Do DeSean Jackson’s Teammates Want Him Back?

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Before Thursday night, only a couple teammates had voiced their opinions publicly about DeSean Jackson and his future with the team.

Mychal Kendricks backed Jackson during an interview with NFL.com. And Michael Vick, a former teammate of Jackson’s, told a New York TV station that change might be good for the wide receiver.


But as several Eagles strolled in to Todd Herremans' Hoops 4 Help fundraiser, they knew what the topic of discussion was going to be when approached by a small group of reporters.

None could come up with a clear explanation for why the Eagles would be looking to move Jackson, but the general sentiment seemed to be that they would move forward with whatever decision the organization settled on.

Jeremy Maclin has been Jackson's teammate for five years, but he said he has not spoken with his fellow wide receiver since the trade rumors first surfaced. Asked if he wants Jackson back, Maclin said: "I want to win games and obviously DeSean is a very talented player. So I want to win games."

Responding to a different question about Jackson, Maclin added: "DeSean’s a great talent. That’s undeniable. As far as everything else, he’s come a long way. He’s matured a lot in the NFL. I think that’s part of the process, but it’s not for me to speak on another man’s behalf. So like I said, whatever happens, that’s what we have to roll with."

Riley Cooper spent last season opposite Jackson and seemed to think his teammate did everything Chip Kelly asked of him.

"He’s awesome. I’m in the same room as him every single day," Cooper said. "We’re both wideouts. So I’m with him every day, all day, meeting rooms, on the field. He’s a great player and he’s a good friend of mine. So I want him to stay.

"I felt like he did a great job for us. You all saw him on the field. He put up career numbers and he worked hard in practice, and that’s a big thing for Chip and everyone. You’ve gotta work hard in practice for it to carry over to the game. It’s all about preparation and things like that. And he did a good job of that last year. I’m extremely proud of him. In any case, whatever happens to DeSean, it’s supposed to happen. But I don’t know what it’s gonna be."

One theory that has been suggested is Kelly's system can make average wide receivers look good and good wide receivers look great.

Asked about Jackson's importance to the offense, Herremans said: "I think DeSean’s important to this team. On the other hand, I don’t think there’s one person that’s irreplaceable. I’d like to think that I’m irreplaceable, but I know that’s not the fact. The fact is what they’re trying to do here is create a system to where you don’t have to rely on just the players and who they are. You can just plug guys into the system and have success from there for many years to come."

Do players on the team understand that?

"I think for people to actually get that, we would have to lose one of those special players and then still have success," Herremans said. "I don’t think people would really understand that until it happens. But I know that as a coach that’s kind of the system that you want. That’s the equation that you want. You want to be able to just plug guys into your system and not worry about your players wanting to stay, wanting to leave, wanting more money or anything like that. That gives you a little bit of flexibility if your system is the reason for winning."

Herremans was pressed about whether such thinking could be dangerous and if he thought Jackson could be easily replaced.

"There’s fast guys that come out every year in the draft," Herremans said. "But there’s not DeSean Jacksons that come out every year in the draft. And those are the things that you have to weigh out when you’re going through this process. And so I’m just glad I don’t have to make the decisions."

Trent Cole is entering his 10th season with the organization. He was perhaps the most supportive of any of the players in regards to Jackson.

"All I can tell you is I think he’s a good person," Cole said. "I think he’s a really good person and he’s a great player. He’s a guy I’ll never forget. When my career’s done, to the end, that’s a guy I’ll never forget. Just the incredible plays he’s made and what he’s done for the Eagles.

"As a teammate, I think he’s a great guy. He’s always been open to me. I’ve always been open to him. I’ve always talked to him. He’s always talked to me. I consider him one of my brothers. I think he’s a good guy. He has some things in the past that everybody keeps dwelling on. But from my standpoint as a teammate and as a brother to him, I think he’s a good guy."

Connor Barwin wrote a column for The MMQB about the dynamics of the locker room. He has only spent one year with Jackson, but didn't seem to think the wide receiver was a detriment to the culture Kelly is trying to establish.

"I think I’m probably the wrong guy to ask that," Barwin said. "If you guys read my article, I pretty much think everybody fits. You kind of make it work. It matters who the leaders are in the locker room, but obviously we’re all different. He was different in his way, but we won our division, we had no major problems last year. So that’s for those guys in management to decide who fits and about the culture and those kinds of decisions."

