After going DeSean free for a day or two, he’s back in the news. The first item to discuss is a report from CBS Philly about Jackson and his relationship with players and coaches. The report didn’t paint a very flattering picture of Jackson.
But what a number of sources close to and around the team, including current and former players, as well as additional sources within the Eagles revealed was that Jackson was not very well liked by his teammates, was blatantly insubordinate, with temper tantrums cussing out Kelly several times in front of the team, pushed the NFL rookie coach the way “a child would test boundaries,” and was more concerned with his rap label than he was about winning football games.
If you aren’t a DeSean fan, you’re going to like the piece and say “That explains a lot.”
If you are a DeSean fan, you’ll have some questions about the article and what it has to say.
As a person in the middle, I can see both sides. The biggest issue I have is that you’ve got players ripping DeSean anonymously and doing this to someone named Joseph Santoloquito. No offense to Joseph, but I’ve never heard of him. The article was well written so I’m not questioning that side of things, but I don’t know what kind of relationship he has with players.
When Les Bowen, Jeff McLane or Tim McManus has a report that cites unnamed sources, I can accept that. I have met them. I know they have a strong track record. I know they talk to players and other sources year round and work hard to maintain relationships so that we can trust their reports.
The report might be 100 percent dead on the money, but I’d be lying if I said I was completely comfortable with it.
I do think the report has a lot of truth in it. I’ve heard that teammates weren’t fond of DeSean, and that might be putting it mildly. We know he was a handful for the coaches to deal with.
Some people take the angle that people don’t need to be best friends in order to win. That’s completely true, but it misses the mark in this case. Jackson had a variety of factors working against him. He didn’t have great work habits. He was late for meetings. He had a high price tag at a position where Kelly doesn’t seem to think you need to break the bank. I think Jackson’s pursuit of a rap career hurt him as well.
Think of it like this. The coaches weren’t happy with DeSean. Nor many teammates. Nor the salary cap people. Nor the PR/marketing people. Who exactly was going to fight for DeSean to stay?
Obviously he is still a talented player, but the coaches must feel that his production is replaceable. If not, they’d be the one group arguing for him to stick around. Even coaches have a breaking point when it comes to talent.
If this was just a case of Chip Kelly not liking him or one assistant not liking him or a couple of players…getting rid of DeSean would not make sense. If he truly aggravated that many people, getting rid of DeSean does make some sense. You still may not agree with it, but you might understand the move better.
My guess is that Chip Kelly tried to make the relationship work by giving DeSean a long leash. He’s certainly a talented enough player that you want to try to fix the situation. At a certain point you just realize that things aren’t going to work and you then prepare to move on.
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DeSean was interviewed by Stephen A. Smith tonight. I didn’t get to see the interview, but apparently it was a lot of softball questions and safe answers from DeSean.
“The conversation I had with Chip Kelly was a deep, personal conversation,” Jackson said on the one-week anniversary of his release. “It was basically like, ‘we’re moving forward. I think it’s best for the team, I think it’s best for yourself.’ I was sittin’ there waiting for the reason why, but that’s basically all I can (recall) from the conversation, was ‘we’re moving forward. I think it’s best for us and I think it’s best for you … we’re going to go let you negotiate with 31 other teams.’ “
Jackson said Kelly “came back with the same reason” as he awaited further explanation. “That’s kind of where we left it. I got off the phone — I was like, ‘are you sure? That’s it?’ We hung up. That was it.”
DeSean is saying all the right things. I hope he learns from his mistakes with the Eagles. I hope he makes lots of highlight plays…all in Skins losses or wins over Dallas.
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Jake Knott tried to steal the spotlight tonight, but it didn’t work. The backup ILB was suspended for 4 games by the NFL. Jeff McLane has the details.
The Eagles announced that linebacker Jake Knott has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2014 season for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances.
Knott, who is entering his second season, is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.
“We’re very disappointed to learn of his suspension,” Eagles said in a statement. “We have spoken to Jake and he is fully aware of the mistake he made and owned it. The key for him, however, is to learn from that mistake and move forward with his preparation for the 2014 season.”
The 23-year-old Knott played in 12 games as a rookie, mostly on special teams. He was credited by the team with five special teams tackles and six on defense.
Knott released the following statement through the Eagles:
“Several weeks ago, I was shocked to learn that I tested positive for a stimulant that is banned by the NFL. I have never knowingly ingested a banned substance, but like most players, I take nutritional supplements.
Was this an innocent goof or was he hitting the roids? I don’t think of Knott as someone with an incredibly ripped body so I hope it was just a goof.
The Eagles like Knott, but this doesn’t help his situation. He’ll be fighting for a roster spot and the pressure is going to be on him to really stand out this summer.