Chip Kelly: DeSean Jackson didn’t open things up for others last year


When the Eagles released wide receiver DeSean Jackson, there was a school of thought that believed their offense would suffer in 2014 because Jackson wasn’t there.

The two main reasons cited were that Jackson’s speed is difficult to replace and that his presence opened things up for other members of the offense. The Eagles didn’t have such worries and coach Chip Kelly explained why the team is confident that everything can continue to run smoothly with Jackson in Washington.

“I think most people played us in single high [safety] coverage and they played man across the board on anybody and no one was getting any help,” Kelly said, via “Riley [Cooper] was getting man [coverage] on his side. DeSean was getting man on his side. Jason Avant was getting man in the slot. Zach Ertz, whoever our tight end was, was getting manned. Running back was getting manned. No one is going to play us in two [safeties] deep because if you play us in two deep, we can run the heck out of the ball. We had everybody as close to the line of scrimmage as possible and nobody was helping anybody. They were trying to stop the run game.”

With LeSean McCoy still in the offense, that figures to be the case again this season. As a result, finding receivers that can beat the press coverage that comes with defenses playing close to the line of scrimmage will be the biggest thing for the Eagles this offseason. Rookie Jordan Matthews has the build to be that kind of receiver and has been getting rave reviews, perhaps to Kelly’s consternation, for his ability to make an impact this fall.

49 responses to “Chip Kelly: DeSean Jackson didn’t open things up for others last year

  1. yes he did I was there every game,if you chose not to pay him that’s on you.Getting rid of him is fine but you better be right Chip,this is not Oregon I grew up here and your only as good as your last few games….welcome to Philly were the fans turn like mad dogs and again as a season ticket holder i hope this was a good move but time will tell

  2. You want to know how to stop Desean? Put a CB bigger than him (which isn’t hard) up in press coverage. Seen a lot of Eagles games and seen a lot of games where he’s been non-existent. Rare speed but can be man handled at the line.

  3. I have been saying this all along. Considered a top tier receiver because he “opens things up”??? It’s absurd. He’s no Calvin, or Larry fitz, or B Marshall for that matter. Eagles are going to be better.

  4. I expect the Eagles to regress this year and it has nothing to do with Desean Jackson. Foles is legit, but the team seemingly has no real impact players other than at RB. Maclin and Celek are the anchors on offense. I dont trust Maclin to carry the load and teams will have no problem shutting down Celek. Philidelphias defense should just be “ok” this year.

    Chip Kelly is supposed to be an offensive guru, but I think hes going to find struggles on offense after a hot start last season..

  5. good post, because,

    “and that his (anyone actually) presence opened things up for other members of the offense”…..

    is in fact the dumbest myth in offensive football.

  6. He will always be fondly remembered for the Miracle at the Meadowlands PART TWO! But he definitely disappeared at times (in fact quite often)…I’d rather have someone who can consistently get open, maybe that is Matthews, than a one trick pony like D-Jack.

  7. The only thing I will say is (and I don’t watch many Eagles games) is now the opposing teams #1 corner will be covering Cooper instead of the #2. I guess we will see how good Cooper really is now.

  8. He’s right in this case. Watch tape of Desean in Philly. You could tell right at the snap if he was the primary or if someone else was. He ran at half speed when he wasn’t. So maybe the safety started a step deeper just in case, but at the snap you just see how hard he’s running, and either double him or leave him, depending on how hard he is running.

    Overall, I think Jackson got a bad rap in Philly. He was overpaid, but that wasn’t his fault, they offered him the contract. But to act like he was something other than he wasn’t is crazy.

  9. well I am glad to hear that you guys won’t miss him and his speed. that blazing three time pro bowl speed. I mean they practically let anyone into the pro bowl right? you are way better off with the unproven guy than someone that has done it good enough to go to the pro bowl a few times. obviously Chip is the best coach in the East right? he soared to what 9 wins last year? Belichickesque I tell you. who else would’ve thought that Napoleon Dynamite was a good quarterback?


  10. Players who disappear when pressed…

    SEE: 5th rounder Marvin Jones
    SEE: 3rd rounder Mohamed Sanu

    99% of all NFL fans don’t understand what press-man coverage is and how being able to control receivers routes effects quarterbacks (especially… if the quarterback has a terrible center and one weak guard = less time to throw).

  11. I do believe the impact of Jackson has been wildly overstated by the media. Some of them act as if it the only reason anyone else caught passes is that half the defense was covering DeSean. Sure, safeties will shade to his side, but that’s hardly unique in the NFL.

    Teams that can play physical on the outside have shown they could take Jackson out of a game, especially down the stretch last season. Jackson can really exploit teams that don’t have the personnel to play him physical at the line, and the Eagles could beat up on some teams in the league that way, but, I think Kelly sees that if he wants to win big games against more physical teams (like Seattle, etc), a small, fast receiver on the outside isn’t ideal. He wants more physical receivers that can’t be manhandled at the line and aren’t a liability in the run game.

