Kansas City Chiefs DE Tyson Jackson hasn’t yet lived up to his draft stock but defensive coordinator Bob Sutton says he is impressed with the former LSU Tiger so far.
“That’s in some people’s view,” said Sutton in comments released by the Chiefs. “I think Tyson has had a great camp. We think Tyson is a really, really good football player. I know a lot of times, when you’re picked that high or when you’re a d-lineman, you’re judged on sacks. There is a lot more to football than sacks. A lot of it is simply affecting the quarterback as opposed to sacking the quarterback. There are other things that have to happen first.”
Despite what Sutton says, Jackson clearly hasn’t performed at the level former GM Scott Pioli expected when he drafted the DE. In situations like this, it is always important to look at what the team does and not what it says. The coaches may say that Jackson has been playing well over the last few years but the Chiefs just restructured Jackson’s contract for the second-straight season. If Jackson was an All-Pro player, he likely wouldn’t have had to settle for less money.
Still, the fact that Jackson hasn’t earned the right to be paid like a top player doesn’t mean that he doesn’t belong in the NFL. Jackson did some things well in Romeo Crennel’s system and did show some flashes as a pass rusher down the stretch in 2012.
If Jackson can get after the QB in 2013, he could finally begin to silence his critics. The DE has been one of the starts of the early OTA period, much like WR Jonathan Baldwin was creating a lot of buzz in training camp last offseason. Unfortunately, strong camp and practice performances don’t always translate into successful seasons, as Baldwin displayed in 2012.
Thought it may be a stretch to say that Jackson will suddenly turn into a dominant player in Sutton’s system, the coordinator thinks Tyson has a chance to have a very strong season in 2013.
“A lot of the dirty work has to happen on those first and second downs in there to get you that position where you can go after the quarterback, but overall, I think he’s done a great job,” said Sutton. “I think if he stays on course of what he’s doing, he’s got chance to have a really good football season.”