Mike Mularkey's coaching staff put a lot on the rookie's plate, asking him to cover inside and outside on top of kick-return duties. Now that new coach Mike Vrabel is in town, Jackson is pushing for an opportunity to play more snaps on offense.
"I'm hoping so," Jackson told NFL Network's Good Morning Football on Friday. "I'm that bug in his ear just trying to make sure I keep being out there if I can. Whatever he needs me to do. Focusing on defense and special teams as in returning, but if he throws me out there I'm going to be excited and fired up."
A multi-purpose threat in college, Jackson caught 39 passes and took 15 handoffs in three years at USC.
Although he carried the ball just five times last season, Jackson became the first player since Hall of Famer Mike Renfro in 1966 to start at least eight games on defense and rush for 50 or more yards on offense, per Football Perspective.
In his quest for a prominent offensive role, Jackson could hardly ask for a more receptive audience. Primarily a linebacker with the Patriots, Vrabel went on to become one of the most recognized two-way players in the Super Bowl era. Doubling as Tom Brady's secret red-zone weapon last decade, he hauled in 12 passes for 12 touchdowns in an NFL career that spanned 14 years.
Whereas Vrabel moonlighted as a situational tight end, Jackson is best utilized as a gadget player, change-of-pace option or even as a decoy on play-action passes and reverses. The more he touches the ball, the better chance he will have of fulfilling NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt's recent prediction of a Pro Bowl campaign in 2018.