Aug 272010

Eagles WR DeSean Jackson

August 26 Philadelphia Inquirer

DeSean Jackson, the Eagles’ most dazzling star but also one of the quietest in recent months, said Wednesday he is focusing on football, and indicated that he is trying to leave potential distractions aside.

As revelations go, it wasn’t much, but his four minutes in front of cameras and recorders marked the first time Jackson has spoken to the local media for more than a few moments since skipping the final week of the Eagles’ voluntary practices in June.

“I’m just here to play football,” Jackson said when asked about his media silence. “All that other stuff, I could care less about.”

Jackson didn’t specify what he meant by the “other stuff,” but it seemed clear he was trying to put aside the questions about his contract that would have come up had he chosen to address the media before now.

Jackson said the hamstring that had given him trouble Tuesday was fine. He gave a vote of confidence to new quarterback Kevin Kolb, providing just a glimpse of the mind-set of the Eagles‘ most dangerous player 21/2 weeks before the regular season opens.

Jackson spoke while standing in front of his locker, wearing a powder-blue Kansas City Royals hat as he faced a swarm of cameras and recorders.

For a player of his importance, Jackson has received relatively little attention in the lead-up to this season, a result of both his own media embargo and an early training-camp injury that kept him off the field and out of the spotlight.

But an ankle-breaking run (for defenders) in the first quarter of the team’s first preseason game, followed by a four-catch, 74-yard performance in one half in game two, has reaffirmed Jackson’s status as the best among a class of talented Eagles receivers.

His performance has been so strong that coaches are wrestling with whether to keep using him as a punt returner, and get the ball in his hands a few extra times each game, or take that job away to protect him from potential injury.

Jackson, who last year said he wanted to catch 100 passes, declined to set out any similar aims for 2010.

“I’m not doing that this year. I could care less about all of that,” he said. “I’m here to win games and to be a team player and to do everything I can to encourage my guys [to] go out there and just be successful and win games, that’s all I care about.”

Kolb took that as a sign of Jackson’s maturity.

“Once you’re established, like he is in the NFL, everybody knows he’s a great player,” Kolb said. “As you get older in age and you’ve been around for a long time you realize that, man, when those team goals come, all the personal accolades come with it. And all that matters in this deal is winning a Super Bowl, and all the rest is going to come with that.””

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