In 2008, the Eagles made receiver DeSean Jackson a second-round pick in the draft. It was a happy moment for Jackson and his family.
And then Jackson got on the phone with former Eagles coach Andy Reid.
In a new documentary focusing on Jackson’s football life, Jackson shares the content of the conversation to friends and family members, after the call ended.
“Hey, I just want to say one thing,” Jackson told them, via Tim McManus of PhillyMag.com. “I was on the phone with Andy Reid. He said, ‘I don’t want your family to be a problem. I don’t want to deal with your dad.’ He said some bad things. I just wanted to let you know. That’s kind of messed up, though.”
Reid’s concerns apparently came from the late Bill Jackson’s heavy involvement in his son’s football career.
“I never gave him time off,” Bill Jackson says in the film. “People used to say, ‘Why are you doing him like that. You’re trying to kill him.’ Because he had so much energy, he would be running the streets.”
DeSean’s coach at Cal, Jeff Tedford, shared some observations about Bill Jackson, which surely made their way to Reid during the pre-draft process.
“While I understood what Bill’s motives were he didn’t always go about it the right way,” Tedford said. “As far as alienating people or really being loud outside of the locker room and things like that. If DeSean only caught a couple balls in the game, he wanted him to catch 10. He was driven for DeSean to be successful.”
Based on that reality/reputation, it made sense to let Jackson know from the get-go what would fly, and what wouldn’t fly, in the NFL. Overbearing parents who think their kids aren’t getting enough opportunities are bad enough at the youth level; by the time those kids become adults, the parents need to completely back off.
And there’s nothing wrong with a coach saying so. In fact, it’s sort of the definition of coaching.