- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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With safety Kenny Phillips questionable for Sunday’s game against Houston, cornerback Brian Jackson could see increased action as the third safety. Head coach Tom Coughlin said Friday that Jackson, a former practice squad that was signed to the active roster on Sept. 28, was taking reps at safety during practice.
“He did some nice things out here,” Coughlin said. “When we first decided to bring him up we thought he was a guy who could play either corner or safety. Coaches wanted to see him at corner first, so we did that first, and this week we needed him at safety and he seemed to do well there.”
After spending training camp with the Jets, the Giants signed Jackson to their practice squad on Sept. 9. When safety Michael Johnson was placed on the injured reserved list with a herniated disk in his back, the Giants promoted Jackson to the active roster. He has only played in last week's 17-3 win over Chicago he was used on special teams. He did not record a tackle.
Jackson said that there is not much of an adjustment going from corner to safety because there are plenty of packages where a cornerback can end up playing similar to a safety in having to cover particular parts of the field. He did say here is more of a read-and-react formula followed as a safety compared to a cornerback, though.
In terms of coming up for run support as a safety, as the Giants have used packages with three safeties quite often this season, he said that he had experience doing that when he played at the University of Oklahoma. With the Sooners, he was the run-support corner in the cover 2 defense.
While Jackson’s role will most likely be dependent on Phillips’ health, he’s still excited for the opportunity.
“You always gotta have your eyes open and just be ready for whatever,” Jackson said. “It’s something new for me so I’m going to go out there and try and make some plays.”