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Hazard's Huddle: Is DeSean Jackson Getting Better?

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An All-22 film look at two big plays to DeSean Jackson and why they're big.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

When we signed DeSean Jackson, among all the hoopla, I put out two articles on him: Getting to Know DeSean Jackson by Attribute and How Will Jay Gruden Use DeSean Jackson. Now in the attribute article, I was very honest in my assessment and I take great pride in my work. In the article, I criticized DeSean Jackson as a body catcher. I said out of all of his attributes, that was the weakest one. It wasn't a huge weakness because his speed allows him to get enough separation so that he can do it most of the time. Since he has gotten here though, he has plucked the ball out of the air more often. At first, I noticed it on the short routes but then it started happening on the deep routes. He had two against the Tennessee Titans. Let's take a look.


1. Here is the first one. The Redskins actually snap the ball before the Titans defense is even ready. Kirk Cousins is in the shotgun and DeSean Jackson is running a fly route at the top of the screen.


The safety is held in the middle of the field by Andre Roberts post route. As Cousins pulls the ball back, you can see that the CB is in stride with Jackson. This is the right read and could be a TD if Cousins gets the ball out in front of him because of that second gear that Jackson possesses.


Cousins doesn't get enough under the ball to lead Jackson to the promise land. He ends up throwing it short. At 5'10" and with his penchant for body-catching, that typically doesn't count as an advantage for Jackson. But, he jumps up, high-points the ball and brings it down while getting both feet down inbounds. Impressive.


2. On this one, DeSean Jackson is going to run an outside seam release from the slot. Titans are in Cover 1. This time Colt McCoy is in shotgun.


The safety stays in the middle of the field which helps the route but look where the slot CB is when McCoy pulls back for the throw. He should have no business making this throw.


Just like last time though, Jackson jumps up, high-points the ball, plucks it out of the air with his hands and lands inbounds again. This one was called back on a penalty but this hasn't been Jackson's calling card.

I'm not going to campaign that DeSean Jackson has become a better receiver since joining the Redskins, but he has certainly been a better catcher of the football. Plays like the two above will add another dynamic to the offense if he can do it on a consistent basis. This offense has enough pieces and play-makers to move the ball, now who is going to get it to them?