Detroit Lions LG Jonah Jackson explains just how much an NFL lineman eats

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  • Detroit Lions
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  • Jonah Jackson
    Jonah Jackson
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Jonah Jackson was named a second Pro Bowl alternate at offensive guard for the NFC in his second NFL season. He has been a key part of a Detroit Lions running game that ranks 17th in the NFL at 111.6 yards per game. He sat down with the Free Press to answer a few questions this week.

Second alternate for the Pro Bowl in Year 2. How big of an honor is that for you?

It's a good honor. Definitely feel like people are starting to take notice of my play, but it's just a stepping stone of what I want to do. I want to be the first guy up and hopefully down the line we're able to get that done, but I'll take it for now.

I imagine one of the proudest parts of that is that, especially for a lineman, it's very much peer- and coach-influenced. What does it mean that they were the ones who recognized you?

Yeah, definitely pleasing. Honestly, I didn't really know how the Pro Bowl voting went exactly, but to know that players and coaches around the league are taking notice is a big honor.

Detroit Lions guard Jonah Jackson (73) warms up before a preseason game against Indianapolis Colts at Ford Field in Detroit, Friday, August 27, 2021.
Detroit Lions guard Jonah Jackson (73) warms up before a preseason game against Indianapolis Colts at Ford Field in Detroit, Friday, August 27, 2021.

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How did your fellow offensive linemen celebrate it?

Just saying congratulations. Frank (Ragnow), Deck (Taylor Decker) called me to say congrats and keep it going.

Does Penei Sewell have to buy a big dinner or anything as a rookie?

We'll see.

Since I just mentioned dinner, what does a day of meals look like for you? How do you maintain your weight as an NFL offensive lineman?

I usually just come in here, I'll grab my cold brew on tap, then I'll grab some eggs, some sausage, some hash browns, maybe a pancake or some French toast, and I'll have a smoothie with that. Then lunch — well, we usually have like a pre-packaged snack of some sort. like a wrap, sandwich, some type of rice bowl or something. And then for lunch, I'll have whatever we have here, balance it out, protein, carb, veggie. And then I'll have a little snack or something, then go back home, have the same thing. Salmon, broccoli. Broccolini. Maybe some sprouts and some rice or something like that, and then maybe another smoothie.

You talked this summer about your change in diet, giving up fast food. Do you know how many calories do you eat a day?

I was keeping track, but now I'm not — I'd say what I'm doing now is keeping me at the weight I'm at, so I couldn't tell you exactly but it's a good bit.

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A lot of linemen after they're done playing, they'll shrivel up a little bit —comparatively, at least. When you're done, what do you think you'll end up looking like?

I hope I look like a little six-pack, abs. Miami-body ready, you know what I'm saying? That's the goal.

All right. Michael Jordan, one of the greatest NBA players of all time, obviously. He was also legendary for inventing slights, things to motivate himself. So I'm curious with you, what is the thing, or person, or whatever it is, that fuels you for greatness?

What fuels me for greatness? Honestly, besides my family and being able to be in the position of being in the NFL and potentially helping them out one day, developing generational success, I'd say the guys on the team, the offensive line. Those five dudes, those four dudes, and trusting each other and not wanting to let the other guy down. Wanting to hold up your end of the bargain, that's what really keeps me going.

There's no fourth-grade teacher in your past or someone who said you can't do it, something like that?

I mean, they said stuff, but it's in the past. I can't worry about that.

Who said what?

I don't even know. There's been doubters my entire life.

You did mention generational wealth, that's obviously something you want to do.

Oh, definitely. I want to be able to set everybody in my family up for life. My kids, if one day I have kids or something. That's definitely I think a goal of not only myself but most people.

I asked A.J. Parker this one and he had a great response, and since I just saw the trailer for the Kurt Warner film, I figured I'd ask you this, too. If Hollywood was making a film of your life, who plays you and what's the opening scene?

This is a younger me?

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It could be whatever. Whatever a meaningful moment in your life is.

Who plays me? We could either get The Rock, Dwayne Johnson — who else could we get? We could get Dwayne Johnson. Yeah, I think The Rock. I'll take The Rock.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson at the 2021 People's Choice Awards in Santa Monica, California on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson at the 2021 People's Choice Awards in Santa Monica, California on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021

What moment? Shoot, I don't know, it'd have to be me winning the Super Bowl. Winning it all.

That's how it ends, at least. All right, last one: The new year is coming up, so what's your resolution?

My New Year's resolution, I haven't thought about it too extensively, yet, but just be the best man I can be and be the best teammate, leader, brother, son, friend I can be. And keep continuing to improve at that. That's all I can really do.

Have you ever had a habit you've tried to kick? Not to go back to the fast food thing...

Taco Bell makes its appearances here and there, but that could be part of it.

I thought that was out the door.

It's out the door for about — every couple months, every couple weeks. Moderation's fine. Everything in moderation.

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions Jonah Jackson explains how much an NFL lineman eats