Home, sweet home. That's the thought that Hank Baskett conveyed when he met the media following the announcement that the wide receiver has signed a one-year deal to return to the Philadelphia Eagles.
"It feels good. It feels like I went on a little vacation and came back home," Baskett said. "It's good. This has been home to me and it's good to come back and be welcomed back."
Baskett said that there were several factors that led to his return to the team with whom he's spent the majority of his four-year career. From the beginning of free agency, the Eagles showed an interest in bringing back the 27-year-old receiver and special teams standout.
"There were a couple teams who had shown some interest but my agent and I had been in contact with the Eagles pretty much since day one and that just shows that I was really wanted back here and that makes me feel good because everyone knows that I left with no hard feelings and the Eagles, the coaches, everybody let me know that they weren't releasing me on bad terms," Baskett said, referencing the Eagles' release of Baskett last September. "Everybody told me that you never know when I could be back here, so it's a good feeling that they showed interest from day one."
A return to Philadelphia is also welcome for Baskett and his growing family. Baskett and wife Kendra Wilkinson welcomed their first child in December of 2009, Hank Baskett IV. For the new father, the comfort level in Philadelphia was a key factor.
"We just had the son and all that, and the fact is that if we went somewhere else I would have to go there, be gone the whole time, learn the whole system all over again, have to find doctors, hospitals and all that," he said. "But yet we already have all that established here and it's a fit where Coach Reid ... wouldn't be bringing me back if he didn't want me to come in here and contribute."
Baskett said that he has communicated with Reid and other members of the coaching staff about his role with the team, and he expects to contribute at wide receiver as well as on special teams.
"Special teams is something that's me, I'm always going to do that," said Baskett, the special teams MVP for the team in 2007. "We talked about the whole offensive role and all that and we were building up something pretty nice before I left and (coach Reid) said we're going to come in and continue that. We have a great receiving corps here and I felt like being a part of that nucleus since I got here and we've built something and now I'm back and I'm glad I get to go on and take this receiving corps to the next level. We have great individuals but as a group we've been proven to be very deadly."
Baskett was also able to shed light on another new Eagle, safety Marlin Jackson, who was a teammate of Baskett's in Indianapolis.
"The guy has a tremendous work ethic, I'll tell you that," said Baskett. "When he was out there rehabbing, this and that, he was one of those guys that's the first in and the last to leave. He's very professional. I remember he wrote a letter to the team about, after he got injured, just saying what kind of a leader he was and what he said in that letter just let the team know that this guy, he may not be out there on the field with us but he's definitely there with us and he's going to be pushing us. He's not a guy who gets hurt and took off. No, he was in there pushing, helping the younger guys with stuff and he's a great leader.
"He's a blue-collar guy, which definitely fits in here in Philly. This is a town and team that expects guys to be in here and ready to work. We're not the guys who are flashy and flamboyant and all that. We come in here to work and to get the job done and that's always how it's been here and that's one reason I really like being here because people here don't mind working a little."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 12:03 p.m., March 3