Over the past few weeks we had heard (and read) ad nauseam about DeSean Jackson. Should he have been released from the Eagles? Did he have gang ties? Was he a bad influence in the locker room? Did Eagles coach Chip Kelly “have” to get rid of him?
I’m not going to add to the chatter with my own opinion. I will, however, offer some facts about Jackson’s on-field performance. First, Jackson last year set career highs in pass receptions and receiving yardage. Some people will note that it was Kelly’s system that helped Jackson achieve these numbers. Fair statement. But Jackson did not have Kelly as his coach in his first five seasons in the league, and he had established himself as a legitimate big play threat in the NFL… maybe one of the best in the last six years!
That’s where I want to jump off in this discussion… big plays. Let’s focus on one stat: Big play touchdowns. Last season Jackson had five TDs of 30 yards or more, and in his six-year NFL career, he has had 28 TDs of 30+ yards of the 41 he has scored (regular season and playoff). Let’s extend the discussion, however. Let’s look at touchdown plays of 50 yards or more. Last year he had two. But if you go back to when he came into the league, in 2008, Jackson has scored 18 big play TDs (touchdowns of 50 yards or more). That is the most of any player in the league during that time.