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How Cardinals rookie LB Edwin Jackson earned 'Pound Cake' nickname

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Being an Atlanta native, Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Edwin Jackson knows a little Southern hospitality can go a long way.

So, he knew what might help him when he missed a flight to Arizona for a pre-draft workout with the Cardinals: Pound cake, of course.

Here’s the story: He was supposed to take a weekend flight to Phoenix from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport, notorious for being one of the busiest in the country. After missing his flight by just a few minutes because the inter-terminal tram took too long, Jackson did the only thing he could think of: He called his mom, Mary Ellen Powell Jackson. She calmed the former Georgia Southern star down and told him to call the Cardinals coaches. He did and the team booked him a new flight later in the day.

But panic set in as his Southern upbringing started to shine through.

"I can’t go empty-handed," he said was one of his first thoughts. "It’s disrespectful to show up late and not have anything."

So, Jackson’s mother made a fresh batch of her now-famous pound cake from scratch and brought it to the airport.

When Jackson got to Arizona and began meeting the coaching staff, they gave him a hard time about being late -- one coach even told Jackson he owed the coach $50.

"I’m like, 'Oh, man,’ (and I) started to get sweaty," he said. "And then I thought, 'I got these pound cakes.'"

Coach by coach, Jackson started handing out the individually-wrapped desserts.

And coach by coach, they started forgetting about his tardiness. He met with general manager Steve Keim, defensive coordinator James Bettcher, linebackers coach Larry Foote and special teams coordinator Amos Jones. They all got a piece of cake.

It was Jones who gave Jackson the nickname, he said.

"When they took one bite, I didn’t even hear anything about missing the flight at all," Jackson said with a smile. "I haven’t even heard about it until this day.

"Those pound cakes, they just cleared my slate."

One person who didn’t get a piece of pound cake during that initial visit was coach Bruce Arians. But he got one from Jackson’s second batch.

He had his mother make another batch and send them to him in Arizona during organized team activities in May. Jackson then walked around the coaches’ offices handing out cake to everyone who didn’t get one the first time -- including offensive coaches.

"That’s what really started the Pound Cake name," Jackson said. "Because (they were) just like, 'Alright man, every time I look, there’s another pound cake.' It just stuck."