The documentary on WR DeSean Jackson debuts on Sunday. The project is titled “No. 10 DeSean Jackson: The Making of a Father’s Dream”.
The film is about DeSean’s development, but Bill Jackson is the character who dominates the screen. Asked what he thought Bill would think of the finished product, DeSean responded a bit warily.
“He wanted things his way, and if it wasn’t his way, he’d be having a fit . . . just going crazy. But at the end of the day, I think he’d be happy and proud to see his boys doing what we’re doing.”
Bill Jackson got on the bad side of several coaches. His pushing helped make DeSean what he is, but what works on the practice field doesn’t work well in the team format. If you raise a son or daughter to compete in an individual sport, you can control the training and the performance. A team sport like football limits that. And the more a parent pushes, the more problems it can create.
Bill Jackson had a troubled relationship with Cal coach Jeff Tedford and that did hurt DeSean. College coaches speak to scouts and other NFL contacts about prospects leading up to the draft. DeSean Jackson fell in the 2008 draft from a 1st round pick to a mid-2nd round pick. There were no arrests. There were no injuries. I always wondered what happened. Seems like Tedford spread the word that Bill Jackson was a problem and that DeSean had some issues as well. Les covers that angle in the article so make sure you read it.
On draft day, Andy Reid told DeSean up front that he didn’t want to have to deal with his dad. What should have been a great moment became pretty awkward. But that was something Jackson needed to hear from Reid. As Les wrote about the moment after the phone call.
Then DeSean leans on a balcony railing and looks into the distance, obviously reflecting on the tangled threads that brought him to this juncture – he’s been drafted into the NFL at least partly because of Bill and the team (guys who helped train DeSean). But he has been drafted much lower than he should have, at least partly because of Bill and the team.
It sounds like the documentary does a good job of showing the complexities of the situation. If this was just a PR piece for DeSean, that might have been fun to watch, but telling the real story gives it depth and makes it worthwhile viewing for young players and their parents, not just Eagles fans.
I’m looking forward to seeing it, although I think my title (A Clockwork DeSean) would have been so much better than what they chose. And I’d have let ‘em use it for the low, low cost of one bag of Funyuns.
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“I wish I could know, but at the end of the day, that’s the coach’s decision,” Jackson said. “I’m going to play that how it goes. I think we have four great quarterbacks, with [Michael] Vick, [Nick] Foles, [Matt] Barkley and [Dennis] Dixon . . . I think throughout the offseason, everybody did everything the right way, everybody practiced hard, everybody was there, accountable, and did the things they were asked to do . . . moving forward, we just look forward to knowing who will be [the starter], because that’ll definitely help us prepare better going into the season.
“He’s never been a coach of ours; of course, with a new system, he’s going to want to know who best fits the system.”
As I figured, DeSean wants to know who the QB is. Some people took his previous comment as a passive-aggressive demand or something of that nature.
I completely understand the desire to know who the QB will be. For me, it is a point of curiosity. For DeSean it has more relevance, but a lot of it boils down to curiosity with him as well. That’s just human nature.
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I really look forward to seeing what Chip Kelly does with DeSean. I think the sky is the limit.
The problem is that the marriage could also be a disaster.
DeSean must focus on football. Remember these comments he made back in 2010?
According to Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News, Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has a message to people who have criticized his backward plunge into the Dallas end zone, which drew a 15-yard penalty. Jackson said he doesn’t agree with the criticism or the call – even if one of the critics was quarterback Michael Vick, who said after the game he thought the dive was “unnecessary.”
“Everybody’s not going to like it,” Jackson said. “I could care less about who likes it and who doesn’t. I do it because it’s entertainment. That’s the type of business we’re in, entertainment. The fans like it. Everybody else, like I say, you wanna talk bad about it, that’s your opinion, I could care less. That’s his own opinion. He’s his own man. I’m my own man. I coulda just wished I didn’t get penalized for it, to hurt my team, but as far as me doing my celebrations, doing my entertainment, that’s going to be me and I’ll still do that.”
I think this would make Kelly’s head explode.
The goal must be playing good football, not entertaining the fans.
DeSean is a good football player. He will block more than people realize. He’s small and won’t overpower DBs, but can get in their way enough to give Shady the room he needs. He has a good competitive streak and will make some tough grabs. The sideline catch he made vs the Ravens last year was very impressive. As a rookie, I remember him going up in the air and making some impressive grabs.
Things went sideways in 2011. DeSean wasn’t happy since he didn’t have his contract. The huge hit from Dunta Robinson in 2010 seemed to stay in the back of his mind. DeSean showed little interest in attacking the middle of the field. Add in Andy’s play-calling and Vick’s great arm strength and instead of developing more as a WR, DeSean got into a rut of going deep and that’s about it.
Big Play-itis has hurt him in other ways. Since DeSean had the great return TD to win the Giants game, he has been useless as a PR. He has 18 attempts for 111 yards. One return went for 51 yards. The other 17 have totaled 60 yards, just over 3 yards per return. He lost one fumble in that time. For some reason, he now likes to catch the ball and take a step back. Sometimes many steps.
DeSean played better in 2012. Drops went away. He was more willing to go over the middle. He still wasn’t an impact player. DeSean told the NFL Network recently that he thinks of himself as a Top 5 WR. The problem is that he’s nowhere close to that. I agree that he has big time potential and can be an impact player, but this is where Kelly comes in.
Kelly is going to be more demanding than Reid. DeSean is talented and will be held to a high standard. If DeSean buys in and does what is asked, he can thrive. This means blocking on run plays. This means catching short passes and being able to attack the middle, as well as outside. There will still be chances to go deep, but that’s a low percentage play and won’t be a major part of the offense. DeSean is going to be moved around and used in different roles. He will run option routes for the first time in his career. That means reading the defense and adjusting on the fly.
One other factor that should help DeSean is improved QB play. Whether Vick, Foles or Barkley, Kelly is going to push these guys to get the ball out quickly and let the skill players make plays. There will also be more of an emphasis on the run game. That means teams will have to pick their poison. Do they single cover DeSean? Do they stay back and play the run with their base guys? This offense will take away some of the deep throws, but DeSean could have more of an impact because of what Kelly is going to try to do.
One final note…DeSean has to change his post-play focus. He loves to celebrate. He loves to talk to the defense. That won’t work in the no-huddle. You must get up and get back to the line of scrimmage so that you can be ready to go on the next play. The focus is on football. Forget the side stuff.
If DeSean will listen to Kelly and really focus on football, I think he can become an impact player. Not just a guy that DBs are scared of because of his speed, but someone who makes big plays on a consistent basis. I want opposing teams to fear DeSean’s production, not just his potential.
Kelly knows how to use players with different sizes. De’Anthony Thomas lists at 5-9, 176. In 2 years at Oregon, he has 91 catches, including 14 TDs. DeSean played 3 years at Cal. He caught 162 passes, 22 for TDs. Kelly will put DeSean in position to make plays. Then it is up to DeSean to do his part. This could be a real good match. The sky is the limit.