Tag:DeSean Jackson
Posted on: September 17, 2010 8:27 am
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Week 2 Key Matchup: defending Michael Vick

Posted by Andy Benoit

It usually takes a national holiday to inspire Americans to watch a Lions game. This week, however, a lot of eyes will be on Motown with football fans tuning in for Michael Vick’s expected starting debut as the Eagles quarterback. Vick looked like the Vick of old in Philadelphia’s second half loss to Green Bay. His electrifying athleticism is back. So how will Detroit defend him?M. Vick (US Presswire)

The short answer: with zone coverage. Zone defense, whether it’s traditional Cover 2 with cornerbacks guarding the flats and safeties covering the deep middle, or Quarters with each of the four defensive backs taking ¼ of the field, is the obvious tactic against a mobile quarterback because it allows defenders to see all of the action in front of them. In man coverage, defenders must follow the receiver and turn their back to the ball. When teams see man coverage, they often design their routes simply to clear out defenders against the run (FYI, Sean Payton happens to be a genius with this tactic). You obviously can’t leave that kind of open field for Vick.

Thus, look for Detroit to strictly play zone defense Sunday. (For what’s it worth, you can tell what type of coverage defenders, especially linebackers, are playing by how they take their first step. A first step towards the line of scrimmage usually indicates man coverage; a first step backing away from the line of scrimmage indicates zone.)

Chances are, even without Vick, the Lions would have played a lot of zone against the Eagles anyway. Reason being, the Lions cornerbacks simply don’t have the speed or agility to handle the quickness of DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Because the way to beat Jackson is with physicality at the line of scrimmage, and because Lions corner Chris Houston is ineffective when he’s not physical, don’t be surprised if Houston and company try to get a jam on the Eagle receivers before dropping into their zone. This will not only disrupt the timing of the routes, but it will also disguise some of the defensive looks for Vick. You have to figure Vick will be a tad rusty in his reads, given that he hasn’t had a team game-plan specifically against him in roughly three years.

Last week, once Vick entered the game, the Packers secondary employed some of the purest zone coverages known to football.

However, the Packers remained aggressive with their front seven blitz tactics. This flustered Philly’s passing game at times, but whenever Vick was able to flee the pocket and get outside the widest defender, he found plenty of open space to eat up (hence his 103 yards rushing). The Lions can’t afford to yield those kind of running lanes.

Don’t be surprised if Detroit shadows Vick with a linebacker. Using a shadow linebacker can be expensive in coverage, but it’s not like Vick scans the field with the quickness of a Manning or a Brees. A shadowing linebacker doesn’t just provide a fulltime potential tackler against the quarterback, it also forces him to scramble outside, where the sideline can act as a 12th defender. When Vick was a Falcon, no team defended his running better than Bucs. The Bucs were a zone-based team (Tampa 2) that used their fast linebackers to shadow and force Vick outside.

The Lions used Landon Johnson and Julian Peterson as their nickel linebackers in Week 1; of the two, the versatile and athletic Peterson would make the best shadow option. In base packages, middle linebacker DeAndre Levy, who did not play in Week 1, is Detroit’s best athlete, though coaches may want Levy focused on attacking downhill.

Keeping Vick’s scrambling in check is a tall order. The Lions, with their iffy back seven personnel, will need a dominant performance from Ndamukong Suh and company just to have shot. At least the blueprint is clear.


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Posted on: August 28, 2010 9:28 am
 

Hot Routes 8.28.10: Good News, Bad News

Posted by Will Brinson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Follow us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) or send an email to will [dot] brinson [at] cbsinteractive [dot] com.

Fellow Blogger Fantasy Football League member (and Football Outsiders overlord as well as a really swell guy) Aaron Schatz got the hook-up from the NFL to show the official video of the NFL's rule changes . Check it.

Just how important is DeSean Jackson to the Eagles? Well, as the Eagletarian mentions , the offense went to a pile of mess when Jackson left with injury, so that should be a good clue. Of course, maybe it was just Kansas City's, um, vaunted defense? Not good times.

