Steelers’ Donte Jackson Has Never Been This Excited For A Season: 'I Am A Shark'

steelers’ donte jackson has never been this excited for a season: 'i am a shark'

Steelers’ Donte Jackson Has Never Been This Excited For A Season: 'I Am A Shark'

The Pittsburgh Steelers made headlines this offseason by trading away their star wide receiver, Diontae Johnson. The trade reportedly occurred because the front office had grown tired of the headaches Johnson was causing and had hoped he would step into a leadership role, which never materialized.

However, Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin offered a different perspective on the trade. He cited it as an opportunity to acquire a player they had long coveted: Donte Jackson. While some Steelers fans are skeptical about this explanation, it's clear that Pittsburgh has had a strong interest in Jackson for several seasons and seized the opportunity to bring him on board.

Chris Adamski of Trib Live spoke with Jackson about his brief time with the Steelers. As Organized Team Activities (OTAs) got underway, Jackson expressed his excitement, revealing that he hasn't been this enthusiastic about a season since his college days at LSU.

“I almost feel, like, giddy. I feel giddy like how I was going into LSU, just knowing the standard was already set (at that program). You know what you had to come in there to do (because) it’s been like this for years. And that’s kind of how I felt coming here.

The Tigers football program, where Jackson played college ball, is renowned for its clear standards and high expectations, particularly during Jackson's time there. Jackson drew a comparison between joining the Steelers and his experience with the Tigers, noting that both organizations share a storied history and uphold a similar level of excellence and tradition.

“I’m excited, giddy like a little kid, because here the standard is set: You come in here, you’ve got to swim with sharks, man. And I like to think I am a shark.”

Jackson understands that the standard is the standard in Pittsburgh. He feels confident that he can come in and be a game-changing player in the Steelers' secondary.

“Just knowing that I was coming here to be part of something that was already up and running and that was already dominant and that I could come in and just come out rolling, that’s exciting,” Jackson said.

The Steelers have consistently been one of the premier franchises in football, with six Super Bowl victories. However, they have recently experienced a playoff drought, not winning a playoff game since the 2016 season.

The organization is confident they can change that during the 2024 season. Remarkably, under Tomlin, the Steelers have not experienced a losing season in 17 years. Their 2024 schedule is one of the toughest in the NFL, posing a significant challenge to their streak. Yet, with the addition of playmakers like Jackson, the Steelers are confident they can weather the tough schedule.

Jackson was drafted in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft and has started 76 games over his six-year NFL career, all with the Carolina Panthers. He has amassed 14 interceptions, 46 passes defensed, three forced fumbles, and 303 combined tackles. Throughout his career, he has played both right and left cornerback positions. In 2023, although he didn’t record any interceptions, he racked up 59 tackles.

Steelers Have A Solid Duo Forming In Jackson And Porter

The veteran cornerback joins the Steelers with a great deal of excitement, even if many outside the organization don't share the same enthusiasm. He’s thrilled to be in Pittsburgh, and the Steelers are equally excited to have him. While the trade of Johnson hurts the offense, acquiring Jackson significantly boosted an already formidable defense.

Jackson is expected to form a strong duo with young cornerback Joey Porter Jr. Although there are still some questions to answer in their secondary, the addition of Jackson and the potential of Porter have fans optimistic about the team's prospects for the upcoming season.

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