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Should DeSean Jackson Continue As The Team’s Punt Returner?

One question everybody has been asking is, “Should the Eagles use DeSean Jackson as the punt returner?”  So far the Eagles say yes, but I”ve heard many Birds fans are saying no.

Some fans are rationalizing that Jackson should step away from his punt returning duties in the same way that former Eagles running back Brian Westbrook stopped returning punts when his ball carrying responsibilities increased.

Being a running back and being a wide receiver are completely different jobs with different demands.  You get hit a lot when carrying the ball 20 plus times a game, but having 10 passes thrown your way is a much smaller work load.  Jackson will get hit much less as a wide out as compared to what Westbrook was dealing with as the number one ball carrier.

I think it makes sense to have Jackson continue to return punts because he’s the best punt returner in the game and it makes the Eagles a much better team with him back there.  Secondly, he’s quick enough to avoid killer hits.   I don’t think the injury threat is as great as many think because he’ll be operating in space, which will give him the opportunity to run away from those big hits.

Eagles special teams coach Bobby April was asked why he thought it made sense to have Jackson back there returning punts.

“Anytime a Philadelphia Eagle has the ball in his hand, he’s trying to score,” April said. “You would like the best players to have the ball in their hands because that gives you the greatest probability of scoring. That’s one good reason you would like to have a really good player with the ball in his hands.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s snapped, passed or kicked. It’s a play. Once the action is going, we’re trying to get to their goal. The best way to get to the goal is to have the best guys.”

Do you think Jackson should continue as the punt returner?

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Posted by on Aug 27 2010. Filed under Eagles, News, Special Teams, Wide Receivers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

29 Comments for “Should DeSean Jackson Continue As The Team’s Punt Returner?”

  1. I was hoping a young player (C Hall,M Harris,E Buckley,Arrington) would step up and compete for the job
    Hall is too slow and won’t make the team,
    Harris has had a disappointing camp and probably won’t make the team with the emergence and better play of CB Dmirtri Patterson and the play of S Kurt Coleman.
    Buckley I would think would be a natural return guy for both Kick-offs and Punts, he doesn’t have blazing speed but he’s smart, straight ahead,tough and surehanded, but he hasn’t gotten any reps which for 2 years has puzzled me
    Arrington is damaged goods due to injuries and will not make the team
    Outside of these guys, they really have no one else and it appears the Eagles will go into the Season with D-Jax as the only legitimate option so he will be the guy…

  2. DJax should not touch one return until he’s the highest paid player on the team….PERIOD!

  3. ghostofcunningham

    I have not heard one person say he should stop returning punts….that would be one of the worst decisions they could make…especially with a new QB taking over….field position is even more important now……being a running back is different from WR…WR’s can handle the punt returns…and he doesn’t have to do every single one

  4. DJax just has to fair catch the punts with opponents closing in on him to prevent any big hits. By him taking the punts the Eagles gain 10 yards per punt because the punter is sacrificing distance for hangtime or kicking it to the sidelines. If the punter makes a mistake and gives him open field to work with, well then get out the popcorn and enjoy.

  5. He is the reigning All-Pro at te Punt Returners Position so he almost has to return the Punts
    He’s also smart enough to fair-catch and/or catch it and get up the sidelines to avoid the big hit..
    They do need to have another player capable of handling in case D-Jax was hurt though..

  6. ghostofcunningham

    Desean has shown good presence back there and has waived for fair catches in the correct situations. His agility has also allowed him to avoid any big hits that punt returners may take from time to time. I think it’s obvious that he needs to stay there, but as Paul says, there does need to be someone they can trust to fill in for him if he’s tired, overworked, hurt, or if the game is out of hand. He should not be returning punts in a blowout….either way. Andy just needs to be smart about it. Has Ellis Hobbs ever done punts? I know he does kickoffs.

  7. 2 ways to look at it
    the 1st team o is great when having whole field to work with so let whoever go back and faircatch lol so kolb can throw to his speedy wr’s who cant be covered on our side of the 50 then when we get to the 30 (opp territory) we have no more o lol when the secondary isnt fearing being beat deep and jam the wr’s pressure kolb make him make a quick decision and they have no fear of a run play so fg time
    or u can have him return all season its good for 3 scores

  8. If we’re claiming DJax can just fair catch…..can’t we plug in any good player with hands to fair catch?

    Again….If Djax get injured this year it will totally take him out of the running for the contract he deserves and if he’s returning punts that maximizes the risks of injury. Get the money first Djax for if you don’t this FO will use your injuries or lower numbers to cheat you out of your worth. Wise up young man because football life is short.

