Over the past few seasons, DeSean Jackson has become somewhat one-dimensional. This is a knock on how the coaching staff uses him within the offense, not his talent and capabilities.
Whenever Andy “saw something [he] liked,” DeSean would consistently be sent deep to try and connect on the home run. Sure, he would have one or two big catches a game, but he would seem to disappear otherwise. Some claim that it’s his lack of size that limits him as a number one receiver, while others still cling to the belief that he will not go hard over the middle.
Since day one, Chip has preached that his goal is to get the ball into the hands of his best play makers. The name that instantly comes to mind is DeSean Jackson. Chip proved on Monday night that when DeSean Jackson has the ball in his hands, he is deadly. He is an every-down weapon. And he can still do that “going deep” thing too, as was seen by the 25 yard touchdown he hauled in on a deep crossing route.
Let’s look at a couple of plays where Chip spread the field, and gave DeSean an opportunity to make a play. Here, the Eagles line up showing inside zone read, leaving the OLB unblocked.
You can see that the defense is reading inside zone all the way, as the entire defensive line overreacts to the right. Vick does a great job of selling the fake with his eyes, and the OLB comes charging in. Three linebackers are essentially taken out of the play.
The offense is able to spread the field as Vick pulls the ball and hits Jackson on the opposite side. This is the numbers advantage that Chip loves, two capable perimeter blockers in Avant and Cooper on two DB’s. These are the kinds of opportunities that DeSean is drooling over.
Cooper lays a devastating block on his man (what’s new?) and DeSean is able to break free with no unblocked defenders within ten yards. He is able to break a 16 yard run after the catch and get out of bounds deep into Redskin territory.
Again, the Eagles are lined up inthree wide with DeSean on the outside along with Cooper and Avant. Both Avant and Cooper are facing man situations, while the outside corner is playing off. Cooper is running through the corner’s zone in an effort to pick him up and clear space for DeSean.
Vick does a great job of looking off the corner, and a big lane opens up along the sideline for DeSean. Vick’s only mistake on the play is that he could have come back to Jackson quicker, right when the corner dropped. This gives the linebacker time to close on Jackson, and it makes the yards harder than they should have been.
DeSean shows great awareness and athleticism on the play. He is seemingly pushed out of bounds about three yards short of the first down, but he manages to jump over the tackle attempt and get his feet back in bounds for the first down. This was impressive.
These plays were all designed to get DeSean the ball in space, and let him loose. Plays like these are a huge part of the Eagles’ passing game, so it should come as no surprise that perimeter blocking is looked at as such a premium on this team. It is the reason Cooper and Avant are given so much playing time, and partially why a free-agent was not brought in after Mac’s injury.
Teams will have to pick their poison; you can either sit back and have DeSean chip away at you on bubble screens, or you can play tight and have him burn you for a deep score. Either way, he’s getting big points for my fantasy team.
DeSean figured to be a big part of this offense from the beginning, and Monday night only confirmed that belief. When the game is on the line, either LeSean or DeSean are getting the ball in their hands, and more than likely something good is going to happen.
It truly is great to have players being put in positions to succeed, and not just saying it.