Saturday, July 24, 2004

The linebacker curse?

First Joey Porter gets shot in the butt and now this.


Alonzo Jackson, the Steelers second round pick in 2003 will get a chance to finally see the field, even if it's for only a few weeks. Jackson dressed for only two games last season before spending the final 14 weeks watching the action like the rest of us -- in civies.


But due to the fact that new starting outside linebacker Clark Haggans broke his hand while working out, Jackson will get a chance to play. While it's never good to lose a starter to injury (unless you consider that when Chad Scott broke his hand last season, we finally got to see Deshea Townsend play the position well), it will be interesting to see how much Jackson has progressed. He was routinely criticized for picking up the defense too slowly, and that was the primary reason he never saw the field (that, and there were a stable of linebackers in front of him).

"I'm ready to step up and be the man," said Jackson, a second-round draft choice in 2003. "I was ready to come into camp and battle for that position, but it's unfortunate to get it like that.

...A lot of people were saying a lot of bad things," he said. "You really couldn't get mad at them. Now, I get the chance to go out and perform on a consistent basis."
Haggans should be back in six weeks, but in the meantime it will be interesting to see how far Jackson has come in a year.