Philadelphia, PA (CBS) — It seems as if DeSean Jackson never really embraced Chip Kelly’s innovative sports science system, nor Kelly himself, according to a number of sources. Whereas everyone else appeared to buy into what Kelly was preaching, Jackson at times wasn’t in lockstep with the group. The two always seemed to be at odds with each other.
Jackson topped off his career-breaking season by blowing off Kelly for his exit interview, possibly the only Eagle to do so, according to several sources.
As for the Eagles’ official silence, they’ve actually spoken volumes:
When Michael Vick left the Eagles, Eagles’ chairman Jeffrey Lurie released a short statement:
“I want to personally wish Michael Vick and his family all the best as he heads into the next phase of his career in New York. I really enjoyed getting to know him over the last five years. He always represented our team with a tremendous amount of class. Michael was a great teammate, a great leader and we’re thankful for everything he provided to our organization and to our community.”
When Jason Avant was released by the Eagles, this was Lurie’s comment:
“There have not been any players who have represented the Philadelphia Eagles with more class and dignity than Jason Avant. Whether it was in the locker room, on the playing field or in the community, he has always been a true professional, a role model and a winner every step of the way. On behalf of the entire organization, I wish Jason and his wife, Stacy, and their two daughters nothing but the best as he continues his fine career.”
When the Eagles released Jackson on March 28, after six seasons, Lurie made no comment. Instead, this was their terse reply:
“After careful consideration over this offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles have decided to part ways with DeSean Jackson. The team informed him of his release today.”
Jackson received no well wishes from Lurie.
Apparently, Andy Reid was able to get through to Jackson. But when Reid left, and with the death of his father, Bill, who succumbed to pancreatic cancer on May 14, 2009, Jackson in a sense lost two father figures. Then he was asked to deal with something completely different in Kelly, who in rebuilding a 4-12 team had no time to coddle. By then, an argument could be made, Jackson was a wandering soul without any anchors. When Vick and Avant, two Jackson nursemaids, left the Eagles, it appeared a foregone conclusion that Jackson would be gone, too.
Kelly doesn’t deal with conjecture or drama. He’s direct. He’s passionate. And intolerant of nonsense. Call him a genial Bill Belichick.
Joe Santoliquito is a contributing sports blogger for CBS Philly.