It’s like he never left. After spending 11 days holding out from the beginning of Eagles training camp, DeSean Jackson finally suited up and took the field Saturday morning.
While it was speculated he may not practice for real until he gets his new deal, that doesn’t seem to be the case, with DeSean fully engaged. Like the Eagles as a whole, he appears to be all in.
“It felt good to get back in the swing of things, you know, my teammates were happy to have me back,” Jackson said after practice, per csnphilly.com. “We just gotta get everything on the run. My legs feeling good, you know, I’m feeling fresh . . . just ready to get back out there man and be a contributor to my team.”
On the field, Jackson immediately showed why he’s worth big money, running all over the place and catching everything that came his way, with the crowd at one point chanting “Pay DeSean!” It’s obviously just practice, but Jackson’s speed, agility, and burst cannot be taught.
And it’s not like he was matching up against Dimitri Patterson. DeSean is lining up across from some serious talent at corner, and it sounds like he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“For a wide receiver, it’s honestly good for myself going against Nnamdi [Asomugha], [Dominique Rodgers-]Cromartie, Asante [Samuel],” Jackson said. “It really doesn’t get any better than that with top three corners like that.”
DeSean matched up a lot against Samuel, himself a heavy topic of discussion due to swirling trade rumors.
“Asante’s a Pro Bowl cornerback and anytime I get to go against him, it’s a great opportunity,” Jackson said. “I like to work on my game just as well as he likes to go against me, because he probably won’t face any receivers as fast as me, and we’re able to get in some good work against each other. It’s great for me to improve. All that helps toward my game. Couple more days to keep working and get ready for the next preseason game.”
Covering DeSean, Asante didn’t look like a Pro Bowler, going so far at one point to yell to the fans watching, “I just let him catch those so he’d feel better after what happened last year.”
Eagles head coach Andy Reid decided to let Samuel slide a little though via praise for DeSean.
“He’s got fresh legs compared to the other guys who are tired. He always has a little bounce in his step anyway,” Reid said, per philly.com. “He’s got that great speed, and the nice part is that you can tell he’s been working. He was able to function at a high level out here and that’s a plus.”
Even Jackson’s teammates were impressed.
“That was fun to watch,” tight end Clay Harbor said. “He came out today and looked like he didn’t miss a beat. Caught the ball well, showed his great burst — it was exciting to see him back out there. It really brought a lift to the offense.”
Hopefully the Eagles will now reward Jackson with a contract commensurate with his skills as one of the most dynamic gamebreakers in the NFL.
Check out some of DeSean’s amazing quicks via the video below, courtesy of csnphilly.com.
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