As training camp near for the Philadelphia Eagles and the focus is on the quarterback controversy, it is easy to forget about the other key stories. One of those that should be emphasized is star wide receiver DeSean Jackson’s future. He has been salt in a wound to the loyal fans. Last season they were forced to watch the worst performance in his career after earning a big money contract.
In 2010, he virtually exploded, accompanied by Michael Vick leading the Eagles down the field. Jackson seemed quicker than any defender and created an unsolvable space between corners. He blew by them and was part of the reason they made the playoffs. With everyone chanting Jackson’s praises he solidified his position in the hearts and minds of Eagles’ fans.
At least that is what he thought. Then during the 2011 season he dropped significantly. Suddenly the bravery of Jackson dwindled. Fans yelled uproariously, unable to fathom Jackson’s refusal at times, to catch the ball in the middle, where the teeth of the defense is at its sharpest. They were even more incensed as he held the Eagles hostage with his contract, or absence of one.
Is this behind him? Will this year be any different for the controversial Jackson? As Jeremy Maclin overworked him last year, will he prove that he is worth the $47 million the organization is giving him? This year is a pivotal one for Jackson, and he better prove he still is the tough, almost unbeatable, receiver he was in 2010.
Jackson, one of the more vocal players on the squad says that they are going to ”catch a lot of teams off-guard.” He is confident about Chip Kelly’s offense, supports Vick, and has recovered from his rib injuries he sustained last year. Jackson is talking about playing better and forgetting about the disturbing performances of the past, the two touchdowns he barely pulled out last year for his team.
For his sake, he better back up his talk. As an undersized receiver he needs to show the world how tough he is. His contract is secured and he is healthy. With this in mind, he better play with his heart on every snap. He better be willing to take hits to catch the ball. He better be a team player and show the fans something more than a 700 yard season. If not, he needs to fly someplace else.