After Early Demotion, DeSean Jackson Says He’s ‘All-In’

DeSean Jackson walked into Chip Kelly’s office, wanting to know why he had been demoted.

It was early and it was all very new and veterans like Jackson were trying to figure out what their head coach was all about. Curiosity turned to frustration when Jackson found himself in an unsettling position.

“There were times when I was going with the threes, times when I was going with the twos, things like that,” said Jackson in a one-on-one conversation with Birds 24/7. “There was a point where I went into Chip Kelly’s office and talked to him face-to-face to see what was going on with that.”

Kelly told Jackson what he has stated publicly: that there is no depth chart, everyone on the roster will get a shot and nothing will be handed to you based purely on past performance.

“He just expects everyone to do things a certain way. He was asking everybody to do the same thing. For myself, I just had to really hear it from his mouth to get that rapport with him and be on the same page with him. When I went in there, he said he expects everybody to buy into the system and do everything the right way,” said Jackson.  “And if there is any little thing a player doesn’t want to do, that’s his way of reacting to it. The best thing I did was go talk to him instead of just sitting back and being mad.”

Kelly requires all of his skill players to be familiar with everyone else’s position. It’s essential in what tight ends coach Ted Williams calls a “musical chairs” offense, where anyone can line up anywhere at any time. Jackson wasn’t as well-versed as Kelly wanted him to be.

“I think one of the biggest reasons was the offense was kind of new to myself and I never really had to learn every position in the offense [under Andy Reid],” said Jackson. “At the beginning of the process I didn’t know the full offense and I didn’t know every play, so that probably had to do with why I was moved to different teams and things like that. Now I am all-in on the offense and I’m very familiar with the whole system. It’s a good thing that I am able to learn that and know what everyone is doing instead of one person.”

The 26-year-old admits that it’s been an adjustment going from Reid to Kelly.  Jackson, a six-year veteran, said he is being asked to do certain things that he hasn’t done since college. From all the sports science to the radical tempo change, there is a new-wave approach that can take some getting used to.

Despite the early bump in the road, there are some positive signs coming from the two-time Pro Bowler. He has been in attendance 30 of a possible 32 days so far. The team believes that is his highest attendance rate since joining the Eagles in 2008.

And he has reason to be motivated. As we’ve discussed in this space before, this is a virtual contract year for Jackson. His salary spikes into the $10 million range starting next season. If he wants to see that cash, he’ll have to not just adapt, but prove that he can still be an elite receiver in this league.

Jackson made it a point to say that the focus is on team goals, but allowed, “I definitely do know that this is a huge year for myself, and my teammates.”

As for that temporary demotion?

“Now I’m with the right group and everything is good and there’s never been no problems. I just had to get a feel for [Kelly] and know what he wants and what he expects me to do,” he said.

No Jay-Z For Now

We also asked Jackson about his split with agent Drew Rosenhaus.

“I’m not really speaking on that. I just think that’s a very personal issue,” said Jackson. “[As far as] Jay-Z and Roc Nation and all that other stuff, I’m really not entertaining any of that right now. I’m just focused on having a great season and the time is right I’ll be picking another agent. Right now is not the right time for that.”

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  • Philly0312

    Early demotion? First I am hearing of this – I am assuming this was during one of the practices media was not allowed to attend. Either way I love it. I feel like a lot of these “veterans” who quit on Reid last year need to earn the right to start again.

    • Justin

      To be fair to Jackson, to my knowledge, he didn’t drop a catchable ball last year before being injured. So it doesn’t seem as though he “quit” on Reid.

      • illadelphia21

        Exactly. And was also on pace to have career highs in receptions and yards.

      • Philly0312

        Hey, I am one of DJax’s biggest fans – he’s a great guy off the field, and often gets more flack than he deserves by a fairly large margin. I wasn’t referring to DJax having quit, although I think he did toss in the towel due to injury – I’m sure he plays out the season if the Birds are in contention for a playoff spot. I meant in general I like that their are no guaranteed spots on this team – and it doesn’t seem to be all talk. A lot of guys quit last year.

      • tdillon1972

        He just quit on them the year before when he was being pissy about his big boy contract

    • John Thornton

      Philly0312. You really have no idea what you’re talking about. Go watch the TMNT2 Go Ninja Go video again. Chip Kelly and Barkley will be running it

  • Bdawkbdawk

    1. Jackson gets demoted by Chip
    2. Jackson talks with Chip and figures out the reason for his demotion
    3. Jackson rededicates himself and starts to earn his way back
    Are you freaking kidding me?!?! This reads like a movie script. Did you rip this out of my “things that would be awesome” notebook, Tim? Keep on rolling, Chip.

    • theycallmerob

      Haha, that comes right before Chip holds an open tryout, and a former SEAL (already familiar with Kelly’s conditioning) makes the team and ushers in a new era at SS.

      A man can dream….

      • Max Lightfoot

        I agree. DeSean’s visit showed Chip volumes about No. 10’s degree of mental toughness.

      • Richard Colton

        Could you imagine? Like when Andy first got hired as head coach, that guy who used to be a truck driver became a starter. The only thing that would make it better is if he had a really cool sports name, like “Ironside” or “Dick Trickle.”

