Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson was learning how to be a pro ball player well before he was in college and even high school. Jackson’s father Bill surrounded DeSean with a group of training partners known as “Team Jackson” comprised of many ex-football players that were former college standouts that couldn’t quite make it to the pros. They fine tuned and taught him everything from how to properly run, to advanced pro route concepts, to the proper way to catch the football and this was all before Jackson even hit Long Beach Poly High School in California.
Jackson’s father was a very demanding one. He saw greatness in his son and he wanted to live vicariously through DeSean so he pushed him to the limit, something he didn’t always appreciate as seen in the new documentary. Bill also in a halftime interview famously criticized the Cal Bears coaching staff for not giving his son enough touches. This is something that Jeff Tedford, the coach of the Bears at the time, did not appreciate in the least. Shortly before the 2008 NFL draft, Tedford told any pro scout and coach that would listen about the risk in drafting Jackson who’s demanding father and compatriots “Team Jackson” could cause a major distraction.
When former Eagles head coach Andy Reid drafted Jackson it was a bittersweet moment for the California star as he was finally living out his NFL dream, but Reid said he did not want to deal with his father or Team Jackson. This hurt DeSean in a way as these were people that were part of his life that helped mold him into the athlete he is today, but he understood where coach Reid was coming from.
While Jackson has great natural talent, speed, and explosiveness he did not just get by on his god given gifts as some athletes do. He worked like a dog from the time he was in middle school to tailor his game into what it is today, and it has clearly paid off. While his father Bill was notoriously tough on him, he helped shape DeSean into a standout athlete. One has to think that being pushed to the limits by his father and filmed from an early age all the way up until he was in the pros by his brother Byron. who is a former Kansas City Chiefs practice squad member. had to be a bit overwhelming for the young Jackson.
Jackson exploded onto the scene for the Eagles as his father predicted he would. DeSean’s father Bill passed away a few years ago from pancreatic cancer. Jackson has set up a fund to provide relief for similar victims of the disease. Bill has guided Jackson every step of the way through the good and the bad from the time he was a child in making him the electric athlete he is today. He will now be guiding from above certainly a proud father of his son’s accomplishments.