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DeSean Jackson says he’s the No. 1 punt returner in Philly

Philadelphia Eagles' DeSean Jackson makes a catch in front of Cleveland Browns defender Joe Hayden during the first quarter of their NFL game in Cleveland Reuters

During offseason workouts, the Eagles experimented with wide receiver Jeremy Maclin as a punt returner.

With Maclin lost for the season on Saturday with a torn ACL, he obviously won’t be fielding any kicks. The team has Damaris Johnson, who did the job for much of last season, but they appear to be reaching further back into the past for a returner this season.

DeSean Jackson, who returned four punts for touchdowns in his first three seasons, said Saturday that he’s back on the top of the punt return depth chart after returning just one kick last season.

“I’m very excited about that,” Jackson said, via the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Able to go out there once again, help the offense get in great field position and things like that. Something I’m looking forward to.”

While Jackson’s dynamism as a punt returner can’t be denied, it’s worth watching to see if Maclin’s injury winds up changing the Eagles’ plans at all. Jackson’s likely to be an even bigger focus of the passing game with Maclin out of the lineup and the additional workload (and risk of injury) could lead the Eagles to pick and choose their spots with Jackson more than they might have planned.

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8 Responses to “DeSean Jackson says he’s the No. 1 punt returner in Philly”
  1. eaglesbar says: Jul 28, 2013 8:57 AM

    I think that Jackson will be one of the top wr in the NFL this year

  2. jblah says: Jul 28, 2013 9:13 AM

    Personally i think they will use jackson as a slot receiver..similar to the way wes welker was used. They can then have bigger guys on the outside. This way he can still be a punt returner and get a breather based on the package utilized after a punt return. besides demerious johnson (sp) seems to be having a great camp.

  3. greenmeattruck says: Jul 28, 2013 9:52 AM

    Sucks to see that Maclin is out. After all the bad he’s been through, now this.
    With all the injuries so far in training camps, I’ve gotta say that I don’t think the NFLPA is helping anybody with the new CBA virtually making it so players don’t have to practice in pads if they don’t damn well please.

  4. chut26 says: Jul 28, 2013 10:15 AM

    DeSean is too scared to go over the middle. He’d make a horrible slot receiver. Ever since Daunta Robinson gave him that gruesome concussion he has been a wuss over the middle.

  5. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jul 28, 2013 10:18 AM

    I think it is risky to put your best WR back to return punts. Having said that, I don’t look for the Kelly led Eagles defense to force many punts.

    Kelly will be all about the up tempo offense that will leave his defense exhausted.

  6. crp63 says: Jul 28, 2013 10:36 AM

    jblah says: Jul 28, 2013 9:13 AM

    Personally i think they will use jackson as a slot receiver..similar to the way wes welker was used. They can then have bigger guys on the outside. This way he can still be a punt returner and get a breather based on the package utilized after a punt return. besides demerious johnson (sp) seems to be having a great camp

    You have seen the way he gator-arms everything that is thrown to him inside the hashmarks right?…Inside routes are’nt his speciality.

  7. richardmswartz says: Jul 28, 2013 11:21 AM

    Jackson will still line up primarily on the outside so to ensure the safties can’t press. His only role is to create space for the 2, 3 tight ends that will be on the field. Chip Kelly’s offense is not going to be based on the Oregan style inside and outside zone reads. Even if Vick was 6 years younger and could read defenses and wasn’t injury prone, NFL calliber defensive ends will be able to defend those. Kelly will still have option run plays, they will be based on defenses reacting to tight end allignment. Jackson will get the occationsal pitch on a run option, bubble screen and no more than 2-4 downfield passes a game.

  8. captainwisdom8888 says: Jul 28, 2013 1:53 PM

    I agree that the Eagles will have to be more selective when putting DeSean back there for punts, especially now that Maclin is done for the year. Damaris Johnson is a WR to watch, and I think that Chip Kelly sees him as a very useful weapon who can line up all over the field, take a handoff, and return punts and kicks. The tight ends on this team are a strength, and as big as their workload would have been, it will be even greater now that the #1 WR is injured.

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