The Philadelphia Eagles can’t just rely on newcomers like Chip Kelly to turn them around. The Eagles also need some of their old regulars, like DeSean Jackson, to turn themselves around after these last two poor seasons. However, Jackson appears to be excited and hopeful that Kelly’s offense can get him going again.
On Jan. 24, Philadelphia Magazine’s Sheil Kapadia pointed out some recent comments Jackson made to ESPN about Kelly. He expresses confidence that no NFL defense will have “ever seen anything that the Philadelphia Eagles have done” under Kelly’s system, whatever it may be. In addition, if Kelly can “bring that edge to the table” Jackson would be “very excited about the opportunity.”
The Eagles need any kind of fresh edge and innovation they can find, and Jackson needs it in particular. While 2011 and 2012 were ugly years for most Philadelphia players, Jackson took some special lumps. After a contract dispute ruined the 2011 season for him, his numbers still went down in 2012 despite his new deal, then a rib injury ended his year six weeks early.
Even in Andy Reid’s pass-first offense -- and even when the Eagles needed big plays to overcome huge deficits -- Jackson was barely an option on most weeks. Before 2011, he was among the biggest threats in the game, but now he is at a crossroads just like the Eagles are.
Philadelphia will be searching for a new identity under Kelly, as it tries to become an explosive offense again. Reid’s innovations ran their course and became all too predictable, which ultimately helped negate Jackson’s impact. Yet if Kelly can put together ways to make Jackson explosive again, it can give both him and the Eagles new life.
All of Jackson’s explosive plays from 2008 to 2010 suggest that the Eagles are far better when he is on fire. Still, he was so effective because Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick got the ball to him so frequently downfield. When Vick couldn’t make that happen in 2011 and 2012, Jackson got taken down with him.
Kelly can bring Jackson back to life, but only if he finds a No. 1 quarterback to give him the ball -- or improves the quarterbacks that the Eagles have now. Yet if Jackson can no longer deliver, no matter who is coaching or throwing, his future will truly look bleak.