  12. if the other teams #1 corner is covering Cooper Eagles fan’s should be thrilled! I however tend to doubt this as Maclin is likely to get this guy. Eagles don’t have a #1 and Chip has almost never had a #1, the offense is built around distribution and match-ups.

  13. “Chip Kelly: DeSean Jackson didn’t open things up for others last year” … that’s because they weren’t good enough to get open in the first place. But Desean did help in spreading the field which allowed your TE to have such an impact. Chip is delusional.

  14. Regardless of whether they double covered him or not he is still a threat when the ball is in his hands. The fact they did not double him last year is probably why he only got 82 catches for 1,300 yards with 9TD’s.

    The Eagles do have a dynamic running back but that guy in Washington is no slouch either. Morris may not have the breakaway speed but you have to pay attention to him.

    Maybe the Eagles do not suffer as much with him gone but your division rivals have definitely benefited.

  15. Once again Chip is correct. MeSean was a selfish player that only wanted to pad his own stats and didn’t care to block or assist the team in any other manner.. glad hes gone!

  16. People need to look at the all-22 breakdown of the Eagles last year. Kelly is speaking the truth when he said that Desean wasn’t doubled very much last year. Shady also had some of the best numbers in the NFL when facing 8 in the box.

  17. The thing about this, DeSean went from hero to villain in a few months. He and Chip let the tension between them and they are now firing shots at each other. DJax could have taken the higher road to avoid negativity, but I bet he gets boo’ed on the 21st of September.

  18. Jackson was a talented player, however, he disappeared for long stretches and struggled to get off the line when pressed.

    Kelly wants his wide receivers to be able to do everything, not just run deep. He’s got a more complete, multifaceted crew and that allows him to open up the playbook more.

    And let’s not kid ourselves, this is not just about on-field performance. It’s also about where they wanted to place their financial resources and the message they wanted to send to the locker room.

  19. That’s a really odd comment when you consider that Malcom Jenkins said that during the play off game they covered over the top on Desean the entire game because he was in the Saints eyes he was the Eagles main weapon.

  20. Tell that to whoever goes down the middle this year and gets unloaded on by a safety that was not there last year because of desean. Chip kelly back to school in 2015.

  21. good to hear some actual football speak from the eagles coach! Andy was a boring, sad coach!
    Hope Chip is around for 13-14 years!

    “Chip Kelly is supposed to be an offensive guru, but I think hes going to find struggles on offense after a hot start last season”

    Um sorry bud, but they started like 2-4, then got “hot” and won the div.

    I do believe Chipper is a Offensive guru and you’ll see more of the same this coming season….
    stay tuned

  22. The Eagles are a better team without Jackson…this story is kept alive only because the Eagles refused to explain to the media why they cut him. Most Eagles fans (and I’m one) are glad to see him in Washington…he and Snyder should provide entertainment until he wears out his welcome there as well.

  23. Chip Kelly is supposed to be an offensive guru, but I think hes going to find struggles on offense after a hot start last season”


    Yeah that is good knowledge by another bird’s fan. They did get hot against about 5-6 back up qb’s or teams missing a star player in a row. They were quite fortunate last yr. chip will get some humble pie for sure this yr.

  24. Like I said the other day when he was running his mouth on the draft, Chip Kelly likes to talk too much and has a high opinion of himself. DeSean Jackson didn’t open things up for his offense, lol. Okay, Chip. That’s football 101, if you have a receiver who can blow the top off of the defense, he makes it easier for the other receivers to get open. The reason this team improved last year was that their defense got way better over the 2nd half of the year, yet I never hear him mention that side of the ball. He’s too busy patting himself on the back.

  25. No one wanted to trade a 7th rounder for him, but Washington picked him up for a 3 million pay cut.

    Sure, he has value but didn’t fit in Chip’s philosophy.

  26. Everyone has a weakness and so does Chip. He has to be the smartest guy in the room. And he has rabbit ears. In Philly those are two very bad weaknesses.

  27. Like big stats (sometimes)? Djax is your man.

    Wanna beat the Big boys in the NFC and their defenses (which I sure hope is the goal)? Try to have as few short 170lb players as possible going against sf and sea.

    Those are the two teams better than the eagles, on their face, right now

  28. Obviously sproles phyicality is in a different class than djax for the purposes of my above comment, so don’t even.

  29. doctorrustbelt

    Doctor Barnacle Brain.

