Q&A with Sheldon Jackson

I talked to Sheldon Jackson, prior to last week's arrest in Illinois on two misdemeanor charges. Always a colorful character, Jackson never tempers his thoughts and opinions on anything. In fact, he's brutally honest. Jackson is aware that with Dave Moore in the mix at tight end, his position on the team has never been more in jeopardy in his four years with the team. But he doesn't care. Here's the Q&A.

Mike Doser: How's the off-season been going?

Sheldon Jackson: It's alright so far. I've got to lose some weight. My God, it was outside today. It wasn't too bad. I just gotta lose a little more weight.

MD: What are you doing to lose the weight?

SJ: Nothing. Just exercise and diet. It's about that time of year. Time to lose it now.

MD: Have you gone on vacation?

SJ: Not really. I flew home for a few weeks before this camp. I had a little boy. Other than that, it's been pretty much work this off-season. You know how it is.

MD: Yeah, you guys have too many mini-camps. The NFLPA ought to crack down, although it's better than what it was when you were a rookie when you had two-a-day mini-camp practices.

SJ: Yeah, but honestly and truthfully, you need something like this as opposed to sitting on your ass all day. It's better than being thrown in the fire come training camp or reading a playbook all day long. Here you actually get to go out there and get some reps. Ask anybody who went to school. School wasn't fun. All those tests you studied for? You want to practice that stuff. You don't want to just recall it and accept it for what it is. You want to see why that's the way it is.

MD: Do you still operate the tattoo place?

SJ: Yeah, we still have that.

MD: Do you still live way south of Buffalo?

SJ: Yeah.

MD: But when you said you flew home, did you fly home to Diamond Bar, Calif., where you grew up?

SJ: No, we're out in Riverside.

MD: Getting to on the field stuff, I noticed we've seen a lot of two-tight end formations you guys were running.

SJ: It's not too different. This time of year it's always like that. Things roll around and later on we really see what's going on. I noticed I'm kind of behind so I got to catch up and get in my playbook.

MD: Do you feel behind?

SJ: Physically, no. It's just ‘cause I was away for a few weeks when I was out in California, seeing the birth. They still had meetings and stuff here. So I got to catch up. You can play a lot better when you know the stuff instead of guessing in your mind what you got to do on a particular play.

MD: Do you like the Gilbride offense?

SJ: Yeah, I do.

MD: Have you guys seen the whole thing? Or do they give it to you a little bit at a time?

SJ: Both. We get all of it at once and then they break it down and go over it again. We've had the plays already given to us, so everything at this point is just review. It's review upon review so when training camp rolls around …

MD: … they just want you reacting.

SJ: That's the point. That's where you got to get to.

MD: Is this going to be a power-running offense?

SJ: We're kind of feeling things out. There are certain things you want to run regardless. Other times you want to run things based on what the defense is showing. I can't really tell you if it's going to be one of those powerful offenses as far as run-happy play. Every coordinator who's been here, we ran the ball. If nothing else, we sure as hell tried to run the ball. I feel with the group that's here, the ball will definitely get run a lot this year. If we can run five, six yards a pop, anyone who knows football, knows that opens up a lot of other things. You can't have a decent passing game without a stable and consistent running game.

MD: What about your placement on the team with management bringing in Dave Moore, and it looks like Jay is going to stick around this year, where does that leave you?

SJ: I'm going to keep hitting until they take my name off the locker. I don't know what it means. I'm not going to try and guess what it means. If I focus on (the acquisition of Dave Moore) then it will take away what I need to be focused on. They can bring in how ever many tight ends they want to bring in, I don't care. I'll play, until they say I can't play here anymore. I don't care who they sign or how much they give him.


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