Now Is Time For Tyson … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

From St. Joseph, Missouri

The game of football has always had players who were gentle giants. The game attracts the biggest of sporting bodies, but sometimes that intimidating size and strength comes with a personality far smaller and less powerful.

Since joining the Chiefs as their first-round selection in the 2009 NFL Draft, there has never been any doubt about Tyson Jackson‘s size and strength. He’s 6-4 and most days he’s right near 300 pounds. He is strong and he can move well for a man his size.

But that powerful physical package did not come with a matching personality. Jackson has had folks around the Chiefs wondering at times how much football really meant to him. Oh, he put in the work, like he did during the 2010 off-season program where he was a constant presence in the Chiefs facility. It’s just that the flame burning inside of him was seldom visible.

That’s why the Chiefs were so happy after the lockout came to an end to see Jackson walk back into the building in what appeared to be the best shape of his life. As he’s gone through the first days of camp in the oven that is Missouri Western State University, Jackson has shown no signs of physical duress. Heaven knows how much weight he may lose from practice to practice, but there’s no questioning his conditioning.

“Tyson is really coming around,” said defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. “Now that we are putting the pads on, he’s knocking some of the rust off … I expect him to get back to where he was last year and take a step forward from there.”

Jackson knows this is a very big year for his career in Kansas City. A third-year player must make an impact and do it with consistency and that’s something he did not show in his first two seasons. So when the lockout came and there was no off-season conditioning program with the team, he went out and created his own. He hooked up with a trainer in Atlanta and put in five days a week for three months. The trainer was a fighter in mixed martial arts (MMA) and trained Jackson not as a defensive end, but a potential heavyweight fighter.

“I put my body through some strange situations trying to get prepared for camp,” Jackson said. “There were some tough hours, five days a week for three months. I’m in pretty good shape.”

Now there’s some question as to the name of the MMA fighter that he was training with in Atlanta. Jackson said his name was Diamond Jackson, but investigation showed that Diamond Jackson is a woman, and not an MMA fighter, but a porn star. Later Jackson corrected himself and said he trained with Diamond Jones, who was also called Action Jackson.

Whether Diamond Jackson or Jones, or Action Jackson, the Chiefs defensive end work five days a week for three months paid off. He worked most on improving his agility, his balance and his ability to deliver a blow.

“Lateral quickness was the biggest thing; I gained a lot of lateral quickness training with that guy,” Jackson said. “It was a lot of side-to-side movement, jumping boxes, constant movement of the hands and feet. I think I’m whole lot quicker side-to-side. I was watching film and I see myself getting off (the snap) quicker, more quickly than in the past.”

Although he was trained in the manner that MMA fighters are trained, it was all done to make him a better defensive end. It’s something that Todd Haley certainly noticed in the last week since he’s been back around Jackson.

“I’ve seen a big step by Tyson at least physically and overall in attitude,” the Chiefs head coach said. “He’s got a couple of years under his belt. I’m excited to see how it goes with Tyson. Looking at him, talking to him, listening to how he’s responding in the meetings and the weight room, it’s all positive. That’s all good. Tyson needs to continue to improve.”

The third player selected in that ’09 Draft, expectations where very high for Jackson and what he could bring to the Chiefs defense. Everyone expected the prototypical defensive mentality – rugged, angry, willing to deliver a blow and unwilling to give up ground. With the exception of the 2010 pre-season, not much of that was seen from Jackson. He began the ’10 regular season with some momentum, but that was gone by the end of the evening against San Diego when he sprained a knee ligament and was lost for a month. Jackson never quite got back to that pre-injury level.

“He made good progress early in camp and he was doing good,” Crennel said. “He got hurt in the first game and missed some time. The time that he missed, he regressed as far as his technique and his confidence in his knee. He began to regain that confidence towards the end of the year when he came back. He had some confidence going into this season and this training camp.”

Now, he’s not getting in MMA fighting shape, but in NFL football playing shape. They are two different things but Jackson’s sign of commitment to his job and the Chiefs leaves no doubt that it’s all very important to him, even if he doesn’t show it outwardly.

“I need to work on everything,” Jackson said when questioned about where he needed to improve. “I need to work on the run, and work on the pass, I need to work on my total game and try to be a better all-around player.

“Things are starting to slow down. I understand the scheme, I understand the system.”

A LOOK BACK AT THE 2009 DEFENSIVE LINE DRAFT PICKS

The 2009 NFL Draft has proven in two years of play to have been a mediocre group of players. That certainly can be seen with the Chiefs were the ’09 class of draft choices has been a major disappointment, with Jackson’s struggles to establish himself leading the way.

So here’s what the defensive linemen selected in the first three rounds of the 2009 NFL Draft have done so far. Some draft picks identified as defensive lineman now play linebacker.

