If he’s truly a locker room cancer or headache for head coaches, DeSean Jackson hasn’t heard it from those who either coached him or played alongside him.
“I feel the people who really know me know what type of player I am,” Jackson, the newest Redskins receiver and former Eagles wideout, said Wednesday. “They respect me. They know I’m a team guy. That’s never really been a problem.”
Jackson, abruptly released by the Eagles on Friday amid a report that associated with alleged gang members and other reports that Eagles coach Chip Kelly didn’t like his attitude, spoke about his new surroundings in a 15-minute conference call.
Along with denying that he’s a selfish player, Jackson credited his new teammates, especially quarterback Robert Griffin III and cornerback DeAngelo Hall, for D.C.-style lobbying to get the three-time Pro Bowl wideout to sign with the Eagles’ NFC East rivals.
“Here, the best thing I can say is you have group of guys that would love to play with me,” Jackson said, “and stepped up and kind of supported me and kinda supported my situation. I’m happy about the situation I’m in here.”
Jackson didn’t talk much about his divorce from the Eagles and didn’t take any parting shots at Kelly. In fact, when asked about Kelly, Jackson said the Eagles’ coach “came in and did a great job” in his first NFL season.
Nobody asked Jackson what he believed were the reasons the Eagles cut him after a 1,332-yard season and nine touchdowns, the best season of his career. Only media members who cover the Redskins were permitted to ask questions.
Regarding his statement denying gang affiliation, Jackson said he needed to clear the air, and that people would come to see that he’s not the villain he’s been portrayed to be in the NJ.com story.
“I just feel that that was the right thing to do at the right time,” he said. “Eventually, I think people will really understand and see the real DeSean Jackson and not the painted picture that was put out on me.”
Jackson visited the Redskins on Monday and stayed until Tuesday. He had planned to jump on another flight, but negotiations settled late Tuesday night, and Jackson agreed to a three-year, $24 million deal with reportedly $16 million in guaranteed money.
“It (being released) was a humbling experience for myself, me being at the peak of my career and doing some great things in this league,” he said. “At the same time I feel like moving forward is the best thing for me and the best ahead of me as well. They (the Redskins) just won this division the previous year before. There are great things going on out here in Washington.”
Jackson will play against the Eagles twice in 2014, once at home in FedEx Field and once at the Linc, which will be a new experience for the seven-year veteran. He probably won’t be wearing No. 10, which he wore all six years for the Eagles, unless he can pry it away from Griffin.
“I’ll definitely be very excited about the opportunity, regardless of who we’re playing,” he said. “Obviously, me coming from the Eagles, that will be emotional, a big game. I’ve never been to the visiting locker room at the Linc before, so somebody will probably have to show me how to get there.”