Jerry Jacobs spreading energy, seat-belt celebration to Detroit Lions’ secondary

Detroit News

Allen Park — Buckle up.

With last week’s reintroduction of cornerback Jerry Jacobs into the defensive rotation, he’s brought much-needed swagger to the Detroit Lions’ secondary. And with that, he’s also brought back a celebration that’s clearly spreading through the team’s defensive backs room.

On Jacobs’ first snap, during Detroit’s third defensive series, he was immediately targeted by Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. But Jacobs was ready, jarring the ball free from receiver Allen Lazard with a hard shove near the sideline. And after doing so, Jacobs simulated pulling down a seat belt across his shoulder and buckling up.

To be clear, Jacobs didn’t invent the celebration. Credit there goes to Carolina Panthers cornerback Jaycee Horn, who started doing it while playing for the University of South Carolina. Two Georgia high school standouts, Jacobs saw Horn do it while watching a game on television and decided to co-op it, not too dissimilar from the way former Lions cornerback Darius Slay made NBA Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo’s finger-wag taunt his own.

“I’m like, shoot, I don’t have a celebration, so I just used that,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs got the chance to buckle the seat belt three times against the Packers. But he wasn’t the only one. Safety DeShon Elliott strapped in early in the game, even before Jacobs entered the contest, after charging forward for a pass breakup on a pass intended for Lazard across the middle.

“If I get a PBU, if I clamp you up, seat belt,” Elliott said. “You’re my child, put that seat belt on.”

And in the closing minutes of the contest, safety C.J. Moore, after coming into the game as an injury replacement, also went to the seat belt after knocking away a Rodgers’ pass into the end zone that would have given the Packers the lead.

“That was inspired by Jerry,” Moore said. “Jerry started it last year. And, obviously, him being back this season and being on defense, he’s getting going. I saw him doing it and it just inspired me to do it once I got that PBU. Big shout out to Jerry for the seat-belt gang.”

Seeing his teammates follow suit brought a huge smile to Jacobs’ face, similar to when teammate Will Harris did the seat-belt celebration at the end of last year, as a tribute to his teammate shortly after Jacobs tore his ACL.

“Shoot, I’m happy, just to see my guys doing it, especially when Will did it last year for me after I got hurt,” Jacobs said. “That meant a lot. Shoot, now C.J.’s doing it. I didn’t see ‘Shon do it. ‘Shon did it? That’s what’s up. That’s lit. It’s almost the whole DB group. I’m trying to get Mr. No. 1 (Jeff Okudah) over here to do it, too.”

Jacobs, an undrafted rookie last season, made a rapid rise into Detroit’s starting lineup. And he was more than holding his own prior to suffering the torn ACL in December. After a recovery and rehab that took more than 10 months, his return to the lineup has been welcomed, both as a stabilizing force and a clear boost to the team’s chemistry.

“That’s just who he is as a person, and I think it’s a really good trait to have as a corner,” defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn said. “Regardless of what happens with that player, (after) he gets beat, he makes a play, he has the same demeanor. He’s going to get up in your face, and he’s going to challenge you.

“But it’s always good to have a guy like that on your defense because he builds up the morale of everybody else because it doesn’t matter what happens to him,” Glenn continued. “Like I said before, man, he’s always going to challenge, and he did that in the game. That’s what he brings to this defense, so we look forward to him continuing to get better. ”

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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