Maclin was also asked if Jackson fit the culture.

"I guess. Like I said, they’re trying to do whatever they’re trying to do. That’s what they’re trying to do. I don’t know," he said.

A couple things were clear when talking to the players. One, they have no idea whether Jackson is going to be back or not. And two, no outcome will surprise them.

"Anything is possible in this league," Maclin said. "I think the organization is gonna do what’s best for the organization. Everybody knows DeSean’s a phenomenal talent. But at the end of the day, that’s not a decision that players we get to make or the city gets to make. That’s a decision that the staff gets to make. Whatever they decide to do, with any decision, I think that’s what you’ve gotta believe in. That’s what you have to have faith in."

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  • oreofestar

    Anybody that wants to win wants him back and his teammates have been nothing but supportive this is FO driven

  • Tom w

    Djax is an asset like any other player. If we get proper return for that asset and want to allocate our resources somewhere else, then so be it. It’s not personal. It’s about parades. We already saw the numbers qbs Rbs and wrs put up in this offense in year one. No reason to think other wrs can’t put up similar or close production or a fraction of the cost and maybe less headache. Like the kid but everyone is replaceable and that’s the way a winning program should be run.

  • Will

    It may be the system but DJax’s talent still made it possible…not so sure you plug in a WR and get another 1300 yards…

    • Chip Kelly

      It is the system. Sure DJax has tremendous talents but other players have talent as well. We have a “win the day” mantra around here. This isn’t the NBA (BTW, congrats to the Sixers for tieing the NBA longest losing record! One step closer to Wiggins/Parker!) Anyways, here’s how we get another 1300 yards:

      Sproles: 400 yards (604 last yr)
      Ertz: 500 yards (460 last yr)
      Maclin: 400 yards (0 last yr but 857 in 2012)
      Lee/OBJ/Cooks: BONUS YARDS!

      • TripSquadMonopoly

        Well since Ertz had 460 last year I think you gotta factor that in and get another 1760. Not 1300. Chip the mathematician I thought youd know that.

        • meteorologist

          I thought he was saying Ertz would get 460+500= 960 receiving yards total, thus contributing 500 yards to chip away at the 1300 yard deficit

          • TripSquadMonopoly

            Lol probably. But I don’t see Sproles getting 1000 from scrimmage haha. Cant wait to see the split backfield Chips gonna go to work.

      • John E. Zang

        Bravo! Glad someone gets it. Thought I was the only one who sees his weaknesses outweigh what he brings to the table. I firmly believe in chip and his player evaluation. He’s a mind. Keep in mind he never had the greatest recruits of all at Oregon. Now he has the chance to pick who he wants and that’s not Desean. An explosive, strong receiver will break this offense wide open. Chips been dying to see his plan at the highest level with all the toys.

      • Eagles4Life

        Maybe you guys should take a look at some quantifiable results…

        http://eaglesrewind.com/2014/03/26/more-on-desean/

        • anon

          Yeah there’s seriously confirmation bias — until someone breaks down actual stats.

          And it’s not like he just racked yds, but TDs as well. for a guy that’s 5’10 / 160 – maximizing his talent.

          • Eagles4Life

            Exactly. That’s why I really enjoyed that analysis. It took what we know in football terms and attached values to it. DJacc is an interesting talent. The draft is a crapshoot, you can roll the right numbers or crap out. Don’t know why you’d wanna risk it when you don’t really need to.

        • RIP illa

          It doesn’t matter my dude. You can bring up stats, advanced stats, live games, game tape, all-22, the fact that it’s not about him being irreplaceable but rather not easily replaced, the fact that it’s not about how good we can be without him but rather how much better we can be with him, direct quotes disputing claims of greed, the fact that he has a very good off field persona, direct quotes of support by several teammates, and so on. Yet, a lot of people are gonna play def, dumb, and blind to all of it, including a lot of commenters here, and keep regurgitating the same contrived bull shit, over and over!!!

          Seriously, haters gonna hate. And then they’re gonna lie to you and say it’s not hate!

          • Eagles4Life

            Lol facts only.

