Tuesday, February 9, 2016

DeSean sets tone for Eagles

DeSean Jackson got the Eagles going before Friday night's preseason game against the Jaguars. And once it started, he showed once again that he's the team's biggest playmaker.

DeSean sets tone for Eagles

Eagles´ DeSean Jackson runs with the football during the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars.  (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Eagles' DeSean Jackson runs with the football during the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

On the Eagles' first offensive play of their 28-27 win over the Jaguars, Kevin Kolb hit DeSean Jackson for a 21-yard gain.

It was the kind of route we have been hearing so much about. Kolb hit Jakcson in stride, and the Eagles' dynamic wide receiver picked up about 15 yards after the catch.

On the last play of the first quarter, it was Jackson again - the Eagles finding a different way to get the ball in his hands this time. He got it on an end around and went 17 yards around the left side, exciting the crowd and leaving one Jaguars defender on the ground.

In between the two plays, on a 3rd-and-10, Jackson made a nice adjustment for a 26-yard gain. All in all, 64 yards on three touches in one quarter. Not bad.

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"It went pretty well," Jackson said. "The biggest thing about today was starting a new era, and we had [QB Kevin] Kolb out there and we’re just starting something new and we’re having a good time. Were all just coming together and having a lot of fun and just playing with a lot of energy. We’re young guys out there but we just do what we need to do."

Two other Jackson moments that caught my eye:

Before the game, at 7:12 p.m., when the Eagles gathered at midfield, it was Jackson providing the words for his teammates.

With 38 seconds left in the third quarter, safety Antoine Harris went down with a foot injury. It was Jackson coming off the sideline and helping Harris off the field. Now keep in mind that Harris has pretty much no chance of making the team and is a camp body. Nice gesture right there. I believe teammates notice that kind of thing.

Other observations on the offense:

* The Eagles' offense scored on four of its first five drives. Kolb completed six of 11 passes for 95 yards. His worst throw was one in the end zone that was nearly picked off. He showed good patience for the most part, and did a nice job buying time before making throws when faced with pressure.

* LeSean McCoy carried eight times for 30 yards. He was split out wide on several occasions as well.

* I have to re-watch the game, but it looked like Max Jean-Gilles was having some trouble in pass protection.

* Strong showing for Michael Vick. He was 7-for-12 for 106 yards in the first half. Vick and rookie Riley Cooper connected on a 46-yard bomb down the near sideline. We saw that pretty much every day at training camp over the last two weeks. Cooper is tough to handle on the inside routes also, as we saw on another reception in the first half.

* Vick looked quick on a 20-yard touchdown run. Overall, four carries for 45 yards. He did turn it over twice in the second quarter though.

* It was all Clay Harbor running with the first- and second teams. No sign of Cornelius Ingram at tight end in the first half.

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About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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