  9. yea well if i were him i wouldnt do it
    but in terms of making the team the best it can be well whos a better returner than djax

  10. I am going to work out over the next year and try out for the Punt Kick-Off position
    If Chad Hall can do it, I can do it… ( I am, at 47 years of age, a step faster than Hall too)
    I will be number #37 next year in Camp…

  11. u got my vote shoot i watched reno mahe like 7yrs u cant possibly be worse

  12. i like chad hall though hahaha hustles got heart

  13. Songs – nobody cares about contracts and money. Football – points, they matter. If Desean doesn’t get a maximum contract, nobody will die. Nobody will get sick. Nobody will be in any pain at all. He will still be a rich man. And if for some reason he is injured to the point that he can’t play football anymore, he’ll be young man with good connections and he’ll have to (gasp) get a real job and be a regular person in this world. DOOOMSDAY DOOMSDAY DOOMSDAY

  14. schill, wake up and join the real world….Money is a big part of the results on the field these days and there’s little seperation between the game and the business. If this organization can develope a strategy that cut players at certain ages along with resigning young players to contracts long term that will have them play below market value in their prime, it’s fair to think special players should be able to do whatever it takes to get compensated before their career ends. Don’t bring me this garbage about players make more than the regular daily worker while you make no mention of the billions an organization makes off of the players who suffer with injuries throughout their life after football. HE’S A PRO BOWLER that helps a billion dollar team make revenue. Pay him his share!!!!! PERIOD! This helps the team morale in knowing the boss takes care of his own.

  15. put the ball in the hands of the best player whenever you can – when was the last time a good ‘starter’ got hurt returning a kick?

    Songs – I am part of the real world, and the real world is full of legal mumbo jumbo, and those pesky things called contracts – and DJAX signed one of those pesky real world things. In the real world, if I sign a contract saying I will work for 4 years for X number of dollars, I work or I get sued and can’t work somewhere else or whatever else my contract stipulated. So all the other nonsense about player primes and cuts etc – every player out there knows the deal – that’s why they go to fantasy land – -

    In fantasy land I can say – hey boss – I’m good – I am the best data analyst and simulation model manager you got – I ain’t coming to work or doing what you say until I get a (lets say he signs for 10 mil?) 1000% pay raise…. cause tommorrow I may develop carpal tunnel, or my ability to analyze data sets or extract data groups will be compromised, … or oh my god – the government cuts defense spending and the contract I was on was dropped so now I have to go out to the real world……

  16. Songs, they will. Desean will play for the NFL longer than the term of his current contract. At some point close to the end of this contract, he’ll get an offer from the Eagles for a lot more money than he makes now. He’ll either take that offer or negotiate for more. They’ll either agree, or he’ll become a free agent and make that money elsewhere. That’s the real world reality of the situation. Jackson and his agent don’t want the pity money/short term boost that you would suggest (anything else is impossible given the CBA) becaue they know that it’s a dumb move to take carry over money you don’t need that will jeapordize your real payday. Jackson ain’t bitching. You are. You’re saying that we need to solve the urgent problem (that doesn’t exist except in your mind) for the better of the team. I’m saying, the team and Desean and his agent don’t give a crap about nonexistent problems in your mind – they care about football and money. Football wise, it’s best to shelve the non-issue and play well. Money wise, it’s better for all parties to wait out the crazy CBA sh*t and length of his contract. In the real world, people need to be patient and take all the factors into account in a given situation. In you’re real world, you want what you want immediately without any excuses or complications. Ok – great, go to chucky cheese or vegas because those are the only places where (your) real world will make you happy.

  17. I really like the maturity that he has shown so far this year. At one point everybody was asking who would provide leadership for such a young team, and it appears 10 has started to step up, 4 is doing a nice job and 87 has found a voice as well. All of them straight shooters that lead by example. Now I am curious to see who steps up on the other side of the ball. Bradley is the leader into the clubhouse turn, we will see who else.

  18. Songs, I’m with you buddy. I just come to realize that some people could care less about giving our star playmaker the insurance, well-deserved compensation he deserves for being the best all around weapon here. I almost feel like some want to see him injured, so as not have to pay him, or like some people in management on a job who keeps telling the hard worker that “your bonus or pay increase is coming just keep workin” and, to no avail he gets terminated because of the company’s so-called perceived injury, laid-off, or his job is outsourced; all the while never receiving any fair compensation. Though I do agree with some who say that he will prolly have to play his contract out near the end and kind of deal with the CBA etc; and players like Haynesworth ain’t makin it no better (though his team prolly lied to him on promising him the position he was suppose to play). All in all, it’s a crappy situation for Djax and I hope he gets what he deserves. But I feel ya songs…hang in there we got to get through 16 this season.

  19. By the way G, yes D-Jax should be returning punts. Like coach April said, you need to have your best playmakers with the ball in their hands trying to score everytime they touch the ball.

  20. The real questions is what would our offense be like without Jackson. Based on the risk/reward, I think I’d use Jackson as a punt returner in certain situations only. For instance, if we were playing a top team, I’d or if we fell behind, I’d use him.

