Jackson takes over as New York Giants’ top corner

East Rutherford, NJ (AP) — Adori Jackson has taken over as the New York Giants’ No. 1 cornerback since the team’s decision to release James Bradberry in a salary cap move in May.

Jackson, who will turn 27 next month, is the old man in the corner room. Entering his sixth season and second with the Giants, he is the mentor of young DBs such as Aaron Robinson and Cor’Dell Float.

Being a grown man can have its humorous moments.

Jackson was recently listening to a 50 Cent song and saw a young player with a strange look on his face.

So he asked the rookie if he knew the artist. He didn’t, so Jackson asked him what year he was born.

The response was 2001. Jackson was in first grade in Illinois, playing video games, wearing his tank top and wanted to be like 50 Cent.

“So, it was crazy that he didn’t know who he was,” Jackson said. “I think it’s the weirdest thing. I mean I came in and they thought I was super young and now that the roles are reversed, I’m not old but in the middle, and they’re 20, 21.” Kind of super young. It’s crazy to see the difference in age.”

With the team in the pads for the first time on Monday, Jackson got most of his reps against Kadarius Toni and Kenny Gollade, the Giants’ top receivers.

“I think every year is always the opportunity of a lifetime,” Jackson said. “I feel like it’s the same thing for all of us.”

What’s different this year is that Jackson has replaced Bradberry as the Giants’ shutdown cornerback. If defensive coordinator Wink Martindale wants one of his cornerbacks to travel with the opponent’s top receiver, Jackson will probably get the call and go from side to side. Normally, he plays on the right side of the defense.

In the opening week of training camp, Robinson, last year’s second-round pick, is dealing with the No. 1 defense on the left.

Flott has also worked that side, while third-year pro Darne Holmes has backed Jackson.

Robinson, who missed the first two months of his rookie season with a core muscle injury, shone last year. He could be even better this year.

“It makes me know that I’m moving into my second year and with one more step forward, it’s time for me to step up for myself and my teammates.”

Jackson loves what he has seen from Robinson, especially his competitiveness.

The other cornerback that caught his eye is Holmes. The two have known each other since Jackson moved to California after his freshman year in high school. Enrolled in the Southern Period, he attempted to recruit Holmes there. Holmes went to rival UCLA.

Holmes had three interceptions in the first three days of camp, and Saxon was forced into a fumble by Barkley.

“I’ve seen him grow as a person and it shows in his game,” Jackson said. “So, I get to see him coming into his own and just doing his thing.”

What else Jackson needs to do in the NFL is making interceptions. Despite being very close to the ball, he has three out of five seasons.

“I can’t even explain it. I’m glad I got at least three. I’m lucky to have one,” said Jackson, who had six interceptions in college. “I want to get more, But when opportunities come your way and they present themselves, I just have to make the most of them.”

The Giants are hoping they come this year.

NOTES: Giants center John Feliciano missed his third straight day of practice on Thursday due to heat issues. Coach Brian Dabol is hopeful of his return soon. Fourth-round pick safety Dan Belton had his left hand in a sling and missed practice. He’ll be out for a while longer. …the first pad practice was heavy and Barkley scored some impressive runs. … Dabol isn’t running many 7-on-7 drills, so the quarterback can get a sense of the people around him. … Fourth year old LB Oshane Zimines made some good moves in one-on-one lineman practice. … PK Graham Gano was in fine form, scoring 7 of his 8 field-goal attempts.

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