J.C. Jackson details specific plan to slow down Texans WR Brandin Cooks

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The New England Patriots are entering the first week since 2017 without Stephon Gilmore on the roster.

This leaves J.C. Jackson as the No. 1 cornerback going forward and it’s a role that he’s admittedly going to have to grow into. Gilmore was on the PUP list and hasn’t played this season thus far, so Jackson’s slowly acclimated himself to the role over the course of four games.

He made life difficult for Mike Evans last week and he’s totaled two interceptions, along with four passes deflected this year. His next challenge as the outright leader of the group will be against a familiar face in Brandin Cooks. The speedy Houston Texas receiver already has 28 receptions for 369 yards and a touchdown in 2021.

Jackson laid out his plan to slow down Cooks in Week 5 while speaking with reporters.

“I’m going to be physical,” Jackson said. “That’s who I’m going to be covering. I’m going to be physical with him, get my hands on him every chance I get. We’ll see how that plays out Sunday.”

Cooks, who runs a 4.33 40-yard dash, will be a huge vertical threat if Jackson can’t keep him in front.

“The biggest thing on Cooks is the guy’s fast,” Jackson said. “He can get past the defense if you let him. You’ve got to slow this guy down.”

The Patriots are starting to find their identity under Mac Jones and the Texans just lost 40-0 to the Buffalo Bills last week. If Jackson and the Patriots defense can eliminate big plays, they should be in shape to get back into the winning column.