Jackson: Relationship with Reid is fine

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DeSean Jackson down after an incompletion. Against the Bears, he appeared to pull up on a potential TD pass to avoid a big hit .

DeSean Jackson said Tuesday that everything was fine between himself and Andy Reid as the star receiver and Eagles head coach attempted to stamp out any lingering concerns about their reported dustup after Sunday's game.

"Yeah, we're good," Jackson said when asked about his relationship with Reid. He declined to discuss any words the two exchanged after the game or in the days since. "I'm here to play football, have fun, go out there and win football games. That's my job and that's what I'm here to do."

Reid reportedly dressed down Jackson as he ripped into his team after Sunday's 31-26 loss in Chicago, but the two met Monday afternoon to smooth things out. Until Tuesday, Jackson had not spoken to reporters since the Bears game.

"I'm not here to talk about any of that," Jackson said when asked what happened with Reid. "What we talked about in the locker room is between the team."

Reid effusively praised his wide receiver, despite Jackson's down day on Sunday.

"DeSean is one of the elite wide receivers in the National Football League. He's a tremendous football player who loves to play the game," Reid said, building back his public support of the playmaker. "I love that he loves the ball. . . . He wants it, and he wants it now, and he wants it in crunch time. There are a lot of guys that would climb under this table in crunch time. He wants the ball. I like that; it's a beautiful thing."

The relationship between head coach and star receiver is important for both the short term, as the Eagles try to get the most out of Jackson this year, and the long-term future for the player and team.

Jackson was visibly upset after the Chicago game, in which he caught two passes and appeared to pull up to avoid a big hit on a potential touchdown. At first he sat forlornly in the locker room. Later, he spoke animatedly to teammates Michael Vick, Jeremy Maclin, and LeSean McCoy.

Jackson did not answer Tuesday when asked if he needs to get the ball more, but said this when a reporter asked if he needed to be involved in the Eagles' offense: "I just want to win games, that's what I'm here for. . . . As far as anything else, I could care less about it."

Jackson has been explosive for much of the season, but he doesn't lead the team in any major receiving category. He is coming off a huge year and has expressed hopes for a contract extension - he is still on his rookie deal as a second-round pick - but said Tuesday that money concerns were not behind his evident frustration on Sunday.

"That has nothing to do with anything," Jackson said.

He said the Bears focused on stopping him. He had similar comments after a three-catch game against the Redskins in Week 4.

"Teams are trying to do different things to take me away; it's just a part of football," Jackson said. "I've just got to go out there and keep working and do what I need to do to continue to be the type of player that I am."

Both Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said double-teams on Jackson could open up the game for other offensive weapons.

"When he gets doubled literally on the line of scrimmage, that gives us one-on-one elsewhere, and that's OK," Mornhinweg said. "If he gets us one-on-ones or they give us certain coverages, we're going to rock and roll with it."

Asked about Jackson's lack of size and his need to avoid contact, Reid said the receiver has to be smart about taking on tacklers, implicitly defending his tendency to avoid hits.

"He's 168 pounds. There might not be a 165-pound male in this room," Reid told the news corps. "Everybody is either 20 pounds or greater than he is. So, there's a time when he has to be smart."

 


Staff writer Jeff McLane contributed to this article.

Contact staff writer Jonathan Tamari at 215-854-5214 or jtamari@phillynews.com.