Eagles Wake-Up Call: DeSean Under Chip Kelly

DeSean Jackson has spoken with Chip Kelly, and believes he has an idea how he will be utilized by his new coach.

“Kind of similar to what DeAnthony Thomas was doing at Oregon. He’s like a little brother to me. I actually talked to him,” Jackson told the Inquirer. “He was passing on information to me, like I’m going to be pumped up and psyched to be in that offense. It just keeps defenses off guard any time you go in motion, fake play-action, go down the field. There’s just so many things you can do.”

Jackson said Kelly told him to be prepared to have the ball in his hands more than usual, but other than that provided little detail.

Kelly has to be excited about working with a burner like Jackson. But can he really use him like he did Thomas?

They are similar in stature (Thomas is 5-9, 173; Jackson 5-10, 175) and both boast around 4.4 speed. Thomas, though, is often deployed as a running back for the Ducks and this past season, as a sophomore, rushed 92 times for 701 yards and 11 touchdowns. Jackson has had only 54 rushing attempts in five years in the NFL.

Thomas added 45 catches for 445 yards and five scores in 2012, and also returned a punt for a touchdown.

Many Eagles fans have been clamoring for Jackson to be featured more . Whether it be via a reverse, a wide receiver screen, a punt return — just get it to No. 10 and let him create. Kelly might very well agree with this concept.

Under Andy Reid, Jackson was being called on less and less. Last  season the once-electric playmaker and author of the Miracle at the New Meadowlands had just one punt return for minus-3 yards. He rushed only three times for minus-7 yards. Granted, the offense was a mess, but Jackson’s 63.6 yards-per-game and 15.6 yards-per-catch were his lowest averages since his rookie season. It can still be said that Jackson was putting forth a solid campaign before sustaining broken ribs in Week 12 against the Panthers that cut his season short. Pro Football Focus credits him with just one drop, and his numbers would have been very respectable if he was able to play a full 16.

But the fact is that he wasn’t able to finish the year, and Jackson has now seen his numbers fall almost across the board in each of the last three seasons (his receiving TDs have gone from six to four to two since finding the end zone nine times in 2009).  You can chalk that up to injuries, the contract squabble or questionable play-calling, but it is the reality. Can Kelly get the stock to rebound? Will the 26-year-old Jackson be able to stay healthy if his workload does increase like he is expecting it will?

It will be one of the many interesting subplots in Kelly’s first season.

If you want a taste of how Thomas was used at Oregon, check out the video below.

WHAT YOU MISSED

Here is the full list of assistant coaches, as well as some bios.

We rounded up reaction from around the web after Kelly’s staff was announced.

Trent Cole has reportedly been hampered by a hand injury for over a year.

Sheil looks at Billy Davis, the “Predator” and the 4-3 Under.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Mark Eckel looks at Eagles’ past to demonstrate how important Kelly’s assistants are to Eagles’ future.

Let’s go back a ways in Eagles history and look at just how crucial the coordinators can be to a head coach.

Start with Buddy Ryan, who had Wade Phillips and then Jeff Fisher run his defense that became one of the best and fiercest in the league. Yes, it was Ryan’s defense, but he needed Phillips and Fisher to make it work.

Offensively, Ryan never got the coordinator he wanted, or needed. He started with Ted Plumb, a man who saved his life when he choked on a pork chop, but whose offense Ryan once said “made him sick.’’ When Plumb was let go, he was replaced with Rich Kotite, who made everyone sick.

The Sporting News previews the radical changes ahead for the Eagles.

Don’t be shocked to see Michael Vick, cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins, among others, sent packing as the team continues to part ways with the poster players for their downward spiral—a trend that started with the in-season release of Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Babin. Those three are under contract but each underperformed and are on the downsides of their careers.

The only A-list free agent worth keeping is cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who also hasn’t fulfilled his potential since coming over in a trade with the Cardinals two years ago. Rodgers-Cromartie has tremendous talent and tools but constantly needs to be challenged and pushed, a responsibility that Kelly might not want to undertake in his first year.

COMING UP

Kelly addresses the media at 1:30. We’ll then have a chance to speak with his assistants for the first time.

  • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

    Gotta love the national media guys.. “Don’t be surprised if Vick, Asomugha and Jenkins are sent packing?” I’d be surprised if they DIDN’T get sent packing.

