just a better more talented, more potential group right now?
A: I'll go back to how I answered it earlier. It's still with the guys that we had here, understanding the defense and then bringing those new additions along to be able to fall in to the culture and what we want to be here as a Giants defense. I think having that experience from last year, understanding, getting that respect from Wink and vice versa and then coming in this year, adding new pieces in, but everybody falling in line and understanding this is the way we want to be and how we want to go about. I think from that standpoint we are better.
Q: When did they first come to you and say you we're going to play nickel because we like this rookie? What was your first thought on that?
A: The first time they mentioned the nickel position was actually like last year. We talked about it; I played there a little bit. When it came about this year it was more of a – we talked about a déjà vu moment. Been there, done that, had that conversation and talk. For me, I was ecstatic and excited about the opportunity that I was going to be able to have in that position and at the end of the day it's all about 'we over me,' that we talked about and understanding that if that's where Wink and the rest of the staff sees fits best, then I'm going to go out there and play it to the best of my ability and give it 100% effort.
Q: With (cornerback) Deonte Banks coming in as a first-round pick, they had high expectations for him. With (cornerback) Tre (Hawkins III), when was the first time that you said, 'Hey, this is more than a first-round pick. This is a kid that can really do this.' When did he really come on your radar?
A: I'm not even going to lie, it'd probably be when I just seen his work. He was going out there with the three's and doing his thing, going with the two's, doing this thing. It's like, 'Man, this guy keeps showing up.' I had seen him with the threes and the two's but when he did it with the one's, I don't want to say it rung my radar, but it was one of those things where you knew he was about his business. When he came out there and competed and played. Then when you saw him in preseason games, the joint practice, and the rest of the games that we've played, he's done a tremendous job and he just carries himself the right way. I can tell how he approaches the game – he respects the game a lot and I think that's going to play dividends for him in the future.
Q: What do you like most about him? Is it the way he goes about his business or is it something about his game that you admire?
A: Him as a person. Quiet, humble, but at the same time does not shy away to ask questions and wanting to learn and go out there and put in the work. I think when I say he respects the game, he does things the right way, he's goes out there, is respectable, humble, asks questions, is out there working on his technique then takes care of his body as well. He approaches the game like a pro.
Q: How are him and Tae different?
A: One of them has locs and the other one doesn't. Besides that, I think with his – I don't want to say any differences. The thing that I appreciate most about them is how they compete and how they come to work every day and how together they are. Watching them celebrate and talk to each other is one of those cool things. It's kind of like true freshman coming in together and that's your boy. I wouldn't have known that they didn't know each other – if you'd just met them, it'd look like they're two peas in a pod. I think them feeding off each other and wanting to compete. I think that's what makes those two special.
Q: Knowing how important that position is as a guy who has played it. How much pressure is on them to perform as rookies?
A: I think for them it's just go out there and do what they've shown. We talk about football being football at the end of the day. Just going out there and doing what you do in practice, just be yourself. I'm excited for them. You asked about Tre, and they moved me into the slot during camp – I'm just excited to see those guys thrive and achieve and do great things. Not just for this team but for this league.
Q: Do you have a handle yet on how Isaiah Simmons is going to fit in?
A: I feel like just utilizing him to the best of his abilities and when you see his abilities, they just jump off the charts as you've seen. A guy that can do a little bit of everything and does it well. I'm just excited to see his role and the things that he's going to do to contribute and help his team win games.
Q: Is there a belief among the players with Wink that he is going to play players to the best of their ability, or at least what he believes is the best of their ability?
A: Oh yeah, of course. You can see—you can take (cornerback) Nick McCloud, just coming from Buffalo doing special teams and then getting a role on defense, (inside linebacker) Cam Brown, (inside linebacker) Micah (McFadden), different guys like that. Then another one would be Cor'Dale Flott, coming in the Vikings game at the last second, probably didn't even play more than two snaps, and then the biggest snap of the day, he gets a PBU. I think that goes to show the confidence that Wink has in not just us as players, but his system and how he runs things and doesn't shy away from it. I think that helps out a lot.
Q: Would a younger Adoree' have necessarily handled any kind of a position switch the same way? Has this always been in you to say, 'This is all cool to me, wherever you need me,' or is that something maybe that you have grown into a little bit as an NFL player and as a young man?
A: I think that's always been me. Even when I moved out to California to play high school ball, all I played was offense. They told me they had every position filled up, but you can go play defense. Even when I went to SC (University of Southern California), I went there to play offense. They switched me to defense. I was at corner, and they told me to try to safety rollout, did that. At the end of the day, it's just about playing ball and competing at a high level. I think those around you notice it. I don't think of it as anything different. When you're out there on the field, you can be productive and make plays. I just think that's always been me, just loving to play the game, loving competing and just trying to showcase talent.
Q: Last year you obviously got to face CeeDee in prime time and got hurt right before the rematch with the Cowboys later in the season. How much has that first game from last year really stuck with you since then, and how much do you just take these matchups personally against receivers like him?
A: I think not just receivers like him, I think across the league you take those matchups personally, because at the end of the day, you only get—it's not like basketball, where you can play someone twice, four times, however many times or whatever it may be. It's all about taking this series personal because you never know when it'll be your last snap. As you said, I played them Week 1, looking forward to playing them a second time, wasn't able to be out there. I think every matchup that I go against, regardless of who it is at receiver, who the team is, you take it personal and want to go out there and showcase and display your best.
Q: That touchdown that you gave up to him last year, was that maybe a play that's stuck with you and you kind of were like, 'I want to get him back for that,' and that was a play that kind of got away from you, and you know you can do better the next time?
A: We talked about on the sideline, me and Rome did. I remember that vividly, asking what I could have done better, this, that, and the third. Played it through the hands, played it through the pocket, it was one of those where the quarterback put it where he needed to put it. He stuck his left hand out there and caught it one-handed. So, it was one of those things where you don't really harp too much on it. It's one of those things where it could go 50/50, could have been a bad throw, doesn't catch it or whatever it may be, I can get my hand on it. Just for me, just keep playing my technique, playing your game. It's never a situation where you go out of your frame of work, you go out of your frame of body and think that you need to do anything different. Just keep doing what you've been doing and go from there.