ESPN NFL analyst Tom Jackson knew he had the Jets’ attention on Sunday morning. Knowing that, Jackson figured he’d try his hand at motivating them before their biggest game of the season.
Jackson, who is one of the analysts ESPN uses for its weekly preview show, NFL Countdown, went on ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in the Morning on Monday, and explained that his pick of a Patriots’ win was actually an attempt to motivate the Jets — especially their defense.
“I played a bit of a psychological game with the Jets,” Jackson explained. “I thought it was important that they have in their minds that they got beat 45-3 [their last time in New England] and that a large segment of the population thinks that could happen to you again.”
So, Jackson, along with former Jets receiver Keyshawn Johnson, took it upon themselves to pick the Patriots to romp over the Jets.
“I wanted to further fuel them in a little of a cement — cement them in that bunker mentality of ‘us against the world,'” Jackson added.
The Jets — particularly linebacker Bart Scott — got the message loud and clear. Scott, who had two tackles in Sunday’s win, was one of the most vocal Jets in the aftermath of New York’s stunner. In fact, he even took a chance to use a postgame, on-field interview with ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio to state that Jackson’s criticism fueled the Jets.
Check out the entire interview (Scott flying around the field included) below.
Jackson also replied to that on Monday morning.
“And so, I accept Bart’s comments for what they were, but I hope that he understands that I actually am a fan of the Jets, and Rex Ryan, and that defense,” he said. “I think that they were well served by the fact that, yes they were angry and they got a little angrier, and I think it served them well on the field.”
Check out the Tom Jackson interview below courtesy of SportsGrid.com.