  • cliff henny

    he better have a big season, and probably a bigger one than Maclin if he wants to see that 10m from eagles. we all know someone will cut him a nice check regardless. when Maclin was drafted thought we’d have 2-headed monster out wide, just never developed like i thought. seemed like they were just too similar and now with kelly’s offense, feel like there’s only room for one of them (2 will be luxury based upon money vs time on field). personally, i prefer d-jax over Maclin, but if kelly can tap into the Maclin that was coming out of Mizzou, this could get awfully interesting.

    • DunedinEagle

      You mean the guy that was motivated to be drafted in the first round for the money yet went soft as soon as he played his first pre season game at kick returner?

    • Dutch

      Maclin was the 1rd Draft Pick, shouldn’t Maclin be the individual who needs a big season? Maclin is supposed to be the No.1 receiver. DJax has but one purpose and that’s to stretch the defense in which Maclin is supposed to exploit the underneath on intermediate and short routes.

      The problem in Philly since both of those guys were drafted was scheme. The Eagles couldn’t get DJax the ball in open space and Maclin can’t get separation on his breaks.

  • S.Paxson

    if you are going to add to the Cary Absence Fire, good for you for not just reporting attendance in a negative context, but also report on it to praise a player…Just a glimpse of why you guys rock…It’s refreshing when you have dopes like Domo just trying to start trouble. Domo has been leading the Cary Williams watch, and he seems to have a brand new, shiny pitchfork to help the Kelly transition.

  • tony

    only reason jackson will bite his tongue and play is because of the money that’s involved in his contract over the remainder of his contract.

    • cliff henny

      money is the great motivator. dont care why he’ll bust butt, as long as he does.

      • Andy124

        Only reason I come to work is because they pay me.

        • Dutch

          This is a sentiment that seems to be a difficult reality for some of the participants on this forum to believe.

          Compensation and money entices workers to show up everyday typically. If you show up because you like what you do that’s a plus but not all that common in America.

      • schubee

        the problem is that he DOESN’T bust butt most of the time. he’s a loafer and all this, i firmly believe, is an attempt at a money grab. if that 10 mil is a lock next season, i guarantee that desean doesn’t mind playing with the third string… oh… and making records. don’t forget making records.

    • Dutch

      So money and compensation aren’t the motivation that gets you to work?

      • Token

        I LOVE how people compare their cubicle jobs to NFL players. This happened in the Williams daughter recital thread.

        The two are not comparable at all. Earl and Betty showing up to file papers at their cubicle all day is much different then what a pro athlete with a short career should be doing.

        I would really hope a pro athlete is far more motivated and committed to bettering his craft than you are.

        • Richard Colton

          Dutch is being consistent in that she never argues the same way twice. Facts change depending on the point of view. Last thread – players who work for free are suckers. This thread – players need to be motivated by something other than money. Same day. two arguments. It’s like Eagles schizophrenia.

          • JofreyRice

            It’s the best when he’s espousing two polar opposites in the same thread–literally inches apart on the screen. Like when he told Adam to get off the internet and rub elbows with real people, to understand how Eagles fans think, and told me that he didn’t need to be in Philadelphia to understand how Eagles fans think, because of the internet.

          • cliff henny

            i loved that…and used a fan poll off philly.com as a source, classic

          • theycallmerob

            you guys continue to crack me up days later.

          • Dutch

            No, that was a point of reference. A Reference that I would expect you would be familiar with but deny to fit your narratives. If you read this blog, you read Philly.com and are aware of that fan poll which indicates exactly what I said. Which was a highly contested poll.

            Through the years, I’m at 10 to 12 Eagles Games, I’ve built relationship with seat holder in my section. There’s no problem with Vick in the Linc. The problem with Vick is exclusive to internet Forums, and Talk Radio in Phila. Those of us at the game know without Vick we have absolutely no chance at being competitive or winning the division.

            You’re in South Carolina, is that right? You are also pretty much reliant on the 8 participant here who seemingly detest Vick and not subject to the majority opinion in and around Philly where Vick is admired.

          • cliff henny

            Dutch, i lived in philly for 30+ yrs, have plenty of family and friends outside the participants on this site. your assumptions, generalizations and exaggerations make you very annoying. i make my own opinions, and have never commented on anything but personal feelings. you might want to do the same. your posts might be better recieved. you act like you know my stance on Vick, where i’ve posted i prefer he wins qb battle and have said some of your points on foles are valid, dispite how much i detest the messenger.

          • Dutch

            You live in Phila and have no clue how the majority of Eagles Fans there think and admire Mike Vick. Which suggest you are relative to a small segment of Eagles Fans who think in like terms as you.

            So you aren’t rubbing elbow with people who have different preferences than you. You seem the individual who is exclusive to like minded individuals. I’m born and raised in Philly and still attached professionally and personally to the city and surrounding area. Me not choosing to reside in Philly has no bearing to my attachments and connections to associates, friends and family in Phila.

            Which still doesn’t change the fact that Vick in Philly is still an admired personality and overwhelming Eagles fans see him as the legitimate starter and only hope to win now and be competitive. And you and your idea of Vick is a minority opinion.

