Friday, February 12, 2016

What's the rush, DeSean?

Some perspective on some sudden conversation about the identity of the Eagles' starting quarterback.

What's the rush, DeSean?

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

I got an email Tuesday night from the NFL Network that included a few quotes from DeSean Jackson, who'd appeared touting the documentary his brother put together, and had been asked about the Eagles' quarterbacking competition. In one breath, DeSean said "I don't know, it's been kind of even," when asked whether Michael Vick or Nick Foles had an advantage, and he asserted that "they would both do a great job."

In the next breath, DeSean allowed that he had heard Vick wants to know who the starter will be, and Jackson said that "the team wants to know, too. We need to go into training camp prepared and know who is going to be our starting quarterback."

I thought, "well, that's contradictory. If a guy catching passes from both of them thinks it's an even competition so far, and that either would do a fine job, why is it important to designate one of them now? Doesn't make much sense." And I went on about my evening.

But of course, this is 2013, and when a prominent player says something, even if it makes little sense, that's news. I should know by now. Apparently, since now both Vick and Jackson have said they would like to know who's starting, the two of them constitute a quorum, on a 90-man roster. "The players" want to know who the quarterback will be! (Of course, I talked to a bunch of players about this last week at minicamp. Nobody said it was crucial to know now. Some noted there will come a time when the o-line and the receivers will want to get their timing down with the starter. That time isn't June, though.)

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Yes, it's way better for everyone to know who the quarterback is, for issues of identity and leadership. But you have two guys who haven't given the new coach much to choose from. The new coach is adamant that he will see them against other teams, under pressure, before he picks a starter. That isn't optimal, but it makes sense, completely. So I predict this "controversy" will fizzle pretty quickly  ... as long as everybody stays off NFL Network during the time between now and the start of training camp.

Something else DeSean said during that interview: "Chip Kelly, he is a great guy. So far, so good."

BTW, I'm looking forward to a Friday screening of the documentary, "#10 DeSean Jackson: The Making of a Father's Dream", which airs on iNDemand June 16th. DeSean's brother Byron filmed much of DeSean's football development from his childhood. I only got to speak to DeSean's father, Bill Jackson, once before he passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2009, but it was a memorable conversation. This was a guy who used a halftime TV interview during a college game to wonder aloud why Cal couldn't get the ball to his son more. Bill was opinionated and demanding, and I think he had a lot to do with the forming of DeSean's personality.

Staff Writer
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