“It’s real frustrating. But at the same time, I know my role inside this defense. I know they had guys who were better equipped rushing the passer last year. I’m trying to put myself in the position this year where I can compete for that third-down (pass rusher).”
-Tin Man (Tyson Jackson)
* * *
Finally, confirmation from the (Tin) man himself.
Tyson Jackson isn’t a good at rushing the passer. Some of us have been saying that for a while now. We’ve pointed out how disappointing it is that the Chiefs took a guy third overall that has to come out on third down.
We’ve taken flak for it of course. We’ve been told that we don’t understand the Chiefs’ defense. We’ve been told that Jackson and Dorsey weren’t supposed to be good at rushing the passer. We were told they were there to eat blocks and focus solely on stopping the run.
Now Tin Man himself is telling it to us straight. He’s saying what I’ve been saying since last season. He’s gotten good at stopping the run but has a lot of work to do rushing the passer.
“Pass rushing is a craft,” said Tin Man to reporters yesterday. “You’ve got to constantly work at it. I think I did a pretty good job last year trying to get the run defense down. I think this year I’m (hoping to improve) my game as a pass rusher.”
Is it disappointing that it has taken Jackson, a third overall pick, to develop? Sure. But at least he IS developing. There were other picks that year (I’m looking at you Donald Washington) who will probably never develop.
The fact that Jackson has acknowledged his pass rushing deficiencies publicly shows that both Jackson and the Chiefs are aware of his deficiencies. That is a good sign.
Jackson isn’t living in fantasy land. He wants to be a better player. He wants to be a force on the field, not only in the running game but also vs. the pass. He doesn’t want to come off the field on third down. Most of all, he doesn’t want Allen Bailey to take his job.
This can only be a good thing for the Chiefs. Jackson is getting paid a lot of money this year and he is due even more next season. His playing time incentives have brought his 2012 contract to $5.5 million. That is just peanuts, however, compared to what he’ll make in 2013. Jackson is due $14.72 million in 2013.
If the Chiefs didn’t give Brandon Carr a big contract to be their #2 corner then I find it hard to believe they are going to pay Tin Man $14 million to be a two-down player. I don’t care how good he is against the run.
If Jackson wants to earn that contract, he’s going to have to have a very special season in 2012.
Let’s hope he pulls it off.