INDIANAPOLIS – When teams send out press releases to announce a parting of ways with players, the “PR language” used in such releases is pretty predictable.
So when the Browns released Jackson back in February, the quote from Cleveland GM Ray Farmer wasn’t your typical “plug in said quote for player A or B here”.
“…D’Qwell is the epitome of class, leadership and professionalism. Every day of his NFL career, D’Qwell has been a solid representative of the Browns and the City of Cleveland, both between the lines on Sundays and off the field in our area community. We want to thank him for his eight years of service and wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors,” Farmer said
Farmer’s comments were the pinnacle for the high praise Colts newest member in D’Qwell Jackson has received over the past few weeks.
The 30-year old linebacker comes to the Colts as a durable, veteran linebacker who missed just 1 snap out of 1,150 during the 2013 season.
Jackson has started 48 straight games in the middle of the Browns defense and he figures to factor in prominently for the open inside linebacker spot next to
“D’Qwell Jackson is a great guy and basically he let it be known that if things would’ve gone along the way things were supposed to go, then he would have stayed,” Cleveland Plain Dealer writer Mary Kay Cabot told Browns.com when Jackson was released.
“It was evident that it was difficult for him to be leaving here. He was willing to accept a restructuring, but he wanted stability to go somewhere where there is less change and chaos and now he will have that chance.”
In his conference call Thursday afternoon, Jackson made it clear that the move to Indianapolis comes with his eyes set on the postseason.
The days of making moves from a financial standpoint are gone for Jackson.
He joins the Colts with every intention of experiencing the playoffs and capturing an elusive Super Bowl title.
CLICK HERE FOR A PHOTO GALLERY OF D'QWELL JACKSON AT THE COLTS COMPLEX
Vic Carucci has been around the game of football longer than many Colts players have been alive.
As the senior editor for Browns.com, Carucci has had an up close and personal view of what Jackson has meant to the Browns.
He wrote the following after Jackson and the Browns parted ways…
Jackson was one of the fixtures in a Browns locker room that has undergone rampant turnover since he joined the team as a second-round draft pick in 2006.
As much as anything else, so many of us admired the man’s ability to survive the constant change around him. With each new coach, general manager, president, chief executive officer, and owner, Jackson managed to be a constant presence. You expected him to adapt and overcome.
He did so, first, with his talent and smarts and hustle. Jackson was the cornerstone of the Browns’ defense. He was the one who relayed the signal calls from the sidelines to the rest of the unit, and made the necessary adjustments based on what he saw across the line.
But Jackson did so much more. He might not have had the answers the Browns needed to avoid last year’s 4-12 finish or the other losing seasons of which he was a part in the past eight years. However, he knew the right things to say to his teammates and when to say them. As with any great leader, he didn’t operate in a vacuum. He paid attention to all that he saw and heard around him.
For instance, as the Browns, through a bizarre set of miscues, were in the process of giving up 31 second-quarter points on a day when their defense actually was performing well enough for the team to win at Cincinnati last November, Jackson searched for ways to reverse the wicked tailspin. As he explained to me afterwards, “My job during those times is to kind of look around and see what the temperament of the team is. If guys are kind of feeling sorry for themselves, it’s my job to keep that morale up and just talk our way out of it.”