J.C. Jackson grabbed nine interceptions in 2020, good enough for second-best in the NFL, and continued his impressive pace by grabbing two last weekend against the Jets. Since arriving in New England as an undrafted rookie in 2018, Jackson is now up to 19 interceptions and 30 passes defended as the ballhawk has been the model of consistency.
"You make plays, and your teammates feed off of you, that's what defense is all about," said Jackson after Sunday's win over the Jets. "Don't wait on nobody to make plays, just go out there, set the tone and hopefully your teammates feed off that."
Jackson certainly set the tone on Sunday, making an impressive play on the ball and then intercepting it after the deflection. New teammate Jalen Mills pointed out that Jackson continues to push despite having so much success early in his career.
"The interceptions, of course, you know playing defensive back, I don't care if you're at safety, nickel corner, that's what you play for, you want to get your hands on the ball," said Mills on Tuesday evening. "For me being around him and the work that he puts in I can just keep backtracking on that. He puts in the work each and every day. It shows on Sunday.
"Sometimes you get guys who have success, they may slack off or ease up a little bit. No, each and every day, practice Wednesday through Friday, he's trying to do extra, he's trying to work on his technique, he's going on the side with Coach Mike [Pellegrino] working on press, working on the deep ball, working on stacks and bunches, motions and he's right there. That's what you want to see from a guy who's having a lot of success."
With Stephon Gilmore out for at least the first six games, it's put additional focus on Jackson at outside corner. So far, through two games, he's answered the challenge.