On Monday night, the Los Angeles Chargers benched highly paid cornerback J.C Jackson for what coach Brandon Staley cited as poor play.
But the coach noted Tuesday that Jackson remains part of the club's plans moving forward.
"We just need to stay patient," Staley said, via the team's official transcript. "Last night wasn't up to his standard or ours. We felt like we had to go in a different direction. We're going to stay with him, keep coaching him, and see if we can get him comfortable."
Staley noted it was "fair to say" that Jackson's struggles are mental errors, including two blown coverages Monday night that led to the benching.
Jackson, who signed a five-year, $82.5 million contract this offseason, has found it challenging to transition from the press-man coverage defense he played with the New England Patriots to the more zone scheme Staley employs.
The coach said Tuesday that Jackson fits the scheme just fine. It's more the mental hurdle for the corner to get over.
"He came here to press, that's what he's been doing most of the time for us, pressing," Staley said. "Now, there are some times where you can't press, where a team that gets into a bunch of cut splits, they can really affect your leverage on the formation. Sometimes you want to play off [coverage], just like every defense in the NFL. You can't press every split because it's going to put you in a disadvantage. He came here to do the job that he was designed to do. His performance, it has nothing to do with that, fitting in or scheme fit or any of that. He's here to do what he does best. We need to make sure that we continue to work with him so that he's focused, consistent and being the player that we know he can be."
Given his contract, it's not surprising that Jackson will get multiple opportunities to play through his early season struggles. If they persist past Thanksgiving, however, then bigger questions will loom in L.A.