DeSean Jackson Might Not Fit Eagles' New-Look Offense

Written By Bob Cunningham On Sunday, May 02, 2010

Will Jackson be as effective in a west coast offense?



All of the talk surrounding the Eagles this offseason has been the departure of Donovan McNabb and the beginning of the Kevin Kolb era. The change at quarterback is supposed to be accompanied with a change in philosophy that will more closely reflect a traditional west coast offense.

Call it what you want, but the Eagles have not run a west coast offense over the past couple of seasons ever since Brian Westbrook began to break down and DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin came onto the scene.

Jackson and Maclin allowed McNabb to take advantage of his big arm and incredibly accurate deep ball and score some quick points with a vertical offense, rather than dink-and-dunking the ball down the field.

But now, with that dink-and-dunk style becoming the focus-point as Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg look to take advantage of Kolb's accuracy in the short game, how will that work for DeSean Jackson, who is clearly more of a deep-ball, quick-strike type of player?

Typically, the west coast offense is going to require receivers who are bigger and can go over the middle without being broken in half. Jackson doesn't seem to have a fear of going over the middle, but one of the few times he was asked to led to a concussion after he got clocked.

Right now, I'm skeptical that Jackson will be able to handle the patterns the Eagles will be asking him to run in this new offense. They will ask him to run a lot slants, drags, hitches, curls, and quick outs rather than posts, corner patterns, or just flat-out outrunning the guy across from him as he loves to do.

And from what the Eagles have done at receiver, it's clear they're looking for bigger receivers as well.

Riley Cooper, a fifth-round pick, is 6'3, 225 pounds. Blue Cooper, an undrafted free agent, is 6'2, 185 pounds. Dodson Collins, a practice-squad guy from last season, is 6'2, 180 pounds. Kevin Jurovich, an undrafted free agent, is 6'0, 190 pounds. They brought back Hank Baskett who is 6'4, 220 pounds, and Pat Simonds, an undrafted free agent, is 6'5, 230 pounds.

Chad Hall (5'8, 180) is the only exception to that, and even he is getting looks more as a punt and kick returner rather than a pure receiver.

I'm not saying Jackson is going to get traded or that the Eagles value him any less in this change, but it does raise some questions as to how effective he'll be. He gave a glimpse of what he can do last season when he took that slant against the chiefs the distance, but I'm just not sure he can withstand the pummeling that receivers take in the west coast offense.

But, that change is certainly coming, so we'll see one way or the other soon enough.


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