Mad scientist and head football coach of the Eagles Chip Kelly is experimenting with his personnel in all sorts of different roles. Jeremy Maclin is getting a closer look at punt returner. Trent Cole and Brandon Graham translate to outside linebackers in a 3-4 defense.
But Maclin has returned punts before, while Cole and Graham’s transition was expected. DeSean Jackson potentially lining up as a running back on the other hand is something we’ve neither seen nor heard a lot about – until now.
Bob Grotz of the Delco Times believes it’s “almost guaranteed” Jackson will spend some time in the backfield this season based on the type of schemes Kelly used at Oregon. To be more specific, DJacc would be another chess piece in the read option. The wide receiver discussed some of the movements.
“Right now that’s the big thing because we’re able to motion from both sides, motion from side to side,” Jackson said. “Go behind the quarterback. Go in front of the quarterback. Things like that.
“There’s just so many different options. That’s the biggest thing I can say is this offense really doesn’t have any limits. There’s plenty of options regardless of how the defense is playing.”
LeSean McCoy doesn’t think it sounds so crazy, either. These days, the players seem to be prepared for anything.
“There might be plays where DeSean is in the backfield, you never know,” running back LeSean McCoy said. “I mean every time we come out here it’s always something different. It’s always a surprise. So you don’t know what to look forward to.”
Carrying the ball is nothing new for Jackson. As Grotz points out, he has 54 career rushes for 371 yards – a 6.9 average – and three touchdowns. We also saw him in Wildcat packages a handful of times.
We’re all for anything that gets the ball in the dynamic receiver’s hands more. Jackson’s numbers have been in decline since his breakout season in 2009, but we all know what the 26 year old can do in space.
>> Eagles’ Chip Kelly envisions DeSean Jackson at running back, too [Delco Times]