Brandon Staley: Entire defense needs to improve, not just J.C. Jackson

Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson struggled in his first year with the team before a torn patellar tendon ended his season in Week Seven and his return to action didn't go much better.

Jackson was targeted often by the Dolphins in Week One and he conceded both completions and a pass interference penalty that set the Dolphins up for points just before halftime. His best play of the game backfired as well as Jackson took an interception out of the end zone and got tackled at the four-yard-line. The Chargers punted and the Dolphins scored a touchdown one play after taking over on L.A.'s 35-yard-line.

Tyreek Hill scored that touchdown by beating Jackson and the Chargers pulled Jackson for the rest of the day in response. On Monday, Chargers head coach Brandon Staley said Jackson was fine on the health front and said that the defensive breakdowns couldn't be pinned to one player when he was asked whether the team had erred by putting Jackson back into such a big role right off the bat.

"We're going to put the players out there who give us the best chance to win," Staley said, via a transcript from the team. "What we see in practice and what we feel like gives us the best combination of players, that's what we're going to do. We also know that there is a progression and a ramp-up as he continues his return to play. He has proven that he can practice and practice consistently the whole way. Now, he has proven that he can play in a game against an outstanding team that is throwing the football. Now, we just have to keep building his confidence, rep by rep, and that is only going to come in time. Again, our entire group on defense needs to improve, not just J.C."

Heading into Week One, Chargers safety Derwin James said the team had the right players to change the largely negative narratives that had cropped up around their defense the last couple of years. The loss to Miami showed there's a lot of work to do on that front.