The Finsider points out that it's "good news-bad news" re: the Dolphins starting cornerbacks. Vontae Davis was "outstanding" while Jason Allen "proved … he is not an NFL starting cornerback." Harsh words, but it's important, especially if you're one of those idiots who picked the Dolphins to finish ahead of the Jets in the AFC East. /raises hand

One of my favorite interwebs spots, Cat Scratch Reader, notes that the third preseason game enerally provides a good indication as to how well the Panthers will do in the coming season.

The Rams have to be pleased with everything outside of the loss of Donnie Avery -- Turf Show Times says that the play of Jason Smith and Roger Saffold, for different reasons, is also encouraging, particularly in relation to how the combination of "Sam Bradford + Saffold" >>>>> "Russell Okung + Jimmy Clausen." Or something.

Some mildly tangential football news, in that Dan Steinberg discusses where Stephen Strasburg's injury stacks up against the all-time worst for DC Sports -- the chief comparison is that of Joe Theismann when Lawrence Taylor wrecked his life and forced us into bad football broadcasting and, eventually, a crappy movie rendition of a great Michael Lewis book.

Well, well, la-ti-da. Doesn't Chicago just have sooooo many trophies from professional sports teams ? Actually, as the only town to own all four major trophies over the past 25 years, all the owners got together and had a big party where they made fun of the Cubs and then cracked jokes about whether or not anyone would bother hiring Lovie Smith next season.

Our old pal SbB brings to light information that should totally remind everyone in Los Angeles: UR NOT GETTIN' OUR SOUTHERN FOOTBALL. Actually, Brooks ends the post optimistically, but let me tell you what, if they take football from Jacksonville, Thanksgivings are going to be REALLY awkward for my family. No offense, cousins and such.

Zerkle's rundown of Peyton Manning's issues with the umpire is worth it if only for the Madden '11 photoshop.

Haters gonna hate all they want, but Gregg Rosenthal still managed to work up a positive piece about LaDainian Tomlinson at PFT. It's logical too, because, well, as much we all suddenly want LdT to fail miserably, the good news is that he's not as awful as Willie Parker. Careers fade fast when you're from Clinton, NC, son.
Posted on: August 27, 2010 9:57 pm
 

'Guls' Jackson and Cole, Chiefs' Charles injured

Posted by Will Brinson

Not a great game for anyone involved in the Chiefs - Eagles game on Friday night -- Kevin Kolb's first half was "meh" to say the least, the Chiefs appeared turnover prone, and Jamaal Charles, Trent Cole and DeSean Jackson left the game with an injury.

Jackson caught a four-yard screen pass from Kevin Kolb on the Eagles' first play from scrimmage (which followed a Charles fumble that was recovered by Cole) and got absolutely rocked by rookie safety Eric Berry. It was one of those hits where you see the ballcarrier headed to the ground, see a red flash come flying and then hear a noise on the television that creates a reaction loud enough to make the people in the other room wonder what you accidentally stabbed yourself with.

Jackson actually left with an "upper back injury " -- and will not return -- but it probably has something to do with Berry compressing his spine -- when you hear the hit tomorrow on replay, you'll know what I'm talking about.

Cole left later and while he won't return, the X-rays on his ankle were negative, which is certainly good news for the Eagles.

The Chiefs got even better news: according to Josh Looney of Chiefs Insider , Charles -- who hurt his elbow in what our own Dave Richard referred to as a "serious" looking injury -- is "back out and in full uniform on sidelines" to begin the second half.

So, good for the Chiefs, temporarily bad for the Eagles, although there's always the chance that neither injury ends up being too serious. We'll keep you updated as we hear more.

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Posted on: August 25, 2010 4:29 pm
Edited on: August 25, 2010 4:30 pm
 

DeSean Jackson breaks long silence

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Eagles WR DeSean Jackson hasn’t spent much time talking to the media this training camp. And by “hasn’t spent much time” I mean he’s declined from making comments on just about everything.