Rd

#

Player

Team

G/S

Tkls

Sks

FF

1

3

Tyson Jackson (LDE)

KC

26/17

62

1

0

1

9

B.J. Raji (NT)    

GB

30/17

64

7.5

0

1

11

Aaron Maybin (LOLB)

BUF

27/1

24

0

1

1

13

Brian Orakpo (ROLB)

WAS

31/31

106

19.5

2

1

18

Robert Ayers (OLB)

DEN

26/11

58

1.5

1

1

24

Peria Jerry (LDT)

ATL

18/2

10

2

0

1

32

Evander Hood (LDE)    

PIT

32/9

28

4

0

2

40

Ron Brace (NT)

NE

22/7

23

0

0

2

43

Everette Brown (RDE)

CAR

28/3

47

6

3

2

46

Connor Barwin (RDE)

HOU

17/0

18

4.5

0

2

52

David Veikune (DE)

CLV/DEN

14/0

5

0

0

2

56

Fili Moala (RDT)

IND

26/17

33

0

0

2

57

Paul Kruger (RDE)

BAL

20/1

12

1

0

2

62

Sen’Derrick Marks (DT)

TEN

21/3

34

1

1

3

67

Alex Magee (DE)    

KC/TB

25/1

18

4

1

3

68

Jarron Gilbert (DE)

CHI/NYJ

5/0

2

0

0

3

70

Michael Johnson (RDE)    

CIN

32/0

52

5.5

0

3

71

Matt Shaughnessy (DE)

OAK

32/10

85

11

2

3

72

Terrance Knighton (DT)

JAX

32/32

79

5.5

1

3

81

Roy Miller (DT)

TB

31/17

80

3

0

3

93

Corvey Irvin (LDT)    

CAR

2/0

4

0

0


12 Responses to “Now Is Time For Tyson … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • August 2, 2011  - ChuckP says:

    I too think this must be a HUGE YEAR for Tyson Jackson. He needs to prove to Chiefs fans (and opponents) that he is worthy of the huge contract he received. I believe he is making well over 10 Million per year. He certainly has not proved it yet.


  • August 2, 2011  - BayouCityChief says:

    Everyone around here knew T Jax was a softy at LSU….should have got Osackpo or Raji.


  • August 2, 2011  - Tim-may says:

    I’m looking down this list, and based on his stats, he’s right in the middle of everyone. Sure, that’s not great for being the highest draft pick, but it sure beats 16 other guys on this list. I’m just saying cut the guy some slack.


  • August 2, 2011  - el cid says:

    Jackson is what he is. If a mistake was made, it was Pioli’s evaluation. Tim-may, he was picked the third kid out of college, an anchor or building block for the Pioli Plan. “middle of everyone” makes him a bust because he is no anchor for the future. That is why bad teams pick first, they get a chance to get rights to a kid who can be something special to their team. If they do their due diligence the team is better for it, if you are a certified genius and get a Jackson, not so much.


  • August 2, 2011  - Jimbo says:

    We have all been led to believe that the 3rd year is the breakout year (if there is going to be one) for defensive lineman. Sounds like Tyson is taking that very seriously. His commitment this off season to be in top physical condition certainly bodes well in attaining that 3rd year crux (do or die)standard set for DL. He seems to be turning some heads from the coaching staff at camp and if he can stay healthy we may indeed have a worthy #3 pick for years to come.
    We still have a bad taste in our mouths over the Ryan Sims debacle a few years back and none of us are overly optimistic that TJ even has the potential to be better than just good. We all love to root for the underdogs who are usually not as physically gifted or talented but have hearts like thoroughbreds.
    Maybe we should take a closer look and see whats in our stable.
    Go Chiefs.


  • August 2, 2011  - Fansince93 says:

    Just look at what MMA training did for Tamba. I’m looking forward to seeing his progression.


  • August 2, 2011  - ED says:

    Like Dorsey last yr I expect Tyson to have breakout season this yr. Remember last yr this time we was saying same thing about Glen Dorsey


  • August 2, 2011  - el cid says:

    I remember everyone was worried about Dorsey moving to DE in 3-4. Do not really recall fans saying if only Dorsey could only reach the height of being adequate. Probably wrong.


  • August 2, 2011  - ED says:

    Bottom line guy has only been in the league for 2 seasons give him time to develop. I remember Chiefs fans and media were saying Dorsey was a bust after year 1 and 2. People were saying he fit 4-3 defensive tackle position and was not good fit for 3-4. I rememeber rumors about trades and how we were going to trade the guy now he’s anchor for our defense. I think Jackson is bound for the same type success as Dorsey. Its takes time for guy playing that position coming out of college to figure out what it takes to be great at that position. Suh was an exception to the rule. Other than him most 4-3 def tackle or 3-4 def lineman take 3-4 yrs to really becoming impact players on the NFL level. If most media people truly did their homework before throwing these guys under bust so early in their career the word bust wouldn’t be thrown around so early in these guys career. Same with fans


  • August 3, 2011  - el cid says:

    Ed you are correct. It is easy to say any college kid is a bust, as most fail by the 4th year. John Elway, ole horseface himself, was blasted as a bust his first year.

    So I will give Jackson the benefit of the doubt, after all he did not pick the Chiefs, they picked him.


  • August 3, 2011  - Mark says:

    I’m old enough to remember complaints about Neil Smith during/after his first season with the Chiefs; he only started 7 games and had 2.5 sacks. Last year the injury washed out what looked to be a promising year second year for Jackson. This is, for all intents and purposes, his “second” NFL season. So long as Hali gets into camp soon, this could be a big year for Jackson…maybe he can make Pioli look a little less rediculous for the “reach” he made?




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