            I think Adam lives in Canada and rarely visits or attend Eagles game. So it’s expected he would be detached from the majority opinion and sentiment of Eagles fans in Phila. He’s reduce to his experiences on these forums with the 8 of you who detest Vick to generate an opinion.

          • Dutch

            Anyone that works for nothing is a sucker in America. Time is money.

            That’s a ridiculous assumption and couldn’t be more wrong that I think players need to be motivated by more than money.

            For most of America, money is the only motivation to get them up and out to work each morning. That doesn’t preclude anyone who enjoys their profession from finding some sense of accomplishment or satisfaction in their daily task for which they are compensated. But by a fairly large margin it’s money that motivates their participation.

            But overwhelmingly it’s money that drives them to work each day.

        • Dutch

          You may think there’s an obvious difference but there isn’t. Commonly you who believe there is a difference simply don’t respect the contributions and dignity of the worker. Whether it’s the pro athlete or the fry person at McDonalds, both ultimately work to enhance the owner’s bottom line.

          Some of you who have never hired an employee will never understand the contributions of an employee and thus never respect their worth to an organization. You can’t just have anyone representing your name or greeting your customers and clients unless you don’t have much to lose.

  • JamesDDl

    “can still be an elite receiver” Sorry, but I’m having a difficult time with this one. Shocked to see he has been in the NFL for 6 years. His body of work is not close to elite. He may be exciting, electrifying and enigmatic, but he is not elite. Your stats/record pretty much dictate what you are as a player – regardless of injuries, benchings, no-shows etc.
    No doubt he thinks he is elite – hence the passive aggressive approach to his new boss. Seems that once he was told who’s in charge, he was fine with it. Perhaps I’m getting the wrong idea from the media, but he always comes off as 100% about DeSean and 0% about the team. Perhaps he will mature in the Kelly system.

    • schubee

      that is the best comment i’ve ever read about desean jackson. you friggin summed it up buddy! bravo. desean: 100% desean and 0% team. BOOM.

    • tom

      If you’re shocked to see him in the NFL for 6 years, what’s stopping him from shocking you again?

    • DunedinEagle

      The same day Pigs fly and snow balls last in hell.

    • Richard Colton

      Miracle in the Meadowlands II was still pretty awesome though.

  • MAC

    I love the demotion for now. It’s great Kelly is not playing games with any player. You better know all the positions or else you will be demoted. This applying to Desean means no one is exempt. I like Jackson, but he needs to realize you have to earn your spot and put in the work. His attendance makes me think he is working hard. I am just glad it appears he is not holding a grudge and went and talked to Kelly.

  • Philly101

    Is this like when he “re-dedicated” himself after his big contract signing? You’re a glorified #2 option. Calm down tough guy

  • PaoliBulldog

    On top of everything else about Djax, he doesn’t look (to me) like a CK player: way too small. Wouldn’t shock me if he is traded.

  • Andy124

    Do we know when exactly this occured?
    I remember not too long ago Maclin had an interview where he mentioned that you have to know every position. He said he was doing well with it, but he could see where it would be hard for some people.
    I got the feeling he was trying to protect a teamate that wasn’t picking it up as fast. Could have been talking about DJ then.

  • fanfan

    Please stay away from Jay-Z , he is merely just trying to stay relevant by getting famous/popular athletes to be associated with his brand. Jay-Z is losing it, buyer beware. get a reputable agent and do business like everyone else. I am very excited for this Eagles season, they have to play great week in and week out but I think they will get it done.

    • Dutch

      This is ridiculous, Jay-Z is a genius when it comes to marketing. He holds associations with some of America’s biggest retailers. He’s a franchise part owner with the NBA and has his own clothing line featured in Macy’s America. I don’t know where you get your accounts of what’s happen in America but Jay-z’s Brand is well respected and much sought after in the world of retail and marketing the world over.

      Martha Stewart is a greater concern and bigger gamble than Jay-z in retail.

      Some of the talent he’s found today consist of some of the top grossing entertainers in the world. To paint Jay-z as a phenom exclusive to the Black community is also totally off base. My kids, although they are all in their 20s now are huge fans of Jay-z and his stable of artist.

      Wasn’t it a so called reputable agent who got Akers into a financial deal that eventually stole most of his earnings?

      • fanfan

        while most of what you said is true, i just dont like jay-z. i think hes monopolized the rap game in some ways, n i cant really root for him because of it. its like cheer ing against tom brady because he wins so much. i wish djack a long hall of fame career in philly but maybe less noise around him would be better

  • jabbadajoe

    Certain people crack me up with this love affair for d jax and the same with vick its like all you look at is the highlights from a game. This dude needs to be called parking lot jackson cause all he does every play is run as deep as the stadium will allow him, when he starts to go across the middle again without alligator arming everything then I think he will deserve the number one spot but enough with the crying just go play the game they way it was meant to be played already. This guy has the potential to be another percy Harvin if he would just stop with the nonsense and allow them to move him around to the slot and back to returning punts and really utilize his skill set.

  • Ray

    I can see Jackson becoming a cancer on the team. We need to be very wary of him.