Malik Jackson talks future, SB50 and hardest QB to sack

NFL Media's Oklahoma Drill series presents exclusive, quick-hitting one-on-one interviews with players and coaches from around the league. No nonsense -- just football experiences directly from the source.

Malik Jackson

Defensive end, Denver Broncos

Born: Jan. 11, 1990

Experience: Four NFL seasons

Interview by Brooke Cersosimo | Feb. 15, 2016

We had a different mindset. Going through the process and then getting our butts kicked, it gave us a different mindset this time for the people that did play and were there.

I think (Gary) Kubiak did a great job in practice the week before we left for San Fran. When we got to San Fran, we were just refining and getting our bodies ready. That was the biggest key right there.

I just chucked the ball and didn't know what was going on. I was happy but I don't score touchdowns, so I didn't know how to act. It was definitely exciting to put points on the board and get the game started that way, but I wanted to get some sacks, too.

I knew when CJ (Anderson) scored. They couldn't pass on us, so I knew we won the game.

Our fans travel well. When we play at Sports Authority, it gets really rockin'. It was cool before every series hearing the crowd cheer "Broncos" and getting super loud. That really helps us because the Panthers can't make the audible checks or talk to each other, as well.

In a 3-4 defense? Definitely top five. You have J.J. Watt. I know Cameron Jordan plays 4-3, but he's hybrid, so I'd say him. Michael Bennett is up there.

My agent has been talking to (John) Elway. They've been more or less talking about language and how we want the contract set up than numbers. I know that's how it went in the beginning, but right now, I think Elway is enjoying the celebration. I guess we'll get back to it soon.

I would love to stay in Denver. I've been there for four years and we have a great team. They've done a great job of bringing guys in, so I'd love to stay. But it is a business so ...

I don't care, but I do coaches around the league ... Coach Foxy in Chicago, Jack Del Rio in Oakland and Adam Gase in Miami. To say I feel comfortable because I know them, yeah, but I don't really care where I'd go if I don't stay in Denver.

Being more cerebral on the field. Everybody's fast and strong, but to go out there and throw pass-rush moves or be able to do something different on the run to get them off balance. Anybody can run into somebody but if you can shake them a little bit at the line, that's what's helped me out as a player.

I'm not looking for J.J. Watt numbers or Ndamukong Suh numbers. I'm thinking more just getting paid. One hundred million dollars is a lot of money and J.J. was Mr. Defense a few times and a Pro Bowler. Suh was doing great things when he was in Detroit, so I'm not even saying $100 million. I'm not even saying $90 million, but somewhere in that ball park would be cool.

Cam (Newton) is because he's big. I know Tom Brady was throwing a lot of balls away last time, but he wasn't as hard to sack. Cam is tall and strong. Ben Roethlisberger is up there, too.

Tom is the best. He's definitely a competitor and knows what he's doing. If you don't have the right people stopping him from throwing passes, he'll definitely eat you up.

Known as a hard-nosed player who really gave it his all. Somebody who is real chippy but is a smart player who can do a lot of good things, not just one great thing.

When my daughter was born right before the Pittsburgh game in December, that was one of my better games. That's when it really kind of hit me that it's time to get real and make a life for her. You see a lot of kids and people that don't have much, and I don't want her to go through that. I had a nice upbringing but I want her to have a great one.

I would like to see him go out on top. Two years ago, I don't know if he was planning to retire, but him coming back and winning the Super Bowl now. That's how I would want to go out.

It's exhilarating. Once you hit them and get them down, it's like look at me type of thing. It's a sigh of relief when you get them down because QBs are hard to get.

I try to get in people's heads. My job is to get the ball, so if I'm talking trash to an O-lineman or quarterback or receiver and they start thinking about me, that's good because they aren't thinking about the game anymore.

Besides me, I think Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward are the biggest trash talkers. They get after it back there. I think the whole team does it, but us three really.

If you put a big stage in front of us, the defense is going to go out there and kill it. People have bet against us and that's how we thrive. We try to go out there and make Peyton the best quarterback every week by getting him the ball.

My dad and I would watch Ray Lewis a lot. His tenacity and he was everywhere. I wanted that mindset, too.

I was definitely nervous for the combine. You train for three months to go out there and perform for three days. Waking up at 5 a.m. for a drug test, talking to all the teams and you have to smile at all hours of the day. There's no frowning, you have to be approachable.

That's where I learned how to be a pro. People are watching you at all times and you have to work like a pro.

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