So, when he talks, it’s somewhat newsworthy.

"I'm just here to play football," Jackson told reporters, including the Philadelphia Inquirer, breaking his long silence. "All that other stuff, I could care less about, I have a job to do."

OK, that quote wasn’t especially newsworthy. But he did mention that despite his want of a new contract, he’s only concerned with helping the Eagles win.

“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,” he said. “That’s all I care about,"

He also gave praise to new QB Kevin Kolb, who replaced Donovan McNabb.

"We haven’t lost a step since he’s come in and been the man,” Jackson said.

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Posted on: August 23, 2010 12:35 am
 

Recapping the 2010 BFL fantasy draft

You may have seen some of our tweets about 2010 BFL, a fantasy league full of famous bloggers (woo oxymorons), in which I'm repping CBSSports.com and this here blog.

For the draft, we traveled to New York City this past Thursday in order to all meet up and create fake teams. The trip seems pointless, until you realize that we drafted in the NFL headquarters. Yes, like where Roger Goodell works. Yes, it was spectacular. Yes, the winner of the league gets some Super Bowl action as well as a large charitable donation to the local charity of their choice. Yes, you will have to suffer occasional posts about how I'm doing (and you can read more about the league here .)

And yes, I'm quite confident I'm winning; after all, look how alert I was just moments before the draft began.



Of course, that didn't stop me from drafting a kick-A fantasy team. Or at least one that I think kicks some A. Before we get to that, though, let's talk about the participants, in draft order:
By the by, you can actually check out the P&G sponsored league , as it's public I belive. So if you care to see the draft results, here they are. If not, I'll tell you about them anyway.

First of all, I heart my team. A lot. I'm totally fine with taking Maurice Jones-Drew second overall, especially after seeing how the Vikings offensive line looked on Sunday. I really, really wanted DeAngelo Williams to fall to 23, but I'll deal with Beanie Wells. DeSean Jackson is a clear No. 1 wideout, so I'll absolutely take him in the third round. Wes Welker in the fourth? Yes, please.

Dwayne Bowe is primed to blow up this year (I like the Chiefs a lot, actually), so having him as a WR3 isn't something I'm unhappy about. Myself and two others waited to draft a quarterback and I think it paid off nicely with a combo of Matt Ryan in the sixth and Matt Cassel in the 11th.

Didn't particularly love my Jerome Harrison pick in the seventh -- although I ended up with Owen Daniels at tight end in the 10th, leaving Tony Gonzalez and Vernon Davis on the board at that point was just stupid. Kenny Britt I like as a solid backup wideout, especially paired with Julian Edelman on the bench; Edelman's insurance if Welker goes down again and Britt can fill in on the bye.

Marion Barber is still starting in Dallas last I checked, no? Okay, thought so. 9th round for him is silly. Levy hosed me on Dexter McCluster in the 12th and I panicked a touch and took Demaryius Thomas, but, again, I think he's a good backup, particularly since someone has to catch passes in Denver. Niners defense, as good as it is, in the next to last round is something I'm thrilled about, insofar as one can be thrilled about drafting a D. Same with Rob Bironas in the last round, I suppose.

It's not worth discussing any other teams. They're clearly inferior to mine. (I do like Bassett, Jerod and Zerkle's teams the best out of the other squads, though, I think. Except that Zerkle decided to draft a sampler platter of running backs for five rounds instead of wideouts.) But I certainly welcome your thoughts on the squad below.

Also, huge, huge tip of the cap to everyone involved at the NFL for making this happen: they couldn't have possibly been kinder to a fairly dangerous looking bunch, or more accommodating in terms of showing us around, peppering us with cool NFL stuff and letting us spin around in Goodell's desk chair until Sebek got sick and threw up.

Just kidding. That last one never happened. But the NFL rules for letting us swing up to the Big Apple and get our geek on in their offices.

So to does P&G -- for the purposes of FTC biz, they helped hook it up.

