Williams Jackson III can 'take away half the field,' Casserly says

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Why Casserly thinks WFT got the clear No. 1 cornerback in FA originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Washington's signing of cornerback William Jackson III in free agency was a clear upgrade to the position. For analyst and former NFL executive Charley Casserly, it wasn't just an upgrade, it was the best possible move Washington could have made at cornerback in free agency.

“He, to me, was clearly the number one corner in this free agent market," Casserly said to Washington Football Team senior VP of media and content Julie Donaldson.

Casserly is a fan of Jackson for multiple reasons, but the biggest is his physicality. Labeled as a press cornerback and someone that thrives in man-to-man coverage, Jackson is big, strong and fast with his feet and hands, making him capable of going toe-to-toe with whatever receiver lines up across from him.

With this type of style, there is always a risk of getting burned, and Casserly knows that will happen a time or two. Still, he loves Jackson's ability, because when it's going right, it could virtually eliminate an option for the opposing offense.

“You have an effective press corner that has the potential to take away half the field," Casserly said. "That’s how good this guy is.”

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Additionally, Casserly feels that Washington's defensive situation as a whole only increases Jackson's potential for success. Being that there is a ferocious defensive line up front, it only makes playing man-to-man easier. The quarterback does not have a ton of time to get rid of the ball, meaning Jackson only needs to handle the receiver for a short period of time, rather than chasing him all over the field and losing track as the play develops.

“With the pass rush they have, these corners don’t have to press and play man all day because this pass rush will get to him," Casserly said. "You cover him for that first twenty to thirty yards — which is essential, your quarterback is going to get sacked if he holds the ball.”

As a whole, Casserly isn't ready to claim that the secondary is complete just yet. That, however, doesn't mean that he isn't a fan of the Jackson signing. Other pieces are necessary, but the cornerback fills a big hole.

Allow Jackson to play to his strengths in Washington and Casserly believes the acquisition will only look better as time goes on.

“This is an excellent signing," Casserly said. "Use him in press and you got a heck of a player.”