Eagles Should Expect A New And Improved DeSean JacksonBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News Tuesday, July 24th, 2012
Jackson began 2012 by holding out for a new contract, causing him to miss 11 days of training camp. In addition to missing a team meeting and being benched for lack of effort last season, Jackson’s poor attitude was also evident in his play. The Pro Bowl receiver only averaged 16.6 yards-per-catch, a 6 yard decrease from last season and his lowest since his rookie season. According to Pro Football Focus, Jackson has dropped 25 passes over the past 3 years, which makes him the fifth worst wide receiver in the league when it comes to catching the ball. Eagles wide receiver coach David Culley spoke yesterday about how DeSean Jackson’s contract situation affected him last year.
“Human nature wise, yes, it affected him,” Culley said. “It did. He tried not to let it affect him. Sometimes he didn’t do a very good job of that. It affected him in meetings. It affected him on the field. There were days when it didn’t. But it made him inconsistent. And that’s where the human nature part of it comes in.”
Culley also revealed that Jackson was reluctant to run routes over the middle because of his contract situation.
“I saw a couple of times last year where I saw him maybe trying to save himself because [he was thinking], ‘I’m not under contract and I don’t want to get hurt,’?” Culley said. “I don’t think there was a fear factor involved. I think it was more, ‘I don’t want to get hurt because I don’t have a contract.’ The first 2 1/2 years he was here, that wasn’t an issue. A couple of times last year, that came up. And I believe it came up simply because of that.”
According to multiple sources, one of the main issues between former Eagles president Joe Banner and Coach Andy Reid was the negotiations of Jackson’s contract. Although Reid feared that not giving Jackson a new contract would result in the receiver becoming a distraction, Banner wanted to hold out, feeling that he was overvalued. After Banner’s departure, however, Jackson finally got what he wanted and general manager Howie Roseman thinks it will have a positive effect on him this year.
“Somebody told me a long time ago that you can’t tell people how they feel,” Roseman said. “But I think all of us perform better when we feel wanted. I think DeSean is primed to come to camp and work hard and have a productive season.”
The All-Pro receiver has already shown signs of maturity, or money, with his work ethic in OTA’s and the teams’ minicamps this summer. Now that the baby got his multi-million dollar bottle, I expect another Pro Bowl season to make up for his lack of effort last year. He owes the Eagles franchise a superb year, so it would behoove him to catch whatever is thrown his way and to have on a smile while he’s doing it.
“[The bitterness of his contract] is definitely behind him now. Matter of fact, since he’s signed his contract, it hasn’t even been mentioned, except to ask him when he’s going to take us all out to eat. Which he still hasn’t volunteered to do.”
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