DeSean Jackson used words like “accountable,” “camaraderie” and “competition” when describing the Eagles’ offseason in an exclusive interview with Laces Out. Kind of a different tone than was expected from a player whose team finished 4-12 in 2012 while occupying the basement of the NFC East.
Jackson has been busy this offseason getting familiar with new head coach Chip Kelly, who takes over after Andy Reid was ousted after 14 seasons. Kelly brings a new energy to Philadelphia and is very meticulous in how he wants his players spending their time in the team facility. Jackson thinks the coach’s new philosophy suits him very well, especially on the field.
“The sky is the limit,” Jackson said during a video shoot for T-Mobile’s Simple Choice campaign. “I have the ability to be able to be moved around, so the sky is the limit. I’m looking forward to having a great season.”
Jackson finished the 2012 season on the injured-reserve list, but noted that he is back to 100 percent.
“I haven’t taken too much time off with the injury I suffered last year,” said Jackson, who missed the last month of the season after suffering fractured ribs. “I’m really just trying to get healthy, get back and get in the best shape. I’ve been working my way to getting back in peak shape and I think I’m there right now.”
A new coach. A new mindset. A new mentality in Philly. This team will be sure not to make any bold proclamations — Dream Team! — like the one that doomed them two seasons ago. Don’t believe it? The Eagles’ mercurial wide receiver was an open book in a recent Q-and-A with Laces Out, but made sure to not make any headlines.
As far as individual goals, what are you looking at in 2013?
“I don’t really focus too much on stats. I just try to do everything I can to help my team win games. As long as we are competing and playing at a high level, that’s what my goals are. As far as stats go, those things will come depending on how the season goes. But I just want to go out there and help my team win games.”
How about a Super Bowl guarantee, DeSean?
“I’m not going to guarantee that, but I will guarantee that we will go out there and have a great season. I think a lot of heads will be turned on the Eagles. At the end of the day that’s our common goal and that’s what we want to do. We’re definitely going to go out there and give it our best shot.”
Is there a QB controversy brewing in Philly? Who gives the Eagles the best chance to win?
“No, I don’t think so. I think it’s a very good thing that we have quarterbacks who are willing to compete. Matt Barkley did some great things in college. Nick Foles, too. Dennis Dixon is along with us. So talent is right where we need to be and training camp the competition level should be good.”
Is that what you really believe or are you just saying that?
“Well, as far as Michael Vick, he’s been an established quarterback in the NFL. But then Vick got hurt. I guess I will say, it’s really up in the air because honestly there is some great talent and once training camp is on and crackin’ in the crucial moments, we won’t really be able to define that. But I definitely think they all have great intangibles to go out there.”
Have you been communicating a lot with Chip this offseason?
“Oh yeah, definitely. When I’m here working out and being accountable. I’m just trying to be here for my team and like I say, it’s important to build that camaraderie now, so that’s a good thing. As far as the mentality and the players in the locker room, the mindset is good and everyone is working toward one common goal.”
How do you think the Eagles handled the head coaching change?
“It was just sad to see it go to an end like that, but you know I wouldn’t say he [Andy Reid] lost the team. There just comes a time when people move on, teams and organizations move on. I think it was that time for that situation to be departed. I appreciate him for the opportunity he gave me.”
The Eagles continue to make steps in the right direction and getting their veteran wide receiver on board was a priority. Jackson has clearly bought into Kelly’s system. But in all honesty, who wouldn’t?