He's HERE! Like him or not, you must now learn to love him. Yes, we are speaking about the newest member of the Washington Redskins, one Mr. DeSean Jackson.
The ever polarizing Jackson enters DC with much hype, but may questions. There is no denying his talent, but can the attitude, work ethic and character match the production the team hopes to have acquired? If the answer to this question is yes, and the contract is one that won't hamstring the team for years to come, Redskins fans are in for a treat.
The biggest beneficiary of this signing is one Mr. Jay Gruden. The first-year head coach will have every weapon imaginable to him at his disposal. He will have one of the most dynamic, young quarterbacks in the league to build his offense around - but hey, we already new that, and so did Jay when he accepted the job. The signing of Jackson opens his offense up, and instantly make it one of the NFL's most lethal. No teams will be able to key on any one player in this offense, and below, I'll take a look at those players, and how DeSean Jackson can help each of them.
Robert Griffin: Hey Robert, you want weapons, well now you have them. No excuses.....................well, maybe just one(the offensive line), but hey, let's focus on the positives here. No more double teams on Garcon. No more 8-man fronts for 70% of the game. No more 70 yard, perfectly placed bombs,that get dropped by your receiver. Yes Mr. Griffin, you really do have it all!
If teams stack the box, you arch that beautiful rainbow over the top of them to Jackson on the 9-route. If you see a soft cover 2 shell, you can look to the intermediate routes. If you see the sub-packages(which I imagine you will see quite a bit), it opens up running lanes for Morris. And, if you have a 4-man route combo, and everyone happens to be covered downfield, take off and run! Oh, the possibilities....................
Alfred Morris: Remember last year when defenses didn't respect our passing game, and they consistently stacked the box, making it difficult to run between the tackles? I'd like to see defenses try to do that now. A simple check-with-me call, could produce an instant touchdown against an 8-man front designed to stop the run, because Jackson and Garcon could torch an opposing defense before they knew what hit them.
Morris is could be one of the biggest beneficiaries of this new acquisition because the presence of Garcon, Jackson, Roberts and Reed will keep defenses honest, opening up running lanes for the Pro Bowl back. Morris gained 1613 and 1275 yards respectively over the last two seasons, and this was in an offense that was run oriented, and with a supporting cast of receivers who were pedestrian-like. Basically, defenses knew what the Redskins were going to do, and game-planned to stop him. A lot of his tough-earned yards were all on him. Jackson instantly makes this corp dangerous with the attention defenses will have to give to him and his counterparts, and in turn, makes Morris even more dangerous.
Pierre Garcon: I have been begging for another legitimate receiving target opposite Garcon for two years. I had hoped to get a bigger bodied receiver, who could also stretch the field, and become a red zone threat. Instead, we got one of the best deep threats in the NFL, who can take the top off any defense. I guess I can live with this!
The presence of Jackson on the outside, and Roberts in the slot, will open things up for Garcon to work his magic all over the field. He won't feel as much pressure to be Griffins only target, and the lax in over-the-top safety help on him, may lead to even more big plays for the dangerous receiver. We may not see another 100+ catch season like we saw last year, but I bet we'll see more touchdowns, similar yards, and a higher yards per catch average.
Jordan Reed: Imagine a 4-wide set, with Garcon and Jackson on the outside, and Reed and Roberts in the slot. Now imagine the look on the face of the defense when they try to decide who covers who. Reed is too fast for a linebacker, and too big for a safety. You want to put a nickle corner on him, then it opens up the field for others. Point is, with safeties now unable to focus on over-the-top help against Reed, with a linebacker underneath, he should be able to have a field-day between the hashes.