    99% of NFL fans realize the Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since 1990 yet..there you always are trolling Steelers threads. Bonehead. lol

  30. bobbyhoying July 30, 2014, 9:53 AM CDT

    I will not doubt Chip until Tom Coughlin, Jason Garrett or Jay Gruden proves him wrong.
    well the cowboys pretty much proved him wrong last season. the eagles really didn’t do anything in the first game against them and then the second game was against a 32nd ranked defense and if not been for an interception wouldve probably been a second loss to the cowboys.
    the eagles will regress this year and the Chip Kelly offence will be blown up by opposing defenses

  31. I love my Eagles but I’m realistic. . Chip will be a great HC but last half of the season we benefited from a very weak schedule.. we wouldn’t have finished so strong if we were playing the Seahawks or 9ers.. that’s just how it is.. I guess we will see what happens this year.

  32. I think losing Jackson is going to make their offense worse. His speed does open things up for his teammates and I don’t care what you guys want to believe. The only way this offense will be as good is if someone can provide that big play ability Jackson provided. Maclin is coming off a knee injury which is always bad for WR’s. Many WR’s are never the same after knee surgery even the past few seasons like Steve Smith with the Giants. Cooper is the key. If he can play as good as he did down the stretch they could have the success they had last season. They better hope Matthews steps up also. They will be throwing more short passes to the back’s and TE’s which may effect their running game. Teams will be able to lock down on McCoy if they can’t throw the ball downfield. Sproles is a lot like McCoy and will make some big plays, and their TE’s are solid so they all will play a bigger role now. The best thing is that the teams in their division have terrible defenses but the key is what they do against the rest of the teams on their schedule. Any time you lose talent in the NFL it can come back to haunt you. One key injury and it all blows up in your face. That’s why you don’t just give players away. Especially to your divisional rivals. It doesn’t make sense to get worse so they can get better!

  33. If Desean plays 4 Quarters of football and more than half the season at full speed, i think id regret cutting him. Every receiver on this team is fast, the last I heard a 4.4 40 is pretty damn fast.

    Go back to 2012, Desean and Maclin in the same lineup, who was better? Desean is captain inconsistent, a locker room slacker, and a media cancer. The guy plays when he wants and how he wants. I am glad he is gone, this year Maclin will prove he is better, and Cooper/Matthews are going to be dominant.

    You know who took the top off defenses? Shady. All day. 8 in the box and he still ran rampant. Drink up fellas, the juice is quite nice in the Shade(y).

  34. Some of these post say if you want to stop D-Jax just put a big cb on him and play press coverage. We’ll you don’t see a lot of big CB and if he misses his jam then you will get toasted. I’ve seen DeSean since he was at Cal he is a big play WR. He does disappear at times but if he makes 2 or 3big plays in a game that’s all we ( Redskins) need from him. I hated playing against him when he was with the Eagles . I don’t know how he will do with us but he is a upgrade over Josh Morgan.
    Thx Chip

  35. The Eagles say the replaced D-Jax with Darren Sproils, how old is he?
    We’ll let me tell you he is 31 yrs old. This is the time many backs hit the wall and they never look the same. Chip better hope Sproles is the same back he was the last few years with the Saints. Remember he is small back with shifty feet who has avoided the big hits over his career.
    The Great Chip is high on his horse and all the Philly fans are ridding his nuts . Let’s see if that quick pace offense is a fluke this season .

  36. And like I said, Cooper is in a boot. The injuries are already coming. The depth isn’t as good and gets worse with every injury.


    As l get ready for another exciting season of Philadelphia Eagles football l am getting so tired of hearing about how much we are going to miss Desean Jackson and how he blew the top of defenses. I don’t think that’s the case so I took a look at some stats and this what they showed.:

    D-Jax had a career year with 82/1332/9 (catches/yards/TDs). If you break it down you see that in the first 8 games he racked up 45/673/5 which is pretty close to the 37/659/4 he tallied in the last 8. In considering these numbers you have to remember that Chip Kelly’s offense and pace were new to the NFL and there was limited tape available. With each passing game teams adjusted their defenses. By the second half of the season, teams began to play more and more single safety high with man press coverage. The high safety would read and react to help the deep route while the other safety helped against the run (8 man in the box ). As a result Desean was having trouble getting off the line of scrimmage because physical DB’s were jamming him at the line thereby negating his speed. In 6 of the first 8 games Jackson netted 5 or more catches, but in the last 8 games he only had 2 such games. One of those was the Oakland blowout (5) and the other was the embarrassment at Minnesota (1 0), which was the same game that he acted the fool on the sidelines, reportedly for basking in his personal achievement while the team was suffering it’s only loss of the second half of the season.

    They tried several things including more pre-snap, backfield motion to create space and avoid being manhandled at the line. They also ran more slants and crossing routes trying to create picks.

    Now combine all these things with his parttime effort, subpar run-blocking, high salary, inability to produce against playoff defenses (3/53/0) and diva-like personality; Chip didn’t need gang-ties to consider releasing Jackson. And as a second year coach it’s expected that he would want his kind of players and have turnover.

    Now this isn’t to say that a motivated Desean Jackson won’t achieve success in Washington. But be assured, the Philadelphia Eagles will be just fine without him!

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