DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Broncos defensive lineman Malik Jackson said it hasn’t hit him yet that his team is one victory away from the Super Bowl.
“Not really. We came in and watched film and it hasn’t hit me. We’re getting there,” Jackson told CBS4’s Vic Lombardi on Xfinity Monday Live.
Jackson has come a long way in just one season. In the latter part of the season he has proven to be a pivotal player on the defensive line.
“I learned a lot, especially last year from guys like Elvis (Dumervil). I got to sit back and watch Derek Wolfe go through it and his growing pains and just learn from him,” Jackson said. “I came in this offseason and worked really hard and showed these coaches what I can do, and so far so good.”
Every day it seems like another piece of adversity hits this year’s Broncos team. On Monday it was announced that cornerback Chris Harris is done for the season after tearing his ACL in Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers.
“It’s unfortunate. I heard about it this morning. You really hurt and feel for the guy. He’s been playing his butt off this year, had a really great season and it kind of sucks going out like that,” Jackson said. “The whole year we’ve lost a lot of people … it’s the ‘next guy up’ mentality. We’ve got a lot of guys ready to show what they’ve got, so we’ll keep it rolling.”
The Broncos took care of quarterback Phillip Rivers last Sunday. Now they have to stop New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who releases the ball so quickly that it’s hard for the defense to get a hand on him. Lombardi asked Jackson if the Broncos have a certain strategy in mind for how to get to Brady this Sunday.
“The coaches haven’t really started talking to us about it, but we know the coaches are probably at the office right now getting ready for this game,” Jackson replied. “They do a great job week in and week out like we saw last week in the Chargers game. I know we’re going to go in there on Wednesday and their going to tell us what we’re going to do and we’re going to go out there and execute it.”
It could be said that the most underrated aspect of the Patriots team is their offensive line. For years they have done it all. They can run block and protect the passer. Jackson said their line will be a challenge for the Broncos.
“It’s a good thing we saw them once earlier in the season. Should be fun, should be a good reunion.”
The Broncos host the Patriots this Sunday. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. on CBS4.
– By Matthew J. Buettner, CBSDenver.com
Watch more of the video with Malik Jackson in the Xfinity Monday Live section.