Chip Kelly made himself available to the media today and as everyone expected, Jackson was the topic of the hour. To summarize, Kelly pretty much said that Jackson's release was a "football decision" and that the team was moving in a different direction at receiver. Naturally this warranted the follow up question of "Why?"
Kelly further responded saying that he did not want to forecast what he was looking for in a wide out and said that revealing information about what the team was seeking and the reasoning for why they released Jackson was not beneficial to them at this time.
People don't realize that we are so close to the draft...for him to give a answer as to why he cut Desean and talk about what he wants in a replacement is basically a statement to Kansas, San Fran and Carolina to jump in front of us and to steal that guy. No one will know the plan until after Chip gets his guy. Until then, it is not beneficial to provide us and their enemies with a blue print for players.
What I don't understand is why people are so emotionally attached to this decision that everyone believes there has to be something else going on. Granted, coaches have to butter things up and lie in some instances. Coach Kelly only had to say we chose to go in a different direction. This guy goes out of his way to talk about how Great Desean is and how great he was for him. In my opinion, in this instance,you don't have to kill Jackson's name but you did not have to remove the story lines that made your organization look better either. This makes me think this is a purely football move because he shut down every cushion he was given with the bad Jackson PR stories and made it all about just wanting a different guy at WR. He protected the player even after the player went to the enemy.
Also Kelly already hinted to you why Desean is not here from a football standpoint.
So what problems did Defenses pose that Jackson and company had to deal with?
"People want to play a lot of man-to-man coverage, and I think we saw more of that than a lot of people. Getting guys who can get open versus man coverage is a key deal, whether it’s Coop [Riley Cooper] or Mac [Jeremy Maclin] or DeSean. That’s the one thing we know as a group going in — one-on-one coverage is a big deal for us. We’re always looking for guys who can exploit those matchups."- Chip Kelly
Now that we know what defenses did to our offense, how do we beat man coverage and who will we seek at WR?
" The one thing Kelly mentioned recently is that he wants someone that can beat man coverage. To many, this means speed. But that isn’t the case. You can beat man coverage with route-running, quickness and/or size. The key is to find someone that can consistently win using one of these methods."- Tommy Lawlor
"So anybody we’re gonna look at at wide receiver from the future here on or that’s currently on our roster is: What’s your ability to get open in one-on-one coverage? Because we see a ton of it. That’s a huge thing for us in the offseason."- Chip Kelly
So size (plucking the ball and using body control and physicality to go get it)helps to beat man coverage? If that is the case just drafting a bigger player at that position will help in that regard, right? So what If I find a big guy who is a good route runner, has quickness, and straight line speed and can catch? Isn't that what we have been trying to get since the departure of Owens. This is what I believe is the answer when Chip says we are going in a different direction at receiver. We want bigger receivers who can use their big frame and body control to snatch the ball against bigger defensive backs and create mismatches. We want good route runners who manipulate corners and mislead the feet and eyes of a db or just to run the route so crisp that it does not matter if you are shadowed. We want people with quickness to shift direction at an instance and we would like speed to take the top off of a defense.
If we can find all of that in a draft, then you can make the team more productive than what it was with Jackson. Right now someone is looking at this post and saying I am crazy. At this time that same person is saying who is going to replicate 1300 yards and the touch downs. Who is going to potentially take the top off of a defense week in and week out?
My response to you is to not fall in love with the stats. They are deceiving. No, this is not about to become a "Desean Jackson is a horrible WR" rant, however, my question to you is when do you want to win the Superbowl? If you want to stick it out with Desean, you may not get there as quick. If you want to get the kind of WR mentioned above, where we can beat man coverage, the Lombardi is within reach.
So are you saying Desean could not consistently beat man coverage? At times, yes! The rant has been that early in the season, no one was getting open. So even a pure speedster could not be as effective at taking the top off of a defense. Also look at his production in our toughest games last season.
Something to think about:Chip Kelly saw his most productive receiver have under 83 yards in 11 games. In 9 of those 11 games, that same receiver went under 64 yards.
- He had under 50 yards in both games against Dallas(our toughest games)
- only 59 in the Lions game
- only 34 yards against Denver (DRC)
- under 36 yards in the Arizona game
- 29 yards against the Bears(the high scoring game)
- and 53 yards in the New Orleans game.
These were our hardest games!! These are the games you would expect your number 1 receiver ... Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, A. J. Green, and Julio Jones to take over the game;however, these were the games that Desean Jackson disappeared or was shut down.
Jackson is an absolutely explosive receiver most times and he has done so much for this team, but if we had a little more production from him in our hardest games, we might have gone deeper in the playoffs. Hell, with a little more production maybe we get a couple more W's in the win column which could have given us a bye setting up a better playoff run. Lastly, Tommy Lawlor put it best:
This isn’t a question about talent. Don’t make the mistake of thinking Chip is saying DeSean can’t play. We all know that DeSean can be a major playmaker at times. But he’s not the guy that Chip thinks will help the offense to run at its peak.
End of story!