A SPECIAL HOMECOMING
DeSEAN JACKSON IS ONE OF THE MOST ELECTRIFYING PLAYMAKERS IN NFL HISTORY
BY DAVE SPADARO, EAGLES INSIDER
From the moment he walked into the
NovaCare Complex this past March,
DeSean Jackson has had a smile on his
face. Everything is just as it was for Jackson
when he was an Eagle the first time around,
from 2008 to 2013, and at the same time,
things are so very much different.
The Eagles have a Lombardi Trophy in
the trophy case situated in the building’s
lobby. Doug Pederson is the head coach.
More than half of the players in the locker
room who were here before Jackson was
unceremoniously released on March 28,
2014 by former head coach Chip Kelly are
no longer in Philadelphia.
But when the Eagles made a trade
with Tampa Bay five years after he left
Philadelphia to bring Jackson back to his
NFL roots, everything seemed OK again.
He pushed open the door of the NovaCare
Complex and all of the “good” came
rushing back and tears welled in his eyes
and he knew everything was going to be
just fine once again.
“Coming back here and seeing so many
familiar faces and knowing my way around,
from that very first step, it’s been just
wonderful,” Jackson says. “I’m so happy to
be embraced by the team and by the fans.
It’s special to be wanted. This is where I
belong. It’s great to be back.”
Jackson is back, and in a big, big way.
The Eagles wanted him not for the
sentimentality of the moment, but for
the impact he is expected to make in an
offense that had just about everything
except for that very special something that
Jackson brings to the field.
“He’s got the kind of speed that causes a
lot of problems for a defense,” quarterback
Carson Wentz says. “He’s going to open
things up down the field because you
have to make sure you don’t let him take
the top off the coverage. Because of his
speed and the attention he gets from the
secondary, DeSean is going to maybe take
some attention away from some of the
underneath stuff, so that could open up for
other guys in the passing game and in the
“He’s just such a dynamic player. He’s
special, he really is.”
How special? Consider these numbers ...
• Jackson owns the record for the
most 60-plus-yard touchdowns (24) in
• His 29 touchdowns of 50-plus yards are
second in league history behind Jerry
• He ranks sixth all time in yards per
reception (17.4) (min. 500 receptions).
• The three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver
is fifth in career receiving yards (10,261)
among active players.
• Jackson’s 36 career games with 100-
plus receiving yards are the third most
among active NFL players, behind Julio
Jones (49) and Antonio Brown (42).
“Everything he does forces a defense
to account for him,” center Jason Kelce
says. “That kind of speed and dynamic
ability is rare. There are some fast guys
who just can’t make plays on a consistent
basis. DeSean does it all. He’s a force on
It’s going to be interesting to see how the
Eagles incorporate Jackson into an offense
that has so many playmaking pieces.
Defenses can’t concentrate their efforts on
Jackson with receivers like Alshon Jeffery
and Nelson Agholor also on the field. The
coaching staff can also elect to go with two
tight ends like Pro Bowl player Zach Ertz
and second-year man Dallas Goedert, both
of whom are tough matchups. And in the
running game, the mix of Jordan Howard
and rookie Miles Sanders is promising.
Jackson adds to an already potent mix.
“I’m here to win football games and
do anything I can to help the Eagles
win,” Jackson says. “If that means I’m a
featured receiver then I’ll be that guy. If it’s
somebody else’s turn, that’s fine. I’ll do my
job. I’ve accomplished a lot in my career
and I understand how it works here. I just
want to love the game and win football
games. That’s my job here.”
A second-round draft pick in 2008, Jackson
quickly became a dominating player as a
receiver and occasional return man. His
speed has not diminished in a career that
is now, remarkably, in its 12th season at
5-10, 175 pounds.
Sometimes, great things come in
2019 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES GAMEDAY MAGAZINE 25