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DeSean: 'I can't really discuss what happened'
DeSean Jackson had to be restrained on the sideline after this Sean Prater interception in the third quarter. Jackson appeared to be in argument with wide receivers coach Jack Bicknell. (AP)
MINNEAPOLIS -- It looked ugly. It was ugly. And it was just about the last thing Chip Kelly wanted to see on his sideline during a game.
Early in the third quarter of Sunday’s Eagles-Vikings game, DeSean Jackson had to be separated from somebody – it appears to be wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell on video shot by Comcast SportsNet – after an interception thrown by Nick Foles.
Bicknell can be seen shouting toward Jackson as he walks by him on the sideline, and Jackson is seen screaming back toward Bicknell and then being restrained by Riley Cooper and Brent Celek and then LeSean McCoy and Koren Robinson, the former Pro Bowl wide receiver with the Seahawks who is serving as a coaching intern on Chip Kelly's staff.
At one point, McCoy has Jackson in a full embrace as he tries to hold him back.
Veteran receiver Jason Avant can be seen walking over and talking intensely with Jackson, and then Kelly can be seen saying something very quickly to Jackson as well.
In the locker room after the Eagles’ 48-30 loss at the Metrodome (see Instant Replay), Jackson was vague about the exchange. But it’s certainly possible that Bicknell felt Jackson could have done more to break up the Foles pass that was intercepted by Shaun Prater, who began the season with the Eagles.
“It was just a point in the game where you’re dealing with a lot of emotions involved, and it’s one of those things that happened,” Jackson said after one of the biggest receiving games of his career.
“I cannot really discuss what happened. That’s what happened, it is what it is.
“At the end of the day, we lost the game. We felt very comfortable and confident that we should be able to come out here and win, we just didn’t play good enough. We didn’t play good enough to win, and at the end of the day that’s all that matters.”
Avant said this sort of incident isn’t that unusual on an NFL sideline.
“This is [a] football family – it’s dysfunctional at times,” he said. “Everybody’s trying to be perfect and do their job. It’s fun because we learn how to make it fun, but at the same time it could be strenuous and sometimes tempers flare and maybe the cameras caught that, but there’s no big deal at all.”
Kelly said he didn’t know what Jackson was so upset about but said the issue will be addressed.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I just went over and tried to squash it, and we’ll get to the bottom of it.”
Jackson didn’t answer directly when asked if he felt he could have done more to break up the interception, only the second thrown by Foles in 266 pass attempts this year.
“[I] felt I was open, but he didn’t see me right away,” Jackson said. “I just thought I was open. It took a little bit for the ball to get there. Big part of the game. Big turnaround. Felt I was open but wasn’t able to get the ball and make a play.”
Jackson caught 10 passes for 195 yards, the second-biggest game of his career. He had a 210-yard game against the Cowboys in 2010. It’s also the seventh-most receiving yards in Eagles history.
Jackson also had a 193-yard game against the Chargers earlier this year, and he’s now only the 15th player in NFL history with three career games with 190 yards or more.
Jackson now has a career-high 1,275 yards this year, third-most in Eagles history. He needs 135 in the last two games to break Mike Quick’s record of 1,409, set in 1983.
Jackson had a 30-yard touchdown in the third quarter and a 51-yard run-and-catch through traffic in the fourth as the Eagles furiously tried to get back in the game.
“I feel like this week or any other week, I still feel like I’m one of the best receivers in the league and I can go out there and contribute to help my team win,” Jackson said.
“We lost, and no one likes to lose. Being frustrated is part of playing this game. We have to try to control our emotions. I have a lot of frustration, honestly, because I thought as a team and offense we should have had a lot more success.
“We just were not able to get it done today, and it is very frustrating considering how well we have been playing the last couple of games.”
Foles shrugged off Jackson's fit to the record-setting sixth-year receiver just being a fierce competitor and having a burning desire to win.
"DeSean is a competitor and he wears his emotions on his sleeve," Foles said. "He was frustrated with what is going on because he wants to win so badly and he wants to make plays so badly. Everyone has their own way of dealing with it. I understand DeSean and I understand the frustration. In those situations we are all in it together. You just let him cool down a little bit and then he is all right.
"He just has so much heart and passion that he wanted to make a play and I didn’t put him in a good position. The one thing that I said to him out there was to stay with me. I am going to keep firing them and keep firing them at you and he stayed with me the whole game. We will have a better relationship because of it."