It must say a lot about D’Qwell Jackson when the Cleveland Browns hand out a nice contract extension to a player who was almost out of football due to major pectoral injuries. For those who don’t know who he is, he wears #52 and is captain of the Browns defense. In 2009, Jackson tore his left pectoral muscle and then in training camp of 2010, he tore the right one. If there ever was a guy that you would pull for, it would be Jackson.
Drafted by the Browns in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft, Jackson played his college ball for the Maryland Terrapins. He was arguably the nations top inside linebacker. Since stepping on an NFL football field, he has been a tackling machine. After both injuries, he rehabbed and was more determined than ever to get back on the football field. Last year, he played in all 16 games and led the AFC in tackles. Jackson was so dominate last year that during the first month of the season, he took home the AFC Defensive Player of the Month award. Not bad for a guy that basically missed the last two years of football.
In my mind, other than Phil Dawson and Joe Thomas, Jackson should be an automatic Pro Bowl candidate every year. As the vocal leader of the Cleveland defense, Jackson is already off to a hot start this year too. In week one against the Philadelphia Eagles, D’Qwell Jackson tallied a pick six and a fumble recovery. His touchdown put the browns up 16-10 and the Browns’ defense almost single handedly won the game. After the game, a disappointed Jackson tweeted, “You fans were great today…keep the faith”. In this past weekend’s battle of Ohio matchup, Jackson had a career high 3 sacks and another interception, giving him 2 picks on the year. It’s no wonder his NFL peers voted him in the Top 100 players of 2012.
During his years in Cleveland, Jackson has become another fan favorite and I have never seen him turn down a fan for an autograph or to take a picture. He has always taken the time to make sure the fans know they are well appreciated. To the Cleveland faithful, that feels very refreshing to have a player like Jackson.
Ryan Ruiz– Cleveland Browns Writer
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