BIRDLAND – Falcons offensive tackle Andrew Jackson spent five years with Pat Hill, the Falcons
new offensive line coach, when in college at Fresno State.
Jackson was redshirted and played for four seasons. He was selected by the Falcons in the seventh round (210th overall) of the 2011 NFL draft.
“Pat Hill is a great coach,” Jackson said on Wednesday. “He’s a very passionate coach. He can bring a lot to our offensive line. I look forward to it and I hope we are very receptive of him and that we take our offensive line play to the next level.”
Other offensive linemen have asked Jackson what they should expect from their new position coach, who was fired after going 4-9 last season at Fresno State.
“I’ve talked to a couple of the other guys about him, the number one thing is his passion,” Jackson said. “He coaches with passion. He’s an aggressive coach, but his intentions are to help you build and improve as a player. He’s very clear with his style. I think that he will bring a new skill set to us, which will benefit us in the long run.”
Jackson was a part of the group representing the Falcons at the State Capitol in support of a concussion awareness bill that’s making its way through the legislature.
“It was very interesting to watch the procedures and all of that,” Jackson said. “I fully support this bill and the intentions of it. It’s a great cause. It’s a protective measure. There is not really a good reason to not take protective measures and use precaution to help [guarantee] the safety of these kids.”
Jackson was released by the team on the final cut on Sept. 3. He was re-signed the next day to the practice squad. He was placed on the practice-squad injured reserve on Nov. 22.
Hill spent 15 seasons as the head coach at Fresno State, where he led the Bulldogs to a 112-80 overall record and went to 11 bowl games.
Hill was let go with two years left on a three-year extension signed after the 2009 season. He was owed about $512,000.
Hill led Fresno State to 15 wins over Bowl Championship Series teams over the last decade, which is the highest win total of any non-BCS team in the nation.
Hill has NFL experience. Prior to becoming the head coach at Fresno State, Hill spent five seasons as the tight ends and offensive line coach with the Cleveland Browns from 1992 to 1995 under Bill Belichick. In 1996, he joined the Baltimore Ravens and spent one season coaching the tight ends and offensive line before moving on to Fresno State.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog