If you’re a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, know that former Bengals cornerback William Jackson III likes Cincinnati football fans about as much as you do.
During a recent appearance with BMitch & Finlay on 106.7 The Fan (Washington D.C.), Jackson was highly critical of Bengals fans and said it’s “a blessing to get away” from Cincinnati and its fan base.
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As for why he chose to sign with Washington as an unrestricted free agent, he cited the team’s “crazy” strong defensive line and the organization’s “great coaches.” Never mind the three-year, $40.5 million contract, which reportedly includes $26 million guaranteed.
He went on to contrast Washington fans with those in the Queen City, saying, “Cincinnati, they got some crude fans, man. Misery loves company . . . The Bengals, on the other hand, them dudes, they wonder why they’re not winning,” Jackson said. “I’m happy I’m out of that thing, man. It’s a blessing to get away and I wish them the best, but Washington let’s go from here.”
Jackson didn’t stop there, however. He also fretted about not getting enough recognition for his play in Cincinnati, and sounded a little envious of teams with a strong pass rush, adding “I’m over here ballin’ [in Cincinnati] with no D-line.”
“At the end of the day I just was on a team with not a big market and a lot of people around the world don’t know what I can do or what I did,” he lamented. “When you’re looking at it from a stats standpoint that doesn’t tell you who I really [was]. I wasn’t a guy who was picked on and thrown at the whole time….”
William Jackson’s Steelers Draft Connection
William Jackson III has had a longstanding connection to the Steelers since the day he was drafted, as it long been believed that Pittsburgh was planning to select him at No. 25 overall in the 2016 Draft, except Cincinnati elected to take him one spot earlier.
It’s a narrative that was basically confirmed by former Steelers defensive backs coach Carnell Lake back in the spring of 2016.
As it turns out, the Steelers proceeded to take University of Miami cornerback Artie Burns at No. 25 overall, who went on to spend four mostly less-than-successful seasons in Pittsburgh before moving on to the Chicago Bears in free agency. (Last year Burns inked a one-year deal with Chicago before tearing his ACL in training camp; this season he is back with the Bears on another one-year contract.)
Meanwhile, Jackson played the past five years in Cincinnati, starting 48 of 59 games and recording 150 total tackles, along with three interceptions, 41 passes defensed, five tackles for loss and a sack. But among Bengals fans he is arguably best-remembered for his failure to push former Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell out of bounds as Bell tight-roped the sideline en route to the end zone during a game at Cincinnati in 2017.
The Best Wide Receiver Jackson Faced in the AFC North?
Jackson did have one other interesting thing to say during his interview on 106.7 The Fan. Asked about the toughest receivers he’s played against he mentioned both Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons and former Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, calling the latter “by far the best” wide receiver he faced in the AFC North.
“I had to be on my A-game when I played him so he was definitely one of the top guys at the time,” said Jackson.
Yet he insists that Brown didn’t do much trash talking when going against him.
“You don’t catch the ball you don’t say much,” he said, evoking laughter from the show’s co-hosts.
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