Malik Jackson: 'I don't think there's a better D-line in the league'

Malik Jackson walked to the podium in front of the NovaCare Complex auditorium sporting his high school letterman jacket representing Birmingham High School in Los Angeles.

He wanted to show the youth where he grew up that they could be in his shoes one day fulfilling their dreams.

But he's not satisfied. Far from it.

Sure, Jackson's won a Super Bowl, a game in which he forced a fumble and returned it for a touchdown. He's been named to a Pro Bowl. Since 2015, Jackson ranks ninth among all NFL defensive tackles in both sacks (23) and tackles for loss (36).

However, Jackson is coming off a season in which his playing time was drastically reduced so the Jaguars' first-round pick Taven Bryan could get on the field at the end of a lost season. Three years into a six-year contract with Jacksonville, Jackson was released last Friday. He quickly found a home signing a three-year deal with the Eagles on Wednesday.

"My main goal is to get back to where I can be," Jackson said. "Last year was very disappointing. I learned a lot about the business of the NFL last year. For me, it's just getting back to where I'm supposed to be, being who I know I am, and showing the rest of the nation who I am."

And the pieces that are already in place in Philadelphia should help make that happen.

"I'm coming into a team that already has leaders," he said. "With Fletcher Cox next to me, it should allow me to be opened up and have more one-on-one rushes. He's a force to be reckoned with. He demands double teams. Hopefully, I can come in here and do what I'm supposed to do and take the double teams off of him. Hopefully, it goes hand in hand.

"I want to get back to where I know I can be and to do that I need good D-linemen around me. Come in here with these guys, (Derek) Barnett, (Brandon) Graham, and Fletcher. Hell, I don't think there's a better D-line in the league."

In addition to taking pressure off No. 91 Fletcher Cox, Jackson's experience playing both end and tackle in his time in the league with Denver and Jacksonville will provide defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz with another versatile chess piece to unleash on opposing offenses.

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