    • LostInChiTown

      Except Jenkins. He’s not the player he was 2 years ago, but he’s a high motor, high character guy with 3-4 experience who’s been through big team changes. He was in Green Bay when they changed head coaches, defensive scheme, and moved on from Farve to Rodgers. Plus, despite his decline, he’s still probably the 3rd best DT on the team (no offense Landri).

      • fran35

        Not sure he is a high character guy. Kind of remember him getting in Reid’s face and chest bumping him on the sidelines last year. Not sure any other coach in the league would accept that behavior. Also, horrible example for the rookies

        • Run Eagles Run

          ok, what is not to like about that? andy reid was running a friggin madhouse at the time, you just reminded me of that and it made me like him more than I do. remember he was also one of the guys taking every question in the locker room, after every loss. and not being an asshole about it. he also took questions about the reid chest bump without hiding from it.

          • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

            Jenkins conducted himself like a prideful, mature man and commanded respect. But he isn’t good enough to man the Tackle position in the hybird 3-4. To get Cox in One on One situations there’s going to have to be a fierce Tackle who commands double teams.

          • LostInChiTown

            He’ll be a DE and play a similar role as Cox either on the other side or in rotation. He was very successful in that role in Green Bay. But no, he is not a NT in the 3-4

  • The Guru

    I obviously still hate the Kelly hire, but I’m pretty excited to see what he can do with DeSean in getting him touches and getting him in space. He can’t be used like Thomas entirely, but DeSean is a serious weapon and for him not to have the ball in his hands is inexcusable. Sending him on a fly pattern as a decoy 30 times a game was just too stupid. And get him back there on punt returns again so we don’t have to watch balls being fair caught on the 3.

    • aub32

      On this we can agree. I hated the fact Jackson ran so many fly routes. I get he has to be the decoy every so often to keep the safeties back, but why not switch it up once you’ve got them backed up. I think Kelly and Shurmur will do a good job at designing some plays to get DJax in space, but I hope they still have him blow the top off of defenses every so often. I love seeing him burn past the entire opposing team chasing a ball only he is fast enough to go get.

      • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

        Bring the Safeties up, make them hesitate. Jackson suffered because of the scheme in Philly. The kid only ran, the cross, the out and fly. or a lame reverse. Then used his production to keep from paying him. The Eagles were looking in the draft for return men and had a most lethal threat in the game in open space, on the bench.

    • aub32

      What makes it even better is that it looks like Vick will be here to throw the deep ball. I know you’re too excited Matt lmao.

      • The Guru

        GO EAGLES!! GO TEAM! How can you not be positive about a decision like that?

        • aub32

          I knew you’d come around Matt. FLY EAGLES FLY!!!

        • atlvickfan

          lmao

      • Run Eagles Run

        haha, I love it. cant wait to here this little bitch whine.

        • theycallmerob

          keep it constructive brother.

          • Run Eagles Run

            touche. dont wanna get sucked into his black hole of douche, but its gotta a pretty strong gravitational pull. he is good at what he does.

  • CAEagle

    Those highlites of DeThomas are fun to watch….but that was DJax when he had passion to play…not sure why he doesnt run hard like that anymore? Maybe-prior to getting paid or finding out he doesn’t like to get hit by NFL players.
    Anyway that’s PAC12-fast exciting offense, but top defenders coming out of HS go to SEC. It’ll be interesting to see how this regime works out. Keepin my fingers crossed.

    • 1972

      i agree. djax hasent looked like that since 2010.Black mamba runs the ball alot. i doubt jackson will be doing alot of that.Jackson definitely can become an impact player again. i think he needs 3-4 screens a game, at least one run a game, and on punt returns permanently

  • NJSandman25

    Thomas’ highlight reel doesn’t remind me of Jackson at all. Maybe Percy Harvin, but I just don’t see the Jackson connection. They are both smaller players, but even Thomas looks thicker than Jackson (everyone does). All of Thomas’ play making comes out of the backfield and Jackson just hasn’t done that before. He’s a deep threat WR first whereas Thomas appears to be a RB first. I think we need to taper the expectations for our man.

    • theycallmerob

      I agree we probably won’t be seeing that level of lining up in the backfield, but hopefully some more use of WR screens, end-arounds, and so forth will allow for more DJax playmaking. MIN had a similar philosophy in place for P. Harvin last year before his injury; i.e., he led the league in receiving a pass at or behind the line of scrimmage.

      • NJSandman25

        I’m all for getting Jackson the ball more on screens and end-arounds. I just didn’t see Thomas being used the say way. I’m pumped for Jackson under CK.

