“Two horrible calls,” Jackson said. “Two calls that we didn’t call in those situations all week at practice.”
Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson ripped the defensive coaching staff for two “horrible” calls on Matt Ryan’s two TD passes. He particularly questioned sending an all-out blitz on the play in which he allowed a 93-yard TD. pic.twitter.com/yfbWw8mOfO— Scott Fowler (@scott_fowler) December 8, 2019
“First of all, it was two bad calls,” Jackson said. “Two horrible calls. Two calls that we didn’t call in those situations all week at practice.”
The 93-yard touchdown came with Jackson in single coverage on Falcons rookie Olamide Zaccheaus, who hauled in the longest play of his career. Jackson couldn’t make the tackle and threw his hands up when the play was still going on. He certainly let his feelings be known about the defensive call, either by Fewell (who was the secondary coach before replacing Rivera) or defensive coordinator Eric Washington.
Jackson added: “Zero coverage. No help. Backed up. With a quarterback like that? I don’t care if you’re Champ Bailey or any of those quarterback on the [NFL’s] 100 list, that is a play that’s hard to make for any guy. Especially with a guy like Matt Ryan.”
Rivera had been calling the Panthers’ defense before being let go last week. Perhaps Jackson was still angry that his head coach was fired. He also was viewed as pretty thin-skinned during the Panthers’ “All or Nothing” series on Netflix, so that’s something worth considering with Jackson.
Of course, Jackson isn’t the only one to publicly call out Fewell. Jalen Ramsey sent a sarcastic tweet wishing two Panthers DBs “goodluck” back in January right after Fewell’s hiring as the secondary coach was announced in Carolina. Ramsey spent two seasons with Fewell on the Jaguars’ coaching staff — and it doesn’t appear they were super tight.
The Panthers’ season is all but over, but the negativity has not faded away following a tense week. It will be interesting to see how Jackson’s comments are handled by a coaching staff that might not still be in place come January.
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