HOOVER, Ala. — If you’re looking for a player with unique perspective on Georgia and Alabama’s defensive staffs – and is someone who happened to play a pivotal role in last year’s game – then Eddie Jackson is your guy.
Jackson, a senior safety, was at Alabama when Kirby Smart was the defensive coordinator, Mel Tucker was the secondary coach, and Glenn Schumann was a defensive analyst. And for the past seven months he’s been working with our old friend Jeremy Pruitt, nowAlabama’s defensive coordinator and secondary coach.
And by the way, Jackson’s pick-six in Alabama’s win over Georgia last October was one of the plays that may have helped bring this whole thing about.
That’s a lot to unpack. Jackson was one of Alabama’s three representatives at SEC media days, so he was grilled about each coach, and what he remembers about that play. Here’s what he had to say:
- The difference between Pruitt and Smart: “It’s not really a big difference. They’re both the same. Coach Pruitt I can say he’s more hands-on, he’s like a father figure, he comes in and tells you the things you’re not doing right. He really doesn’t bash you in front of other people. He’d rather sit you down in his office and talk to you like a man.”
- The differences between Tucker and Pruitt: “Coach Pruitt is the defensive coordinator. Coach Tucker was the DB coach so coach Pruitt has more say-so and leeway. Coach Tucker, he’s a great coach, he’s a guy we love, we learned a lot from him.”
- What Georgia is getting in Tucker: “They’re getting a good guy. They’re getting a guy who’s going to push you, I can tell you that much. A guy who’s not going to lose faith in you. He’s going to make the best of your ability come out in practice, and then on gameday.”
- On Smart: “Coach Smart, he pushed us. He pushed a lot. You make mistakes, he wants us to fix it. He’s a guy who you have to show that you’re getting it. You make a mistake once and you have to show him that you’re really learning and you’re getting it.”
- On Schumann: “He played a big role. Watching film with him, extra film, and when you make a mistake he comes to you. He knows every position on the field, where everybody is assigned and is supposed to be.”
- The pick-six against Georgia: “I watched it a couple times. (He grinned). I just remember it was the middle of the field. We disguised pretty well. So they thought the middle of the field was open. Then I saw the ball and I broke it.”