          • RIP illa

            Wish they mattered when it came to DJax. Did I leave out how Maclin has never been a better WR??? I could go on and on…lol.

          • Eagles4Life

            Maaaaaan, you’re going to have a lot of angry people replying to you now lol. Have fun with that.

        • Kev_H

          Whoo! Much of that work is cringe inducing. Hopefully the Eagles aren’t doing analysis like that. With the small sample size there aren’t differences of significance here. You see Cooper right up there with Jackson in the stats regarding catch rate on deep balls, which one could interpret as demonstrating that Jackson isn’t all that special or irreplaceable because it’s Cooper. But the author keeps pressing ahead.

          I’m not sure how the stats he’s using don’t get primarily attributed to the QB. It would be impossible for your starting WRs to catch 60% of their deep targets with most QBs, it doesn’t matter who the wideouts are. But he loses me when he bemoans Foles’ supposed lack of arm strength. His combine MPH measurement of 57 MPH puts him right up with the hardest throwers since they’ve started tracking.

          I’m dogging Jackson here- I’m dogging Eagles’ rewind and the stupid approach. With the same numbers you could make the case that: Kelly’s offense is great. Foles is great. Cooper is great. Jackson is great. If Jackson is traded, it will be more about the future and his salary than it is about the past anyway. But that “analysis” is a non-starter without standard deviation and margin of error measures.

          • Eagles4Life

            Lol the guy actually loves Foles. I think that portion was more sarcasm than anything. But even at a base level with just the scatter plot, you can see that hands down DJacc is an outlier when it comes to catching the deep ball and how much we actually throw him the deep ball. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a guy that can impact a game like that, which is backed up by the presence of all the rest of the guys NOT near him on that plot lol.

      • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

        not bad for a run first offense. you left off celek, and pry another 150 yds to random guys like Brad Smith. and re: Ertz and Sproles, those are pretty modest #s

        • caso8

          Point is no one gets all those yards without DJacks drawing double coverages these players ar Andy Rieds plays not chip Kelly’s, so maybe he wants to build his own team, ok. But don’t say Djacks dont forget you resigned the drunk who makes racist, coments so thats the culture he wants??

      • MediaMike

        None of those guys get as open and make anywhere near the number of catches with the yards after catch unless Jackson is dragging two defenders all over the place on every snap.
        Also, Jackson and Foles have never spent a full off-season as starting QB and #1 WR. I’d fully expect an even bigger season out of Jackson / Foles in 2014.

        • anon

          Foles probably spent a lot of time tossing to Riley when they were both second string.

      • dnabrice

        Ertz gets more than 650 this year. He’s going to explode.

  • anon

    It’s good to see teammates coming out for him. He’s not perfect but honestly think this could be a great growing experience for him.

  • ryan shirk

    these are all just attitude checks. I think its great. drawing a line players cant run the payroll

  • DoctorRick

    Do we have a kicker yet?

    • TripSquadMonopoly

      This is the real question. Why cant the Philly media get worked up about getting Henery the F outta here.

  • ohitsdom

    I’m shocked at Maclin’s weak answer. “I want to win games” sounds a lot like Chip’s “we’re going to do what’s best for the team”. Guys, I’m nervous.

    • TripSquadMonopoly

      Yeah I didn’t like that response seeing as hes probably closest with DeSean on the team. Players are allowed to want players back and management is allowed to not care. It actually seems like Maclin could care less or tried to be waay too PC.

    • meteorologist

      “I guess. Like I said, they’re trying to do whatever they’re trying to do. That’s what they’re trying to do. I don’t know,” he said.

    • chloroformdreams

      To be fair, Mac is in as precarious a position as anyone on the team. This draft and DJac’s departure affect him as much as anyone, so I think we should feel obligated to take anything he says with a grain of salt.

  • mike

    What do you expect his team mates to say about him in the media?

  • DoctorRick

    There’s just so much we don’t know and may never learn. On the surface this should be cut and dry. He had a great season and is clearly a talent. His price is high but not unattainable, as far as we know, but we don’t know the numbers. His attitude has previously been a concern but he practiced and played hard last season, and his team mates recognize that.
    So where’s the hitch. Either this is a slam dunk and we extend him, or his price is not right, or there are some other unpublished issues we don’t know about.
    Did I miss anything?

    • John E. Zang

      If you read between the lines it sounds like a lot of guys in the locker room aren’t that close to him. They sound like they’re just pitching the standard politically correct statement. I think he has some personal issues that they aren’t fond of combined with a bad attitude, inconsistent work ethic, and a big contract if you ask me. Add the fact there’s an epic draft for WR’s and his lack of ideal size and you have the current situation.

      • TripSquadMonopoly

        Yeah spot on. Got that same impression.

      • IAteLunchToday

        You’re not reading between the lines between the lines. They realize that if they do not toe the line then they, too, will be on the trade block.

        • John E. Zang

          I realize they can’t lobby for him and make a big deal but it seems quite obvious that no one really knows the dude. He doesn’t strike you as a guy who keeps to himself a little too much? The dude looks downright depressed all the time. That is on camera.

          • IAteLunchToday

            I was more just trying to joke a little. But really, these are their jobs. Making public statements about what your bosses are doing would be kind of stressful I would think. If I were them I would give non-answers even if the guy was my friend.

  • anon

    DRC is going to be a lockdown corner next year — i’m excited to watch him not tackle people.

  • southy

    This is silly. You need both. You need a great system, and you need great talent. When those two work together, you win games. LOTS of games. Have a headache? They got pills for that at cvs.

  • Rob

    I sincerely hope that the reason we’ve seen this string of insipid, way-below-normal-utility articles is that some wonk in philly mag’s advertising department is insistent that this wonderful, awesome blog defy the ordinary rules of seasonality and not have a downswing in traffic in the middle of the offseason.

    Sheil, you and Tim are way better than this. Please stop talking about this story and start talking about…I dunno…maybe some all-22 footage of some possible draft targets? Maybe a discussion of Ralph Wilson’s impact on the game? Please, anything other than these non-stories that add nothing to the debate.

    • GEAGLE

      I still want an All 22 of how lamicheal James was used as Oregon. His nickname at the time was “Baby Sproles”..might give us an idea of how the real Sproles would be used…

      If you really start to breakdown our defensive schemes and what we ask of our safeties, people would realize why Malcom Jenkins makes sense…I wanted Byrd for two years, then I really started to watch how we used our safeties and it was obvious Malcolm was going to be our target, and they are not blowing smoke up our ass! Malcolm is really who we wanted, he confirmed it when he spoke about how soon we contacted him during the process…you don’t go after a player hard, the moment the negotiation period starts, if you actually want Byrd…if Malcom wasn’t exactly who we wanted he wouldn’t have been signed til after Byrd signed…

      As bad as I wanted Byrd I realizes a centerfielder isn’t what this scheme requires….Ward would have been a much better fit for what we do then Byrd…I would have liked to pair Ward and Jenkins and have been really set at safety, but Jenkins was a quality signing for us that is going to really improve our secondary..

      Btw, have people figured out yet that our coach really Iikes our starting CBs? Cary is getting restructured next year

      • DoctorRick

        Just going by memory here but I watched every one of those Duck games during the LaMichael era. That was when the IZR and OZR was tearing up teams. LaMichael looked like a pinball bouncing off defenders. You had a good view of what Chip lets show here now and then – basic plays out of different formations and plenty of packaged plays. You could still find them on Fishduck archives, I think.
        Can you explain what you mean by Jenkins’ style being a better fit than Byrd wrt how we use our safeties?

      • Jerry Pomroy

        Cary will be restructured only if they cannot find his long term replacement. He’ll be 30 before season’s end & it looks like they might prefer guys like Fletch & Carroll’s skill-set, over Cary’s.

        I don’t know if you were asking for an All-22 on Jenkins, but Sheil did that. Sounds more like you wanted one on last year’s secondary and use of safeties. That would be somewhat irrelevant as they backed those guys up to compensate in getting beat over the top & keep plays in front of them. But I think I get what you mean as to whether we used a single high versus more of a cover 2. That’s an easy answer, it was cover 2 & also some cover 3. One guy played deeper than the other, but not as a single deep safety, except in S blitzes.

  • djack10

    I thought DeSean 2013 version looked like one of the hardest working players on the team. Downfield blocking (well, what he can do with his size), maximum attempts on his screens, even a few plays where he fought defenders for the ball. He seemed to be much more engaged with Kelly running the show. Even the Minny game with his blow up, his intensity level was as high as ever.
    Agree? Or am I only seeing what I want to see?

    • Jerry Pomroy

      I think he showed more effort and being engaged last year.

      What I think people need to rationalize is that maybe Kelly just wants a different type of receiver. Instead of the little burner, maybe he wants to sacrifice a little speed for more size. If I remember correctly, it took Kelly a game or two to adapt his personnel in order to beat the press coverage on DeSean, with 8 guys in the box crashing in on Shady. I don’t think that sat well with Kelly and it’s possible that he just wants a guy that can get off the line and fight through the press. Not being able to get off the line just deflates your offense & could get your QB killed. I think Kelly prefers versatility for a reason. That being to lessen or even eliminate weakness. Not just versatility in the different places a guy can play, but in the things the guy can do. Less peaks and valleys so to speak, and more balanced. I think Kelly would rather have both of his WRs gain 1,000yds and score 10 TDs each. Rather than 1,300 & 800. Based on this reasoning, keeping DeSean then just doesn’t make sense, at the numbers he’s making, labeled technically as your 3rd WR. So it just comes down to preference and money.

  • John E. Zang

    I don’t think Deseans a bad person but I get the feeling he’s “troubled”. He doesn’t seem like he enjoys himself despite making millions playing a game. I’m talking about personal issues which makes him a not so good teammate and effects his ability to be a consistent football player. Not pretending to know him, but through all the media outlets, put simply, I think the dude may have depressive issues. Every time he’s around a camera it seems like he’s never having fun (not including TD celebrations) always has this look like his whole family died. Bless him if I’m right but there’s just no way this dude isn’t carrying around too much baggage.

    • GEAGLE

      I can’t stand when people write crap like this with no facts for being able to make this statement…..it would be like me talking about what type of person you are…how the hell should I know?

      MOmday Desean was taking underprivaledged children raised by single mothers on a shopping spree
      ..
      Tuesday he was visiting schools to talk about Bullying

      Last week he was on Joan Rivers show…
      ….
      Not exactly the behavior I expect from someone with an alleged “thug life” tattoo on his forehead

      • John E. Zang

        Never said what type of person he is. I simply stated, from afar and in my OPINION it seems like he may be dealing with mental health issues. I don’t know this, and I never mentioned anything about being a “thug”. You read what you wanted to read. The dude doesn’t look like he enjoys what he does and he strikes me as a bit of a loner. Doesn’t seem like he has much in the way of a family life either. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if he’s dealing with depression.

  • anon

    Some great analysis by EaglesRewind

    http://eaglesrewind.com/

  • MediaMike

    What has Maclin every accomplished compared to DeSean Jackson? Maclin is an ok reciever, but he might want to actually accomplish something on his own before he starts talking about the 2nd most decorated football player on our team after Jason Peters.
    Maclin is a self-serving piece of human trash. His lukewarm comments about Jackson on the team are merely a cheerleading effort on his own part to increase his own number of targets.

    • Ark87

      You don’t think “self-serving piece of human trash” is a wee bit strong for a for a guy at the charity event being bum rushed by reporters on a topic he clearly doesn’t have a strong opinion one way or another?

  • Dominik

    “Asked if he wants Jackson back, Maclin said: “I want to win games and obviously DeSean is a very talented player. So I want to win games.”

    “I guess. Like I said, they’re trying to do whatever they’re trying to do. That’s what they’re trying to do. I don’t know,” he said.”

    I want a rhetoric seminar from this guy.

  • Dilwala_G

    Wow, maclin doesn’t sound like he likes Desean very much. Why don’t these guys have PR coaches – all maclin had to say was “desean’s a great talent and I like him and would be happy if he stays but the organization makes that call and we will roll with it”. Is that so hard?

    • GEAGLE

      I got the same odd impression, especially when you read his other quotes comparing this to losing TO

      • Dilwala_G

        Crazy, wildly-irresponsible speculation #1,001 – Eagles think Maclin is going to be the greatest alpha-dog receiver in Eagles history under Chip’s scheme and anticipate locker room troubles between him and DJax when that starts happening and so are trying to “sell high” and get some draft compensation before that problem materializes. Ok, that sounds dumb even as I am typing it, but how is that any different from every other rationalization we’ve heard?

      • Ark87

        I’ve had that impression before in previous years. I guess the expectation was always for me, early on was you got the hot shot speedster on one side, and a talented 1st round receiver on the other, man they must be like Mav and Goose! Turns out they’re more like Mav and Ice. I think there’s a respect there, and a professionalism between the 2, haven’t gotten the impression that they were friends.

  • GEAGLE

    Curious as to why Maclins quote comparing losing Desean to losing TO situation wasn’t added?

    If Desean hasn’t talked to Mac, Avant is gone, who the hell are these “teammates that he called to tell that he is staying”?

    • Scott Gregory

      great question

  • Brent E. Sulecki

    the sound bite on WIP this morning was waay different from Cole. Herremans. and Maclin quote by Jclarke

    • Rage114

      Please expound.

      • Brent E. Sulecki

        do I really need to? check on twitter under WIP im sure they will be there. the maclin quote is by JclarkeCSN…just seems his teammates aren’t backing him. which in the NFL is not the norm.

        • Rage114

          You said “sound bite”. I assumed the audio version of the quotes led you to believe something different than the written quotes.

  • anon

    Here’s the Herreman’s quote from WIP:

    “I’d love for DeSean to be here. I think he’s a tremendous asset to our team,” Herremans told CSN Philly’s John Clark. “But you know, I
    also think that no one on our team or on our roster is irreplaceable,”
    he continued. “So if it happened that he wasn’t here, I think we would
    be just fine.”

    “I’m sure there’s more things in play,” Herremans, the nine-year Eagles
    veteran guard, said. “I know that he’s supposed to make a lot of money this year, you know, but I also know that our system is a system that
    can supposedly plug in a fast guy into that position and have our system
    still work. DeSean is going to be a hard guy to replace, but like I
    said, I don’t think anyone is irreplaceable.”

    Maclin:

    “I mean, I guess. Like I said, if they’re trying to do whatever they’re
    trying to do, that’s what they’re trying to do,” Maclin told Clark. “So I
    don’t know.”

    • Brent E. Sulecki

      last part of my post was audio played by WIP from Herremans.

  • Brent E. Sulecki

    cole :As long as I been with the Eagles changes have to be made for us to be successful and the Eagles are doing what they have to do to create a culture on this team and also create a team that’s gonna be successful and a team that is gonna take us to a Super Bowl,” Cole said.

    asked about if desean is part of the culture maclin said: “I mean, I guess. Like I said, if they’re trying to do whatever they’re trying to do, that’s what they’re trying to do,” Maclin told Clark. “So I don’t know.”

    herremans: I’d love for DeSean to be here. I think he’s a tremendous asset to our team,” Herremans told CSN Philly’s John Clark. “But you know, I also think that no one on our team or on our roster is irreplaceable,” he continued. “So if it happened that he wasn’t here, I think we would be just fine.”

    herremans also said im sure something else is in the works. and I know he makes a lot of money. but in our system you can put a speed guy in there and do the same thing. that’s the way it is

  • Msg2

    The Eagles front office has sown the seeds of locker room discord. No team in the history of sports has all players loving each other with the exact same intensity. Its a shame that the front office, (Mr Chips), has created an ill-timed and unnecessary distraction. Maclin and Jackson are sibling rivals. They always have been and its no big deal. Again, this episode was really botched. Moving Jackson would be foolish.

  • John J. King

    I keep thinking that this is all a big mind game being played on DJax. He’s a PIA in many ways because of his immaturity and one way to spike that is to make him reconsider his self worth. Rumors of possible trades, then rumors that his value is weak on the market, followed by a reassuring phone call? Maybe I’m wrong and he’s gone on draft day but this looks like a set up.

  • d

    So we resign a racist and release one of our best play makers why?

  • Mark F

    WTF is this? Oh boo hoo who misses DeSean? This isn’t sports journalism and has nothing to do with the 2014 Eagles. The Philly sports media needs to stop whining and pushing the “letting DJax go was a mistake” agenda, it’s getting really old, really fast.