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Titans Rookie Adoree’ Jackson Takes Flight vs. Raiders

Posted Sep 10, 2017

Titans rookie cornerback Adoree’ Jackson started on Sunday against the Raiders. He had a busy day in coverage, and also produced a highlight-reel kickoff return.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – On a day when the Titans were grounded, rookie Adoree’ Jackson took flight.

In his first NFL regular season contest, Jackson found himself in the middle of the action, starting at cornerback against two of the league’s top receivers. Jackson likely also put himself on ESPN with an impressive leap on a kickoff return.

“I didn’t think I was up that high, but everybody kept saying, you’ve got some crazy hops,” Jackson said with a smile. “I thought it was just a regular leap, but I guess I got up there pretty good.”

Jackson, the 18th overall pick of the NFL Draft, was thrown into the fire against the Raiders.

He started opposite veteran cornerback Logan Ryan, and squared off against Oakland receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree throughout the contest. Jackson gave up some plays, but he also made some as well.

His teammates liked the way he fought.

Jackson was credited with four tackles, and two breakups in coverage in the team's 26-16 loss to the Raiders. He was also called for pass interference, and let Cooper escape his grasp on an eight-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Derek Carr in the first quarter.

“I think Adoree’ played really well,’’ linebacker Wesley Woodyard said. “He is out there locking down one of the best receivers in the game in Crabtree and Cooper. And he made some big plays.”

Titans safety Kevin Byard’s liked Jackson’s toughness.

“I think Adoree’ played big time today,” Byard said. “For a rookie, in his first game against probably two of the best receivers in the league, it was great. He had a couple of good pass break-ups, a couple of good tackles, and he’s electrifying on kickoff returns.”

Jackson, who started the final two games of the preseason, said he tried to get some chatter going with Cooper and Crabtree, but they didn’t play along. Crabtree ended the day with six catches for 83 yards, while Cooper had five catches for 62 yards.

“That’s the life of a defensive back,’’ Jackson said. “I made plays, and they made plays. We are just going out there and competing. I understand as a rookie they will come after me. But when you have 10 other brothers who are going to do their job, you have to do your job as well.

“After the game those guys told me good job, keeping getting better. And you like hearing things from older guys.”

Ok, so back to the return.

Jackson, who had a punt return for a touchdown called back in the preseason, electrified the crowd when he leaped over Raiders kicker Giorgio Tavecchio while running full speed on a kickoff return in the fourth quarter. Raiders linebacker James Cowser also became a hurdle for the former track star, who ended up being hauled down on the 35-yard line when Cowser grabbed his ankle.

Teammates and fans at Nissan Stadium were fired up when the return was shown on replay.

“I was on the field, right behind him,” Byard said. “I knew he wasn’t going to score because you can’t jump over the entire team. But it was cool to see him take off. He got extra high. I wanted to go catch him for a minute. It was pretty dope.”

“He’s an athlete,’’ Titans rookie linebacker Jayon Brown said of Jackson. “He has been doing that since high school. We expect a lot from him, and he does a lot.”

Jackson just smiled when asked about the return, and if he might do it again.

Turns out it’s worked before.

“The last time I did that it was in college against Notre Dame and I ended up going 96 yards,” Jackson said. “So if it works, it works. It’s just an instinctive move. If it’s there it is there, there’s always other moves you can use.”