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At 33 years old, DeSean Jackson says he’ll be “stronger than ever” this season because of all the extra abdomen, leg and mobility work he did rehabbing from core surgery last November.
If that’s true, the Philadelphia Eagles will have the deep threat they have sorely lacked in recent years. In his one healthy start as a 32-year old — the 2019 season opener — Jackson caught eight passes for 154 yards and scored two long touchdowns in the Eagles’ 32-27 win over the Washington Redskins.
He did not at all look like he was losing a step then, and now he believes he’s gained speed? Watch out.
Meanwhile, the flashy veteran had some interesting things to say about the past and future as he stepped “Out of the Lane” in a 34 minute, 26 second fifth episode of an Instagram Live production (that you can also catch on YouTube) hosted by Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson on the weekend.
Regarding the future, Jackson was bang on when he stated all players should be “mic’ed up” if they’re performing in an empty stadium, so fans sitting at home can hear what it’s like in the heat of the battle.
That’s better than the idea of canned crowd noise being bandied around, any day of the week.
“Yeah, it’s gonna get crazy …. I think they should, though,” Jackson told Johnson. “They should give the fans the (insight) to really see what goes on between the white lines.
“I know in the trenches it gets crazy, and I know out there on the outside it gets crazy too, with the conversations we going back and forth on.”
People will be concerned about the profanity used, and to that we say welcome to the year 2020. There’s cursing on prime time network television shows now. Kids hear worse in the schoolyard. So games come with a parental guidance warning now. The back-and-forth chirping will raise the entertainment value considerably.
Players should be mic’ed even when fans are allowed back in the stadiums. It’s long overdue.
Jackson also talked to Johnson about being released from the Eagles on March 24, 2014. This brought the conversation up to speed.
Jackson never used the word racism, but it was implied.
The previous season was his best in the NFL. He had 82 catches for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns. That moved him into fourth on the franchise’s career receiving yards list, behind Harold Carmichael, Pete Retzlaff and Mike Quick.
And then, just like that, the Eagles moved Jackson out the door.
His release came shortly after a story in NJ.com stated that the team was concerned about Jackson’s ties to friends in California who were “reputed Los Angeles street gang members who have been connected to two homicides since 2010.”
Jackson was not a suspect in either killing, but LAPD detective Eric Crosson said Jackson “routinely flashes Crip gang signs in photos on social media” and did so during a game against the Redskins.
“He many not be affiliated with the gang,” Crosson said, “but they don’t (ordinarily) take kindly to those not in the gang throwing up those gang signs.”
At that time, it was also no secret that then head coach Chip Kelly was not a fan of his top pass-catcher — which would make zero sense unless there were off-field issues.
“It was definitely a shove in my face, you know?” Jackson said of being cut, and why. “The story that was made up and the reason behind it was hard for me to respect. I would have respected it a lot more, man, if they would have just came to me and just me basically it was a money issue or we’re going a different route. But no, you want to come up and say I’m a hoodlum and I’m doing all this crazy (stuff)? That (stuff) was personal to me.”
It’d didn’t take long for Redskins owner Dan Snyder to get on the phone. Or send his private jet to Los Angeles to get Jackson.
“He was like: ‘Get on the plane and we’ll figure out the contract,’ recalled Jackson, who added that Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III also visited him and pleaded with him become a Redskin.
Jackson didn’t need much convincing. He wanted to be in the same division as the Eagles so he could face them twice a year.
“I was going to let them see what they were missing out on,” said Jackson, who over the next three years played against Philadelphia five times, during when he caught 20 passes for 440 yards.
Now Jackson has to prove what he can do after a serious injury, as a 33-year old. Staying healthy will be the trick. He has been sidelined for 30 games over the past six seasons and he hasn’t played a full 16-game schedule since 2013.
Nobody has had more touchdown receptions of 60-plus yards for the Eagles than his nine, and nobody has had more against the Eagles, than his three. So with a relatively modest $6.2 million salary, of which $4.8 million is guaranteed, Jackson is worth the gamble — especially with the speed it sounds like he’s still capable of bringing.
While just about everyone in the sports world has expressed their thoughts on the senseless killing of George Floyd, Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes tweeted that “the senseless murders that we have witnessed are wrong and cannot continue in our country. All I can think about is how I grew up in a locker room where people from every race, every background and every community came together and became brothers to accomplish a single goal,” continued Mahomes, whose father Pat was an MLB pitcher. “I hope our country can learn from the injustices that we have witnessed to become more like the locker room where everyone is accepted. We all need to treat each other like brothers and sisters, and becoming something better.” … Raiders first-round pick Henry Ruggs III is on crutches but feels “OK” after cutting his thigh while helping a friend move, his father confirmed to AL.com … Bears coach Matt Nagy says he’s impressed with the way Mitch Trubisky has handled the reality of having to battle Nick Foles for the No. 1 QB job. “He’s taken this head-on,” Nagy said on the NFL Network’s Good Morning Football show Monday. “He’s accepted it. He understands it.” …
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