“You know, people make mistakes,” Jay Gruden said of safety Tanard Jackson after Thursday’s OTA session. “He had an unfortunate incident or two – we’re going to give him a shot – and this is probably his last go around. So he’s going to make the most of it.”
After repeated suspensions and two seasons away from the NFL, “probably his last go around” seems a fair assessment for Jackson. Still, if there were any doubt about that, ESPN 980′s Kevin Sheehan asked Jackson that same question on Thursday.
“Most definitely,” Jackson responded. “It’s definitely my last chance. That’s why the opportunity — and to take full advantage of it right now — is very important.”
Jackson’s comments on the radio were similar to what he told reporters following the practice, but after years of silence, I’ve got to get my Tanard Jackson fill.
“Those two years I was off, it was difficult,” he told the station. “It was hard to deal with. But it was a situation where it was less about football during that time. I had to mentally get myself in a better place, for myself and my family. And during that time I had to put the football side of things to the back burner and provide a life for myself and my family.”
Chris Russell asked Jackson whether he has two years of inactivity balled up inside him, waiting to be used on the field.
“I mean, you definitely get that urge, but right now I have to be where I’m at,” Jackson said. “And where I’m at right now is in OTAs, and building that camaraderie with guys on this team, and [continuing] to strive for that one goal, which all of us is here for, and that’s to win.”
Jackson said he still needs to improve “in all areas,” but said he was heartened by the kind words Gruden and others have offered.
“It’s good to hear that positive feedback from my coaches and everybody here with the organization,” he said. “But me myself, I hold myself to a high standard, and I just feel it’s a lot of areas to improve in to get back to where I want to be.”