Edwin Jackson and the story of Pound Cake

Posted by Darren Urban on August 13, 2015 – 8:34 am

Up until this point Edwin Jackson has been most recognizable because of a) his hair or b) the fact he now wears the No. 58 that belonged to Daryl Washington. But inside the team, Jackson is the exuberant inside linebacker with the nickname “Pound Cake.” Coach Bruce Arians certainly has no issue putting nicknames out for the world to know, and he mentioned the other day that Jackson — one of the undrafted rookies trying to make the team at a thin position — is nicknamed Pound Cake. He deferred on saying why. Jackson was more than willing to offer the answer.

Seems that before the draft, the Cardinals brought the 6-foot, 230-pound Jackson in for an official visit. It isn’t unusual that the Cards bring in guys who might be very late-or-not-at-all draft picks to visit, perhaps setting up for an undrafted rookie deal down the road. The problem? Jackson, citing how crowded and crazy it can get at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, missed his flight. For a guy just trying to find a job in the NFL, it wasn’t an ideal first impression.

“I just knew I messed up somebody’s schedule,” Jackson said.

But he had a plan. “My Mom, she cooks the best pound cakes in the world,” Jackson said. When Jackson got to Arizona, coaches got on his case, asking how he could possibly miss his flight. Jackson was ready. “I apologize,” he told them, “but I didn’t come empty-handed.” The skeptical coaches asked “What do you got?” They told him, jokingly, he’d owe them $50 if it wasn’t good enough.

“I pulled out these pound cakes, best pound cakes from Georgia, homemade from scratch,” Jackson said. “I didn’t hear about missing that flight, not one bit.”

Jackson said he thinks special teams coach Amos Jones was the first to start calling him Pound Cake — “He knows about that Southern cooking,” Jackson said — and the nickname rolled through the coaches, his teammates and the training staff. Now it’s not going away.

“It just stuck,” Jackson said. “As a rookie, they don’t really know your name. But they did not forget those pound cakes.”

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Red-White aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on August 8, 2015 – 5:48 pm

There was a pretty big crowd for Saturday’s Red-White practice, to wrap up the first week of training camp. The crowd was announced at 23,750, the largest crowd the Cards have gotten on this Saturday practice — which has always been the biggest draw of camp. They got to see the first live goalline work, and a few nice throws by Carson Palmer.

It wasn’t all good. The Cards lost cornerback Jerraud Powers early in the practice and cornerback Darren Woodard later. Woodard went down with a non-contact injury, although he did walk off in a manner that maybe it was a groin or hamstring more than a knee. There won’t be any injury updates before Monday — the Cardinals get Sunday off.

As for the football, some things I noticed:

— Palmer looked sharp yet again. He found J.J. Nelson on a nice out pattern early, putting the ball in a perfect place, and Nelson may have made and even better catch. Later, Palmer hit Jaron Brown with a bomb of 45 or so yards, beating Patrick Peterson over the top. With Michael Floyd out and Larry Fitzgerald limited, Nelson and Brown getting a real chance to shine. They are doing a pretty good job of it.

— Kerwynn Williams, who had a tough practice Friday with a couple of fumbles, had a pair of tough moments again Saturday. He dropped a pass when he was wide open on third down, and that’s an area Bruce Arians said Williams needs to improve to get on the field. Later, Williams took a shot in that place that a guy would rather not get hit, and he had to come out for a few plays while he recovered.

— In the goal line drill, the defense looked stout. With the ball at the 1, the first-unit kept Williams out of the end zone on two of three plays. Ed Stinson blew up Jonathan Cooper on one play so Kevin Minter could make the tackle for loss. Williams did score going over the right side on the final play, helped by a pulling Mike Iupati. On the second unit, Paul Lasike was deemed just barely in the end zone on the first play, but he couldn’t break the goal line in the next two, Paul Lasike was stopped short in all three tries, although just short of the goal line. (On the first play, the official on my side of the field called touchdown, but watching the video it was clear he was just short, just like the official on the opposite side called.

— The defense won the “live scrimmage” of the third units to end the practice. Linebacker Edwin Jackson, whom Arians had just praised at lunchtime, slammed into Lasike for a big tackle that was probably the highlight of the practice. Then the practice ended when tight end Gerald Christian made a catch but fumbled when linebacker Alani Fua drilled Christian and the ball, and the defense recovered.

It’s been a long week. Time for a day off.

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