DeSean: Chip Kelly will give coaches 'long, sleepless nights'

DeSean: Chip Kelly will give coaches 'long, sleepless nights'
February 1, 2013, 5:45 pm
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The Eagles have fallen from an NFC East powerhouse to a division doormat who finished this past season with half as many wins as third-place Dallas.

But sixth-year wide receiver DeSean Jackson sees a brighter future after the franchise made a major offseason coaching change, firing head coach Andy Reid and hiring former University of Oregon coach Chip Kelly.

“As far as the Philadelphia Eagles, we have to worry about ourselves,” Jackson said Friday in an interview with the NFL Network in New Orleans, the site of Sunday’s Super Bowl. “We can’t really get into anything else. Last year was a terrible year, an embarrassing year. This year, with Chip Kelly coming in, it’s a new start. It’s almost like a fresh start.”

Jackson, who had the lowest receiving yards per game average last year since his rookie season, is especially excited about the innovative offense that Kelly ran at Oregon and is expected to implement with some modifications into the NFL.

He predicted that Kelly’s system would flourish but only after the rookie coach who has no NFL experience first convinces some skeptics inside the locker room that he’s capable of presiding over an NFL team.

“Him coming from college, I think a lot of professional players are probably going to be suspect of him at first,” Jackson said. “He’s going to have to earn a lot of people’s respect and things, because you’re dealing with grown men now.

“I think what he’s able to do is come in right away and earn everybody’s respect and get it out of the way as soon as possible, so from there he can bring a play and style to our offense that we’ve never had before. So now defensive coordinators are going to have long, sleepless nights thinking about how they’re going to stop the Philadelphia Eagles.”

Jackson said Michael Vick is a “no brainer” to return because of the coach’s preference for a quarterback with mobility, although Jackson’s opinion most likely doesn’t reflect front office thinking. He also had praise for Reid, whom the receiver said would bring some “toughness” to his new job as Chiefs head coach.

Jackson, who was also promoting a biographical documentary that’s expected to come out in March, forecasted a return to prominence for himself after catching just two touchdowns last year and missing the last five games with broken ribs.

“Hey man, I’m coming back strong next year,” he said “[My ribs] are like 98 percent [recovered]. I’m almost 100 percent. I’m gonna say after the Super Bowl I’ll be getting back to working out. They’re gonna have to look out for N0. 10 next year.”

Jackson, who signed a five-year extension last offseason, finished 2012 with just 700 total receiving yards -- his second straight sub.-1,000-yard season -- and also went his second straight season without returning a punt for a touchdown after doing it four times in his first three seasons.

His 15.6 yards-per-catch average was the second-lowest of his career and lowest since 2008, his rookie season. After scoring 18 total touchdowns in 2009 and 2010, Jackson has since scored just six.

Jackson, who played at Cal in college, said he was impressed with Kelly’s offense at Oregon and excited to have his talent maximized in Kelly’s schemes.

“I’m sure he’ll incorporate that into the NFL,” he said. “He will probably switch it up a little different. There will probably be similarities, as far as what he does at Oregon to what he's going to do in the NFL, but honestly, I don’t know exactly what he’s going to do. But I’m very excited.”

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