Hazard's Huddle: Getting To Know DeSean Jackson by Attributes

Nick Laham

Now that DeSean Jackson has landed in D.C., it's time to look at what he brings to the table.

Umm. . . . . .so much for that exorcism, huh? DeSean Jackson has landed with the Washington Redskins and will be donning the burgundy and gold this year. I refused to even look at film until he signed on the dotted line because until the ink is on the paper, anything can happen. If you were to tell me two weeks ago that I'd be watching the entire Philadelphia Eagles 2013 season, I would have put sugar in your gas tank. In the end, with "D-Jax" officially signing, I spent my weekend doing just that. I typically look at tape with an article idea already in mind. This was different though. I just crunched tape, mapped out plays, and before I knew it, I had so much material and STILL didn't know what I would do with it. Then it hit me: Instead of breaking down the plays, let's break down the player. Here's a look at what we are getting in DeSean Jackson.

Speed

Photo__19__medium

Let's get this out of the way now, shall we? It's no secret that DeSean Jackson is fast. That's why playing a single high safety (Cover 1 or Cover 3) is so dangerous (Note: In order to stop Alfred Morris, teams are going to have to run a single high safety to put an extra man in the box). There are many corners in this league who just can't keep up with him. The Chargers try Cover 1 here.

Photo__18__medium

10 yards off the line of scrimmage and D-Jax already has a step on S.Wright as Vick throws the ball.

Photo__17__medium

Look at the separation between D-Jax and the CB. Jackson clearly beats his man but unfortunately doesn't get both feet in bounds. This obviously wasn't the only time on tape he burned a CB.

Second Gear

Photo__16__medium

A second gear is the ability to hit the NOS once the ball goes up in the air. It's an elite trait that not everyone possesses. D-Jax has it.

Photo__15__medium

As Nick Foles lets go of the ball, DeSean Jackson is pretty well covered. Well, that's until he sees the ball in the air.

Photo__14__medium

Foles gets some air under the ball and lets D-Jax run under it. Jackson separates himself from the defender and is able to make the catch uncontested.

Quickness/Acceleration

Photo__8__medium

Not only is Jackson fast, but he is lightning quick. This shows up in many facets of his game. Here he catches a short little drag route and makes the trailing defender miss the tackle then heads up-field.

Photo__7__medium

Then he makes another defender miss. . .

Photo__9__medium

and another. . . .

Photo__10__medium

until he is finally brought down near the goal line. His ability to start and stop on a dime is excellent. His ability to put his foot in the dirt, change direction and get back to top speed instantly can't be over-stated.

Hands/Catch Radius

Photo__5__medium

While Jackson is capable of making catches like this. . . .

Photo__6__medium

and like this, it's not the norm.

Photo__13__medium

Unfortunately, DeSean Jackson is primarily a body-catcher. In this shot, you can see Jackson is wide open here but because he's trying to pin the ball against his pads, it hits his shoulder and pops up. He is the type who won't turn around and climb the ladder (jump and attack the ball at it's highest point). Instead, he'll try and get the ball to drop into the bucket just over his shoulder. Jackson has made it succeed thus far in his career. He uses his speed to generate separation (radius) so he doesn't have to deal with many contested balls.

Route Running

Photo__11__medium

Here is one of those facets where Jackson's quick feet show up again. He is running a deep comeback route.

Photo__12__medium

When Jackson runs the deep comeback he likes to sell the post route first but his feet are so quick that he is able to do it without wasting any extra time and the Foles doesn't have to hold the ball longer.

Photo__22__medium

Here Jackson motions out wide and then runs a deep in route.

Photo__20__medium

DeSean knows it's zone once he makes his break on the in route. He slows down his route to find the hole in the zone.

Photo__21__medium

Jackson finds the hole and Foles is able to hit him for a good gain. Jackson can get lazy on routes sometimes and doesn't always run full speed (on fly routes into safety coverage, clear-out routes, etc), but when he wants to turn it on, he can be good.

Physicality

Coach_clips_medium

No, I'm not talking about this stuff although you will see it a lot. Jackson will take exception if you bump him after the whistle, lay on him too long or knock him out of bounds.

Photo__4__medium

By physicality, I mean how well he does with a CB in his face on the line of scrimmage.

Photo__2__medium

Against McBride, Jackson is able to get low and underneath the jam.

Photo__3__medium

Jackson then gets free up the sideline for a catch. Once again, this isn't exactly the norm.

Photo__1__medium

At 5'10" and 175 lbs, if a CB can get his hands on Jackson, it's easy to re-route and control him like shown here. . .

Photo__2__medium

and here. Be warned though, it's hard for some CBs to jam Jackson because of his foot quickness. If you take one false step, over-extend, or lunge at all, Jackson's speed will make you pay.

Play-making Ability

Photo__1__medium

We've all seen the highlight videos, we all know about the punt return that KILLED the New York Giants, etc. Some players just make plays however unconventional they may be. Here Jackson comes down with a pass that TWO Packers should have intercepted and ends up scoring a touchdown.

Photo_medium

Even in the Pro Bowl, DeSean Jackson manages to pull this flea flicker in for a touchdown in double coverage with a body catch. Like I said, some players just make plays.

While DeSean Jackson does have flaws (on-field), he also brings tons of potential in an offense like this and it's hard not to like this pick-up especially for the price. If teams run two deep safeties, you feed Alfred Morris. If teams stack the box in order to slow down Alfred Morris, you leave the single high safety in a conundrum. Picture this: If you isolate D-Jax on one side of the formation and have a combination of Pierre Garcon, Jordan Reed and Andre Roberts on the other side, where does the safety shade? If he shades over D-Jax, he leaves three players who can beat man coverage and who excel at YAC to catch the ball and pick up blockers along the way. If you shade the three pass catchers side to try and eliminate as many pass catchers as possible, you leave D-Jax in a one on one situation. It should and hopefully will, create problems across the board.

Photo_medium

If/when Gruden puts all this speed on the field at once, how do you defend it?

SB Nation Featured Video
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Hogs Haven

You must be a member of Hogs Haven to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Hogs Haven. You should read them.

Join Hogs Haven

You must be a member of Hogs Haven to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Hogs Haven. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker