Eddie Jackson Wins 2023 Media Award

Bears safety Jackson selected by Chicago writers.

The Chicago chapter of the Pro Football Writers Association announced Chicago Bears defensive starter Eddie Jackson as the recipient of the 2023 Jeff Dickerson Good Guy Award winner for the 2023 season. A special ceremony was held at Halas Hall special ceremony to name Jackson.

The award is named after the late Jeff Dickerson, a long-time beat reporter. The award was given out on the two year anniversary of Dickerson’s death, losing his battle with cancer on Dec. 28, 2021. Dickerson’s family was in attendance for the award. 

Eddie Jackson, photo by SRN Broadcasting.

Jackson, a seven-year veteran thanked everyone, and paid homage to Dickerson. “The times I met him, he was a nice, humble guy. Always asked the right, positive questions. Us, as players, we’re always thankful for that. As most of you guys in here do.”

He was asked questions by the media raging from who mentored him, to whether Sunday’s game against the Falcons might be his last home game in a Bears jersey.

Eddie, you’ve obviously seen a lot over seven seasons in this building. I’m curious how, as a young player, you learned to handle this spotlight and how you learned how to be a resource for reporters?

Man, just from older guys. Just seeing how they went by it. Khalil Mack was one of my staples when it comes to things like that, just how he handled everything in a professional manner. And just to be here, just trying to help you guys make your job easier. As players, we understand you all have jobs to do. So if we can help that and keep that in a respectful manner, we’re here for it. So that’s kind of how that went.

Why do you take seriously the responsibility to be a voice for this team when not player of your caliber is willing to do that? What is the responsibility you feel within the locker room to be somebody who is willing to answer the tough questions?

I feel like it’s needed. Especially when you have the younger guys, the guys in the locker room who look at you as a leader. I feel like your response is held to a higher standard than someone else’s. So I feel like it was always meant for me to speak. Whether it’s me or Tremaine (Edmunds) or guys like that, we can go out after a tough loss even when we don’t want to speak and say, yo, ‘You have to say something.’ Like I said, everyone has a job to do. And if we can help make your jobs easier by answering those tough questions … And tip my hats off. A lot of teams, their media is kind of different than ours. Everyone here keeps it respectful. And I feel like that is huge for us as players. We really appreciate that. Because you know guys can twist up stories and make them type of headlines. But you guys keep it straight on and respectful. It’s on us to stand up and hold ourselves accountable after a win or a loss. Just like in our meeting rooms, if you give up a play, you stand up and admit to that mistake and go o and try to correct it.

How was Coach Saban at Alabama a mentor for you in developing you?

That was like one of the staples in my life. A young kid out of Fort Lauderdale, FL, going to Alabama without much direction. I had my father but it was a little different when Coach Saban came around. Because when you answer to that, they preach a lot about family, tradition, hard work and things like that but you don’t think it’s really put into play until you go through it. Just having him as a mentor, I met with Coach Saban almost every other week. For good things and bad things. School. Missing class. But he held us to a standard, man and helped us build character and overcome adversity. Things like that just stick with you. I feel like that played a big role in me transitioning to the league and handling myself as a professional. He’d get us prepared to be pros and also good men off the field.

What does it mean to you to be a Bear?

Oh man. It means everything. Just coming here from Alabama and the tradition of it, the history is rich, man. Everything is just so … It’s family-orineted. When you walk through that lobby, man, you see all those Hall of Famers on the wall. Man That’s the goal. Just to see the tradition the Bearshave built, one of the first organizaions. It just means a lot. So for me to be here seven years and watch different coaches come, different GMs, different players, you build those relationship with them. And you learn from the older guys and for us now it’s to pass it down to the younger guys and just seeing how I can affect someone just by being around them – with your presence, through conversation, it means everything. I love it. I enjoy it. And I don’t take it for granted.

As you know, I’ve been hurt before. So just being away from the team, being away from the building, it takes a toll on you. So you have to live in that moment and really appreciate it for the moment you have.

Nobody knows what the future holds. Have you allowed yourself to think that this might be the last Sunday you walk out onto Soldier Field in a Bears uniform?

Not really. I know guys keep asking me that. It’s like, I’m living in the moment, man. I’m appreciating the guys and just being around Tremaine and those guys, TJ, D-Walk, all the new guys, new faces on this team and all the relationships we’ve built within this year. It’s like, man, it’s crazy. So I haven’t really thought about it. Lord willing, I hope I’m here next year. But like I said, man, God always has a plan. So I feel like I’ll always land on my feet. I hope it’s here. I know how it works in the business, I wish I could be here my whole entire career. But we know how this thing works. So you have to live in the moment. You have two more games guaranteed. I’m guaranteed two more games as a Chicago Bear. So I’m going to live in that moment, appreciate that moment.