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Carolina Panthers is asking for more out of cornerback Donte Jackson

Donte Jackson, Panthers

Carolina Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson had a solid rookie campaign, playing in all 16 games and finishing with 74 tackles, a sack, four interceptions, a forced fumble, and nine passes defended.

But going into 2019, the Panthers are expecting more out of him, and Jackson says it’s a different experience.

“Obviously, the guys ask for a little more out of me this year,” Jackson said, according to Scott Fowler of The Charlotte Observer. “I kind of have a bigger role in the defense, even though I played a big role as a rookie. The older guys are really looking at me like a veteran leader now. So that’s kind of something different for me to get used to.”

As for what Jackson is aiming to improve in 2019? It has more to do with the mental and strategic aspects of the game rather than anything physical.

“Knowing what to expect from certain formations and certain receivers,” Jackson said. “And probably trying to get my head in the (play)book a little more.”

The 23-year-old, who played his collegiate football at LSU, was originally selected by Carolina in the second round (55th pick overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Known for his blinding speed, Jackson will have to play a large role in the Panthers’ defense this year, as Carolina did not add any other cornerbacks this offseason.

The Panthers won just seven games this past season in spite of a 6-2 start. Carolina’s struggles during the second half were largely a result of Cam Newton’s shoulder issues, issues that became so severe that he had to undergo offseason shoulder surgery.