Short Memory A Key For Tigers

Junior noseguard Tommy "T.J." Jackson talks about the closeness of the Auburn team and the importance of not looking ahead or behind this season.

Auburn, Ala.–-When Junior Rosegreen intercepted his fourth pass of the game late Saturday night in Auburn's 34-10 win over Tennessee, the only person happier than Rosegreen may have been junior defensive lineman Tommy Jackson.

One of the most personable members on Auburn's team this season, the Opelika native has been all smiles since the win over the Vols. Playing Coach Gene Chizik's defense with intensity, the Tigers forced six turnovers with Rosegreen at the head of the class with four interceptions. Jackson says it makes him happy to see good things come to a person who works so hard every day in practice.

"That feels really good," Jackson says. "Our secondary, you see those guys in practice working so hard. Coach Chizik coaches those guys really hard. They watch a lot of film and get after it. You just feel good to see that. They are putting forth their best effort to put this team in a really good situation."

Jackson rushes the passer against Mississippi State earlier this season.

Another thing about creating turnovers is giving the ball back to the offense in good field position. Last year that didn't always help a lot with the offense struggling at times to put points on the board, but this season Jackson says giving the ball to this offense more times means trouble for the opposing defense.

"One thing we've been talking about is trying to create turnovers and opportunities for the offense to get on the field," Jackson says. "They're working really hard and have been doing great things. We're thinking that if we can get them the ball they can put points on the board."

A true team player, Jackson likes nothing better than to talk about his teammates and that usually begins with the linebackers. Fans of the play of Travis Williams, Antarrious Williams and Kevin Sears, Jackson says watching them brings back memories of games and players he watched growing up.

"Our linebackers get after it. They look like old school linebackers. When you put in a tape and look at old school linebackers they have the old bar down the facemask and taped up hands and they go downhill and knock you out. That's what our linebackers remind me of. They get after it. They do a great job."

Since early in the preseason, Auburn's defensive players have talked about a special bond on this team, something that was formed over months of hard work in the off-season. Now that bond is becoming more and more apparent this season because of the way the Tigers are playing on Saturdays. Jackson says he's just proud to be included on this team and is excited about the rest of the season and the future.

"It's amazing playing with guys like that," Jackson says. "They love football. They go to work every day. It's amazing. I'm just honored to be able to play with guys like that. It feels kind of weird for me. It's almost like I can't believe I'm in a situation like this being undersized or whatever. I'm just glad to be playing with these guys."

Following a huge win over Tennessee last weekend Jackson says that for several days all he heard was talk of championships at the end of the season for the Tigers. While all that talk is great for the fans and media, Jackson contends that the team is focused on one game at a time and that means the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs this Saturday. He says all this team has to do is remember what happened last year to understand why thinking ahead is a very dangerous thing to do.

"People are really excited right now and that's great. We're really appreciate it, but the biggest thing to remember is that it's one game at a time. Louisiana Tech has a really good football team. We can't talk about going here or there if you don't handle your business on Saturday. We've got a huge game coming up Saturday. It's important for us to win.

"We're trying to have a real short memory because we definitely remember what eventually happened (last year). One thing we have remembered is that some teams can set themselves up great, but if they get complacent and not really thinking about what's going on that will give you a loss."


Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories