September 10 Philadelphia Daily News:
“DeSean Jackson said yesterday he doesn’t spend a lot of time thinking about the fact that he is now the franchise’s marquee player. The 2008 second-round pick has raced against Shaq on reality TV and appears in a national Nike commercial, in which he inquires about the ingestion of hummus. His oversized fabric image has replaced that of Donovan McNabb, draped over a section of Lincoln Financial Field.
“It’s cool to accept that role . . . It’s still a huge responsibility for myself to go out there, even on days when I’m not feeling good, or whatever it is, I still have to go out there and put everything aside and say, ‘I can’t worry about personal issues,’ [like, say, the contract revision that still hasn’t happened] I have to go out here and do everything for the team, you know, kind of rally the guys,” Jackson said. “That’s what coach [Andy] Reid loves me to do, rally the guys, get the momentum going, just be myself.
“It’s a blessing for me to be able to get my face out there, for people to see what kind of personality I have, just to know I’m human, down-to-earth like anybody else. That’s how I enjoy it – it’s good to be at home, hear my friends say they see commercials, that kind of stuff.”
The plan is for Jackson to remain the Eagles‘ punt returner, after he made the Pro Bowl both there and at wideout, despite the risk of injury to his 5-10, 175-pound frame. Of course, unlike Brian Westbrook, who was the primary returner for just one year, Jackson doesn’t play a position where he figures to get more than a dozen touches without adding in the punts.
“They still want me to do it, and that’s something I’ve always loved to do, since I’ve been younger,” Jackson said. “Sometimes it gets a little tiring to go from punt return straight to offense, but besides that, I don’t really worry about the injury part. Playing football, it’s a risk every time you go out on the field. Sometimes I might be a little out of breath [from the transition], but you just gotta deal with it.””
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