Posted on: August 7, 2010 1:30 pm
 

DeSean Jackson has nothing to say

D. Jackson has not talked to reporters this year (AP). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Eagles WR DeSean Jackson hasn’t been talking to the media during training camp – unless, that is, you want to talk about his Porsche.
 
CSNPhilly.com caught up to him today after practice and asked why.

"I just don't want to talk," Jackson told the Web site. "I have nothing to talk about."

CSNPhilly politely disagrees, pointing out that Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid has discussed his disappointment in the offense so far this season. Jackson has missed some time with a back injury, but even when he’s been on the field, QB Kevin Kolb and the rest of the offense haven’t looked so good.

It probably shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, Kolb – who only started two games last season – hasn’t had much time to develop a rapport with Jackson, WR Jeremy Maclin (who's also been battling an injury during training camp) and TE Brent Celek.

If we're having this same discussion in three weeks, then, perhaps, Philadelphia might be in some trouble.

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Posted on: July 31, 2010 5:46 pm
 

The extent of DeSean Jackson's injury unknown

D. Jackson catches a pass at Philadelphia's training camp the day before he injured his back (AP). By all accounts, Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson was having a great start to Philadelphia’s training camp, catching long passes from QB Kevin Kolb and showing the front office brass why he feels he deserves a new contract.

Then, he fell to the turf during practice and didn’t immediately rise. The reason: he injured his back and had to be carted off the field. Not a great moment for Philadelphia, though the consensus seems to be that this injury isn't that big a deal.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer , it seemed to be a non-contact injury.

From the Inquirer:

The play occurred during a no-pads 7-on-7 drill. Jackson pulled in a 12-yard pass in between cornerback Asante Samuel and linebacker Omar Gaither. There didn't appear to be any contact, but Jackson looked as if he had to twist awkwardly to catch the ball. He dropped to the turf, rolled over and stayed down for several seconds before the training staff ran to him.

"I told coach, 'I didn't touch him. I don't know what happened,'" Gaither said.

As the trainers looked him over, Eagles coach Andy Reid came over to examine the scene. Jackson eventually got up, but he was wobbly and looked as if he might fall over again. He was visibly distraught as he was carted away.


Later, Enquirer reporter Jeff McLane wrote on his Twitter page , “DeSean walked out of the locker room on his own, got into his car and sped away without comment.”

The extent of Jackson's injury is not known at this point, but if he's out for a significant amount of time, look for Jason Avant (who’s more of a possession receiver) and Jordan Norwood (who’s not quite as good as Avant) to get those reps. Both obviously are big steps down from Jackson, who’s quickly become one of the top play-making receivers in the league. 

--Josh Katzowitz

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Posted on: July 21, 2010 4:51 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2010 4:56 pm
 

DeSean Jackson shouldn't expect a revised deal

DeSean Jackson and Chris Johnson are in pretty similar situations: both were drafted in 2008, both were Pro Bowlers last year, both have similar skill sets, and both are grossly underpaid (relative to other professional football players anyway).

However, Jackson, unlike Johnson -- who is in the process of getting a "new" deal from the Tennessee Titans -- is unlikely to see any sort of increase in pay for the coming season, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer .

Jeff Lane cites a "league source familiar with the way the Eagles negotiate contracts" who believes its in Jackson's "best interests" to play another year before asking for more money.

Jackson hasn't threatened to hold out or skip training camp (although he did miss some workouts in June without providing a reason) and when I spoke with him at the Super Bowl in February , he made it clear that he wasn't "gonna make it a distraction."

The bad news for DeSean, financially speaking, is that he a) didn't receive a signing bonus because of his second round status and b) won't be getting paid if a new labor agreement isn't reached by 2011.

The good news, on the other hand, is that if he shows up for training camp, works as hard as he has thus far, makes the Pro Bowl at two positions again and helps the Eagles finish above the Redskins and former quarterback Donovan McNabb (that's a casual season, right?), Philadelphia will have to pay him, and pay him well.

-- Will Brinson

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com