“I think it was just building my mental toughness and telling myself I was ready. And obviously, repetition and persistence, coming up here and catching tennis balls on the off days and just making sure I was always catching something, just to build my confidence back up.”
He had help with his confidence, too.
“Blake has always had that ability to catch the ball, he just sometimes lets his mind run wild, lets the pressure of the crowd get to him,” said wideout Tracy Moore. “We had long talks about that. And he's gotten a lot better at it.”
Saturday, he caught passes in traffic. He held on while taking hits. He even made produced a highlight catch, latching onto one pass with one hand near the sideline.
“He's done really well for us this spring,” said inside receivers coach Jason Ray. “I think he's getting more comfortable, he's confident. You can tell that he's maturing and he's understanding the system.”
Jackson said he considered Saturday a big step forward.
“It really prepares me to get ready for this grind,” Jackson said. “And it shows me that this hard work is going to pay off. I'm just really excited to pay everybody back for the ups and downs I had last year.”