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Jacobs working to improve his ball skills this offseason

PHOENIX – Typically players make their biggest jump in development in the NFL from Year 1 to Year 2. They understand what the league is all about and what it takes to be good, the game slows down for them, and most importantly they have film they can study from their first season to help tailor their offseason workouts to areas they need to improve.

Unfortunately for Lions third-year cornerback Jerry Jacobs, he didn't have the benefit of a true offseason between his first and second seasons because he was rehabbing a torn ACL suffered in December of his rookie season.

Jacobs, who didn't return to a significant role on defense until Week 9 this past year because of that knee injury, is looking forward to a true offseason to work on his craft and evolve as a player.

"I'm looking forward to it," Jacobs told on radio row Thursday. "I've been training since I got out of Detroit just because I know I wasn't playing at my full percent (coming off the ACL). I'm just ready to get back in Detroit for the spring workouts and get it going. Last offseason I was just doing a lot of rehabbing ... it's a blessing I can have a one good offseason."

After returning midseason, Jacobs was arguably Detroit's most consistent cornerback. From Weeks 9-18, opposing quarterbacks completed just 55 percent of the passes thrown his way. He allowed just one touchdown in his coverage area over that span and has a 74.9 passer rating against.

Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn said during the season Jacobs was one of his favorite players because of his physical style of play and short memory, two things Glenn likes in a cornerback.

"Man, he's a dog," Glenn said of Jacobs back in November.

It's a comment Jacobs takes as a huge compliment from Glenn, who was a 15-year player at cornerback in the NFL and three-time Pro Bowler.

"It means a lot just because I told him I don't like giving up touchdowns and giving up catches and the first day I told him that he was like, 'You're a dog.' He just knows I'm going to give it my all every time and I'm going to compete and if I'm hurt, I'm still going to compete," Jacobs said. "Just hearing my defensive coordinator call me a dog and who Aaron Glenn is, a Pro Bowler, yeah, that means a lot."

Jacobs said he is focusing this offseason on improving his ball skills so that he can increase his interceptions and defended passes and have more impact in those areas.

"As soon as the offseason hit, I knew one thing I really needed to do is go tell my DB trainer, I think it was finding the ball," Jacobs said. "I'm there every time and as soon as I ended the season, I called him and said, 'Hey, if you can help me find the ball we'll be millionaires around here.'

"It's the truth. We've been working on that a lot. Finding the ball is the most important part of my game right now."

Jacobs said he expects Lions general manager Brad Holmes to add talent and depth to the secondary this offseason and is looking forward to the competition.

"I'm looking forward to who he goes and gets in free agency or the draft," Jacobs said. "I ain't scared of competition. I love it. It's just going to bring the fire to the field. I know the guys he's going to bring in will be ready to compete and help us win and that's what we need in the secondary right now. I compete every day, so I'm ready to go."

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