Eagles | DeSean Jackson could excel in new offense
Thu, 23 May 2013 15:21:26 -0700
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly confirmed that he prefers larger and taller players at most positions on his team, but he's in favor of protecting his smaller players like WR DeSean Jackson. Jackson touched the ball progressively less in each of his five NFL seasons in part because the team worried about keeping him healthy. Jackson only played in five games last year because of fractured ribs and only scored one touchdown. He hopes he can go back to being extremely productive in the team's new offense with larger players creating mismatches for their opponents. "I'm challenging myself to be able to play every position," said Jackson, who's been hinting all offseason that he could be lining up in the backfield as well. "There might be a play or a different position where I normally would not line up or be in, but the leeway of the offense gives us the opportunity to go inside and outside and things like that, so I'm taking advantage of the opportunity to learn the whole offense and be in different spaces throughout the game." Twelve of the team's receivers on the roster are 6-foot-1 or taller, including WRs Arrelious Benn (6-foot-6), Greg Salas (6-foot-1) and Riley Cooper (6-foot-3). Kelly hopes to make opponents pay if they decide to double team Jackson or jam him at the line of scrimmage. Having bigger receivers outside to block should also help the running game. WR Russell Shepard, an undrafted rookie, will have the same opportunity as Benn to prove himself. "I was on the front line on kickoffs, I played running back, I played quarterback, I played receiver," Shepard said. "So (the versatility) is giving me more of an opportunity of making this 53-man roster."
Fantasy owners should expect Kelly to try and involve Jackson more in an offense that should cater to Jackson's wishes to touch the ball more often and score more frequently. Jackson has been a frustrating play in point-per-reception formats in his career, but that could be changing. Until we know more about how he may be involved in this new scheme, consider him a midrange No. 3 wideout.
Source: The Morning Call - Nick Fierro