D’Qwell Jackson, defensive captain and middle linebacker for the Cleveland Browns, is all about winning games.
Jackson was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week after registering a team-best nine tackles, one pass breakup, one forced fumble and a recovery in the team’s 20-14 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, the most important thing to him was defeating the Steelers for just the second time in the last four seasons.
“(What was) most important was getting a win against a rival and for the city of Cleveland,” Jackson said. “They deserved it. I know it has been a rocky year for everybody. To get a win makes it a little bit better, but it was great for the community and great for the young guys in this locker room to get a win against a rival like Pittsburgh.
“I’m not about personal accolades. It’s great, don’t get me wrong. I put a lot of pride into what I do and I’m passionate about what I do. I love what I do and I love playing here in the city of Cleveland. It’s all about everyone in this locker room and the coaches. It’s a little bit better when you win games and as you guys know, there have been some rocky years at times. We had a great week last week hopefully we can carry it over to Oakland, get another win and start a streak here.”
This season, Jackson leads the Browns with 85 total tackles and 43 assists. He has collected 42 solo stops and is tied for the team lead with three sacks. Jackson has intercepted two passes, the first of which he returned for a 27-yard touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles in the regular-season opener. He has forced two fumbles, recovered two others and broken up five passes.
Having played most of the season without second-year defensive tackle Phil Taylor in front of him, Jackson has noticed a difference in the defense with Taylor and fellow tackle
“With the guys we had coming back on the D-line, it makes my job a bit easier,” Jackson said. “It’s night and day, having big Rube in front of me, Phil Taylor and just the rotation we have on our D-line. All the credit goes to those guys. There were some opportunities where I could’ve gotten an interception and changed the game, but we all played well from a defensive standpoint. We finally finished. We had been talking about it all week long and that’s what I’m most proud of.”
Browns coach Pat Shurmur agreed with Jackson’s assessment of the defense with Taylor and Rubin in the lineup. He was also quick to credit Jackson for leading a defense that generated seven sacks on Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys two weeks ago and forced eight turnovers against the Steelers.
“When you’ve got big guys in there taking up blockers, it allows you to be more effective,” Jackson said. “Every middle linebacker in the league wants to have two All-Pro defensive tackles playing in front of you if you’re a four-man team. When you’ve got your two starters back from a year ago at defensive tackle, there’s some synergy there that kind of radiates through the whole team. It helps everything and of course, the middle linebacker benefits some.
“You’ve got to be strong up the middle and your middle linebacker, you’ve got to get good play from (him), your safeties. The guys in the middle of the defense tend to do most of the communicating and getting everybody lined up. (Jackson) obviously does that extremely well for us. I just see the way he functions in the building; I see the way he functions in the locker room. I’ve seen him be a good leader for our guys and I think that’s important as well.”The all new Browns Fan4Pack is on sale now! The all-inclusive game day package includes 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 Pepsi Products, 4 game programs and 1 parking pass for home games versus the Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 9 or the Washington Redskins on Dec. 16. Click here to purchase today!