Many Philadelphia Eagles fans hung their heads this offseason when wide receiver Jeremy Maclin suffered a season-ending torn ACL injury in late July. The onus then fell solely on wideout DeSean Jackson to step-up as the team’s top receiving option. And so far this season, it appears he has. But is it Jackson’s maturity or simply the new offensive scheme that has him playing so well? Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur addressed this very question in a press conference on Wednesday:
“I think it’s both. He’s running a lot of the same routes he’s always run, but he’s also, I think, become a better route runner in a lot of ways. I think he’s worked on his game quite a bit then we’ll just have to see at the end of the season. We’re just not sending them deep, so we’re crossing the field with him. He’s running short and intermediate routes that would involve any receiver. But I think it’s a credit to him. I’ve mentioned it before in here that I really have been pleased with the way he’s trained himself to get ready to play each week, and he’s making the most of his opportunities.”
So far this season, Jackson has recorded 58 receptions for 985 yards and seven scores. Currently ranked sixth in receiving yards in the NFL, DeSean has also been the team’s primary punt returner in the last two games. The Eagles will definitely need a good performance out of Jackson this weekend as they face the Arizona Cardinals and All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson.