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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — DeSean Jackson looks and appears to be a different man than he was five years ago. For one, he’s the father of two. Secondly, he’s also 32, a little older and it seems he’s far wiser than he was when he was originally with the Eagles.
So, it was actually good to see Jackson becoming an Eagle again.
He’ll certainly be a plus to the receiving corps.
His 18.9 yards per reception led the NFL last year. His defense-stretch speed will definitely make life easier for Carson Wentz. Last year, Alshon Jeffery led the Eagles’ regulars with 13 yards per catch.
Jackson openly addressed how he’s different from the player that first came to Philadelphia in 2008 to the person he is today.
“It was kind of hard to get a hold of that at a young age,” Jackson admitted. “You have to go through things in life in order to mature. I just feel like now, I have a family, I have kids. I do everything for them. I just think about what’s the legacy I want to leave when I’m gone, what do I want people to say about me?
“The best thing I can say is that I put it all on the line for my teammates, my family, and my coaches. Just being accountable, coming to work every day and putting your best foot forward.”
Since Jackson departed in 2014, they’ve tried to find a deep threat to replace him. Torrey Smith couldn’t catch and Mike Wallace couldn’t stay healthy. But there are some issues. Though Jackson may be more mature, he’s more brittle. He hasn’t played a complete 16-game schedule since 2013. He hasn’t caught more than 60 passes in a season since 2013. He’s caught for more than 800 yards once in the last four years, in 2016 for the Redskins, when he played in 15 games.
If he stays healthy, Jackson, whose previous undoing in Philadelphia may have had more to do with Chip Kelly than anything annoying he did, could spell new dimensions to the Eagles’ offense that haven’t been witnessed before with Wentz.
For now, Jackson and the Eagles are saying all of the right things and everyone in Eaglesland is holding hands and singing kumbaya.
“The best I can say is that you move forward in your life,” Jackson said. “After every step you take, you can’t go backward.”