    • 1972

      great points.Jackson borke his ribs on the one running play he had last year

  • JTR

    Excited to see how this works. If we can get our hands on a legit running QB in the next few years could be fun to watch. Picture desean motioning to an end around with a running QB in the shotgun/pistol with shady right next to him/behind him, the variations you could run on that would be seemingly endless.

  • eagle fan dwn south

    I believe the offense is going to b better regardless with a healthy oline im more concerned abt this defense who cnt stop a nose bleed (Please draft Matt Elam in the second round Howie)

  • Shark

    I’m not sure they are too similar in playing style. Thomas is much thicker, has the ability to put his shoulder down when needed (maybe not in NFL), he’s got pure agility and lateral movements, and a much quicker burst. Desean would probably die if he attempted to put a shoulder, he’s like a sprinter with his long legs, his 6th gear speed is incredible but his burst and lateral agility is good, nothing special. Interesting to see how Chip uses him

  • hope the birds are back baby

    don’t get too excited fellow eagles fans….deSean jackson quits like a dog whenever he gets popped…..or he doesn’t get the ball …..not feeling very bullish on this whole chip kelley thing right now…….trying lots of stuff that’s never worked in pro football before….per Rueben Frank.

    • theycallmerob

      Not sure the whole “shies from contact” thing is still true, there were a few plays last year where DJax made a play knowing he’d get hit (see the Ravens game). IMO, he seemed to be one of the few players last year who played hard.
      I’d be frustrated, too, if my coach called fly routes all day but the QB couldn’t get me the ball. We’ll see if Kelly rekindles his passion.

    • Capt. Undapants

      Clearly you did not see THE “Ed Reed hit,” nor have you read ANY comments referencing THE “Ed Reed hit.” DeSean took a hit from Ed Reed, got up, and kept playing. There he got the ball and popped right back up. I guess you can say that it was like a dog that got hit and got right back up.

      • hope the birds are back baby

        just saying I don’t see the passion from him, don’t like to hear about his record label crap, and am sick of small twerpy receivers……if DeSean was on the ravens he wouldn’t even play

        • aub32

          There’s not a team in the league where Desean wouldn’t get significant playing time. He’s a game breaker, and you can’t coach his kind of speed. There are few WRs in this game that have to be accounted for and schemed against every time they are on the field. Despite his size, Desean fits in that category. Last year he showed that he’s all in after getting paid, like he should have.

          Also, what’s it to you what he does with his money? Other players have their own businesses. Cole has a hunting show. Mathis owns a gym out in Arizona. If it’s not affecting his play on the field, get over it.

          • hope the birds are back

            you need big receivers in this league to win against good teams..if you watched the playoffs and cant understand that point, I can’t help you. DeSean better come ready to play this year and forget about his rappin (which is lousy by the way)

          • aub32

            That’s why the Texans lost so badly to the Patriots. Because the Texans don’t have a big…. wait they Have one of the biggest and best WRs in the game. The truth is some of the biggest and best WRs didn’t make the playoffs or were knocked out early. You need playmakers who can step up and make a difference. Djax has that ability.

        • Sensei

          He has a record label so that bothers you? Investing money in something you likedoing iisn’t a problem with me. He also does more charity work than I see most other players do

    • The Guru

      Heard the same things from Reuben this morning. Wonder if that statement, “trying lots of stuff that’s never worked in pro football before” changes anyone’s minds that said Kelly’s going to “adapt his system”.

  • BrickSquadMonopoly

    VICK 1 YEAR DEAL!?!? :)

    • The Guru

      I am so happy. Go Eagles!

  • 1972

    congrats bricksquad,aub big butt and a smile run eagles run and a few others.Later nicky foles, we hardly knew ya. 8-8 mike plays 12 games and the new qb takes over 2014. e. j manual , tyshawn taylor. I ride with the team not woth players. i dont think vicks the answer, but i can ride out one more season with him. I did it with reid for 8 years longer than i wanted to

  • Kimbafuzz

    Michael Vick restructured his contract… Eagles just announced in text message. Looks like he’ll be here next year.

  • Sensei

    I’m pretty sure everyone can agree Jackson needs the ball more I’m all phases of the game shorter routes, screens, and a running game will bring the deeper stuff back into the fold but the qb has to be able to connect Desean also HAS to be the punt returner

  • Sean E.

    Desean is a 4.2 – 4.3 guy not a 4.4.