Letting DeSean Loose: Chip Kelly Must Get Creative With Jackson
By Scott Daniels
Electric, thrilling and polarizing: these are just a few words to describe DeSean Jackson, the exuberant, game-changing wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Inventive, creative and fearless: and these are just a few words that depict Chip Kelly’s coaching style. An incredibly successful coach at Oregon, Kelly produced a high-powered offense built on speed. He was wildly successful, and the Ducks offense depicted a video game.
The 2013 Eagles may have some pieces from previous years but, overall, it’s a new team. Michael Vick appears to have the starting job at quarterback, and when healthy, he and Jackson were dangerous. When Vick had protection, Jackson was a deep threat at any time. The problem was that Vick barely had protection, and Andy Reid wasn’t exactly a risk taker on offense.
But this season, things will be different.
Kelly’s ingenuity will certainly be tested at the professional level. But just like he had at Oregon, Kelly is loaded with talent on the offensive side of the ball. Jackson is a blazing fast receiver that can singlehandedly change a game. The New York Giants found this out first hand in 2010 when Jackson botched a punt with 14 seconds left to go in regulation with the game tied, and then miraculously returned it for a game-winning touchdown. That touchdown has been referred as the “new” miracle at the Meadowlands, and rightfully so, as the Eagles trailed 31-10 before mounting a ridiculous comeback.
So Eagles fans have plenty to rave about at the mere thought of Kelly utilizing Jackson in his up-tempo, exhilarating offense. As far as the possibilities, they are endless. But here are a few.
Kelly should use Jackson early and often. With solid blocking, he can be an incredible asset in the slot. With a new, shifty offensive line and solid blocking from their tight ends, Jackson can rack up yards after the catch.
In addition to punt returns, why not use Jackson for kick returns as well? Sure, there’s an injury concern, but his speed could translate into a short field for the Birds. It could set the tempo for games and have a serious impact on Vick’s ability to operate.
It wasn’t really a surprise when Jackson was used in a reverse, and with the speed of most linebackers at the NFL, many were able to get to the edge and cut off his big playmaking ability. So instead of the reverse, why not use Jackson right away behind center in either the Wildcat or pistol formation?
Gimmicky? Maybe. But a guy like Jackson literally has the ability to reach the end zone every time he touches the ball. Kelly has the talent to resemble a mad scientist with Vick, LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin and his most prized wideout, Jackson. Let’s just hope his formula is a winning one.