Following training camp practice on Wednesday, Cisco spoke to the media. He talked about gaining more confidence with additional reps, becoming a more complete safety, taking calculated risks and other topics.
After only starting three games in 2021, Cisco has been repping with the first-team defense throughout training camp. Being able to get that work in has allowed Cisco to grow into his role as a starting safety, and he feels more confident with each rep.
“Yeah, absolutely, (confidence) comes with reps, comes with time,” Cisco said. “Just being around professionals and letting my mentality grow and then becoming a leader is what I’m striving for right now. So my confidence has been growing in that aspect, so I’m looking forward to more growth.”
WATCH LIVE: S Andre Cisco meets with the media— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) August 10, 2022
Cisco — who was selected out of Syracuse by Jacksonville (under then head coach Urban Meyer) in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft (No. 65 overall) — feels he has been settling into his role with the Jaguars, and head coach Doug Pederson and the rest of the staff have allowed him to be himself and find his groove.
“Absolutely, I think that’s a good way to put it — it’s kind of just like becoming myself,” Cisco said. “Coaches that allow you to be yourself and, you know, they embrace you just being yourself and your personality on the field. And the guys are starting to understand the type of person I am — I like to have fun on the field, I like to joke on the sidelines, but I’m all about business at the end of the day.”
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence recently said that Cisco takes a lot of “calculated risks” in practice when it comes to making plays on the ball. Lawrence also said that Cisco’s gambles usually pay off. Cisco agreed with Lawrence’s assessment, but also wants to be sure to play within Jacksonville’s defensive scheme as well.
“I would (say I take ‘calculated risks’),” Cisco said. “So far, I’ve been fortunate at practice — when I do take a risk that’s a little bit outside of what the coaches are teaching, I’m able to put myself in a position to play off my teammates, and it all fits together. And that’s what it’s about, you don’t want to play outside of the scheme so far that you put other guys in bad positions. So, I’ve been working and it’s been it’s been good.”
While Cisco might be known as a “ball-hawking” safety — he recorded 13 interceptions during his college career and hopes to have six or seven interceptions by himself this season (the Jaguars only had seven picks as a team last season) — he also wants to be known as a “complete” safety, which includes getting better as a tackler.
“I don’t know what people would label me as, I know what I aim to be and that’s a complete safety,” Cisco said. “So, that’s something that I have to do as a complete safety — I have to make those open-field tackles, and I’ve been working on it.”
Another thing Cisco was asked about was his big hit on running back Travis Etienne Jr. during a recent practice session. The kind of hit Etienne — who missed the 2021 season due to a Lisfranc injury — said he needed to get used to the contact level and physicality in the NFL after having to sit out for so long.
“Honestly, I really didn’t think I hit him that hard,” Cisco said about his tackle on Etienne. “It was the reaction from Rayshawn (Jenkins) and everything. I was like, ‘I hit him like that?’ They was like, ‘Yeah, you hit him like that!’ I saw it on film — it was decent. I didn’t feel too bad, though.”
No hard feelings, though, as Cisco assured everyone that he and Etienne are “good” and there is “no beef” between the two.