Yesterday, Andy Reid took aim at the NFL Network, blaming them for painting DeSean Jackson in a negative light during Thursday night's game against the Seahawks.
"I’m disappointed with the NFL Network, very disappointed in the way they portrayed that," Reid said. "I’m going to tell you now that DeSean was all-in in that game, and he had a great attitude during that game. You can take a camera and make some things look any way you want to make it look, but that kid was all-in last night. I was proud of him for that."
At one point, the broadcast showed what appeared to be Jackson not looking for the football when he ran his route down the left sideline. Reid explained that Jackson's job on the route was to occupy the corner and safety and clear room for the Jason Avant and Brent Celek. In other words, per Reid, Jackson was doing exactly what he was supposed to do.
There are a couple ways to view Reid's comments. On one hand, the Eagles are 4-8; he appears to have no answers to what's gone wrong; and the last thing he needs to do is call out his star wide receiver when speaking with the media.
On the other hand, Reid went out of his way to vehemently defend Jackson, something he did not do the week before. Reid benched Jackson in the fourth quarter against the Patriots and gave terse responses when asked about his play.
So, perhaps it is reasonable to think that what we saw on TV didn't accurately reflect what was happening on the field.
ESPN analyst and former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski certainly feels that way. In an interview with Mike & Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio, Jaws vehemently defended Jackson and blamed the coaching staff for the way they've dealt with the wide receiver.
"It's Andy Reid's responsibility to get 53 guys ready every week to play," Jaworski said. "Then it becomes Marty Mornhingweg's role as the offensive coordinator to get his offensive guys ready. Then it's David Culley, the wide receivers coach to make sure DeSean Jackson is ready to play and he's in the right frame of mind. And then it goes to the quarterback to have his arms around that guy so you develop that trust that is so critical. So I think there are a lot of people at fault right now why DeSean Jackson is going south."
Jaworksi also addressed Jackson's performance the previous week against New England, when he dropped three passes and appeared to avoid contact on two of them.
"There were certain times last week DeSean Jackson took a lot of heat for backing away from a hit, making a business decision," Jaworski said. "Well the fact of the matter is, when you look at the tape, he ran the wrong route. It wasn't a matter of making a business decision, not taking a hit. It was a zone defense on a crossing route. You sit down, and he's got an easy touchdown. So now it comes back to: Is the coaching staff getting him in the right frame of mind to play the game?"
Jaworski added that he plans on looking at the tape from the Seahawks game to provide better details on Jackson's effort and performance.
As I mentioned Thursday morning, the Jackson saga is the most fascinating storyline to monitor the rest of the way and into the offseason. In the next month, we'll find out if the situation is salvageable or if Jackson will be playing in another uniform in 2012.
If you missed my posts from Friday, I published Man Up on the defense and a second post about Pete Carroll taking issue with Trent Cole for injuring Seahawks left tackle Russell Okung late in the game.
One programming note: Since the Eagles don't play on Sunday, I'm out of town for the weekend. That means Man Up on the offense will likely have to wait until Monday. I'm sure (somehow) you'll survive.