Rob Jackson hasn't exactly set the world on fire since being drafted late in the 7th round by the Redskins in 2008, but he has done enough to stick around, despite having to deal with a coaching, scheme and positional change last season.
Although Jackson's playing time was limited once again last season, he did manage to have an impact when he got a chance against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Redskins were going to be without Brian Orakpo, their lone front 7 star, for their post Christmas road game against Jacksonville, which made their chances of winning seem quite remote. Come game day though, Orakpo's absence wasn't really felt, and that was due in large part to Jackson's play.
While it was just one game and it is easy to question the level of competition, considering that a number of Washington backups shined in that game, Jackson showed a good bit of promise. While the numbers show 3 tackles and one sack from that game, watching the game and focusing on him, shows even greater potential.
Jackson showed a burst that was lacking from Lorenzo Alexander and a comfortability factor that Andre Carter didn't have standing up. That alone, is a step in the right direction for the Redskins, as far too many players were used in an unnatural position last season. Having an outside linebacker who is comfortable standing up and at least shows some potential to complement Orakpo is exactly what the Redskins need.
Given the numerous other holes that face the Redskins this offseason it is entirely possible that the Redskins don't prioritize another outside linebacker. If that is the case, it is likely because they feel that Jackson at least deserves a legitimate shot of being a starting outside linebacker.
Steve Shoup has been a Redskins fan his entire life and dreams of the day they get back to the glory days of his youth. In addition to his regular piece on Hogs Haven, you can find his daily writings at Fanspeak.com.