    There aren’t many plays on the field where the opponent gets a 50-yard running start before taking a shot at you. To make matters worse, your concentration is focused toward the sky. It’s definitely risky business.

  21. Returners a little weak after #1. Will Demps make the team?

    Is this another here we go again?

    Kick returners Hobbs-Demps-Harris
    Punt returners- Jackson-Maklin-Hall

  22. Rocko, I am not picking on you or trying to insult you in any way. I just wonder why people care how much a professional athlete earns? It will not affect how he plays anyway, and I would guess you do not stand to benefit from him making more money (like if he was your brother-in-law, and you were going to get a better wedding gift). Everybody always wants more money, he is just another good player in the NFL. He will be here for awhile, then he will go someplace else, that is just how pro sports works. I think a better topic to be concerned about it the middle of the OLine, we are set at WR.

  23. Silva, Glad you bought that up. It’s not that I really care about how much compensation a player like D-jax makes, rather I try to look at the whole picture and how that will affect a players attitude, feelings, and care about one’s own team and organization. If someone on a job is getting paid more than you for doing less work and they’re less qualified with skills etc, and you’re more qualified with work history, and skills (you’re bringing in tons of financial business and customers to the business) and the company decides to not reward you, then there is a real problem. In looking at the NFL or any sport for that matter, you know the general “falling out” of a player towards his organization when others around him with less athletic skill and contributions are being well taken care of and it ain’t your playmaker. in other words, I tend to forecast potential problems and try to include preventive measures so as to not have a forseeable problem with team cohesion etc while we fans are trying to enjoy a season of football. So no, I could care less about what a player makes. We just don’t need a pouty player who may have the possibility to not perform to his maximum capabilities due to poor compensation. That’s all Silva, It is what is. I’m not unmindful of his contract or CBA negotiations, I just want a happy player thats all. Peace.

  24. When will Eaglesnation realize the real problem with the Philadelphia Eagles was never Donovan McNabb. The current head coach and his entire staff sucks. Just take a moment to understand why the Eagles have not won a superbowl yet…Andy Reid and the front office have yet to understand that size and speed and a power running game is what todays NFL is. We bring in Ernie Sims who weighs what 230 Lbs at will backer??? then we give Stacy andrews 30 mil for what??? Andy reid says Jason peters is the best LT in the game??? this may be true is Andy reid ran the ball behind him more. Our best player Desean jackson is what 5′ 9″ 175 you have got to be kidding. as good as desean is, if your best player is this small it is going to be a long year. remember in all the past Drafts Andy reid kept drafting all these offensive linemen where the hell are they now??? This team will never win a superbowl with this type of thinking. MARK MY WORD ON THIS.

  25. Rocko, I couldn’t agree more. Attitude is everything. Besides, the owners earn a great deal more than the athletes and the average life of an NFL athlete is only 3.5 years.

    My biggest problem with that situation, however, is that the players get absolutely no money from the sales of jerseys and other merchandise. Where else in America can someone market an item bearing my name and made famous by hard work and skill, yet not pay me anything for the use of my name? That’s the basis of anti-trust suit.

    What people don’t realize is that MOST of the revenue earned by the NFL comes from merchandising. So, as it stands, the players share revenue from the gate, tv contracts, etc. They get 60% of that money, and zero from merchandising.

    In simpler terms, for each NFL dollar, the players get approx. thirty cents and the owners get roughly seventy cents. Let’s not forget that the are about 2,000 players and only 32 owners.

    I find it amazing that no one complains about the owners, who are fleecing the fans.

  26. Rocko, I couldn’t agree more. Attitude is everything. Besides, the owners earn a great deal more than the athletes and the average life of an NFL athlete is only 3.5 years.

    My biggest problem with that situation, however, is that the players get no money from the sales of jerseys and other merchandise. Where else in America can someone market an item bearing my name and made famous by hard work/skill, yet not pay me anything for the use of my name? That’s the basis of anti-trust suit.

    What people don’t realize is that MOST of the revenue earned by the NFL comes from merchandising. So, as it stands, the players share revenue from the gate, tv contracts, etc. They get 60% of that money, and zero from merchandising.

    In simpler terms, for each NFL dollar, the players get approx. thirty cents and the owners get roughly seventy cents. Let’s not forget that the are about 2,000 players and only 32 owners.

    I find it amazing that no one complains about the owners, who are fleecing the fans.

  27. Sorry for the duplication, above. This one, however, I meant to duplicate:

    drummerwinslow says:

    August 27, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    The real questions is what would our offense be like without Jackson.

  28. ghostofcunningham

    Is Songs DJax’s agent or something?

  29. You have to have the BEST guy available fielding punt. DJax is a threat to break it every single time he touches the ball. He’ll have a much greater chance at putting points on the board returning punts than he EVER will running go routes with noodle arm throwing the ball to him.

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