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Tuesday, May 26: Steve Jackson Talks Safeties

Posted by Matt Terl on May 26, 2009 – 11:06 am

After talking to offensive assistant Chris Meidt a couple weeks back, it seemed natural that the next member of the coaching staff I talk to come from the defensive side of the ball. Safeties coach Steve Jackson was helpful enough when I asked him about his golf pants last week, so I took the opportunity to set up a time when we could sit down and talk in more depth. In the end, the conversation covered, among other things, his coaching philosophy, LaRon Landry‘s natural position, Chris Horton, and — of course — abstract painting.

But the first thing I noticed in his office was the enormous sombrero sitting on the desk. Still flush with success from the golf pants conversation, I thought there might be an equally detailed story here. “No,” Jackson told me, “that’s just still there from Cinco de Mayo.”

Fair enough. With hat talk over, I moved to issues of marginally more importance.

So how do you and [secondary coach] Jerry Gray split things up? Do you just handle safeties and he works with the cornerbacks?

Jackson: “Kind of. On the surface, yes. But Jerry and I, we’re like twins that were separated at birth. Jerry and I played together in 1992, he was my DB coach a couple years later. Then in Buffalo he was my boss, and now … we’ve done it all together. We pretty much think alike. He’ll start a sentence and I’ll finish it, or I’ll start and he’ll finish it.

“We can draw from experience, too. ‘You remember how whenever we ran this versus Jerry Rice and John Taylor, this happened.’ It all goes back to the same things, and that’s pretty much the relationship that we have.

“It’s nothing specific as far as, ‘These are your specific duties, those are my specific duties,’ but we just work like two brothers.”

Whatever the reason, you two have experienced a lot of success with safeties and corners during your tenure here. What do you attribute that to?
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