It might have been DeSean Jackson's first training camp practice on Saturday, but he looked in midseason form after he missed the start of camp due to a holdout. Jackson got the best of cornerback Asante Samuel in one-on-one drills and his timing with quarterback Michael Vick was crisp making the packed crowd at Lehigh University dream about the highlight plays of the 2010 season.
"It was actually a lot of fun out there. It was good to get back in the swing of things. My teammates were happy to have me back," Jackson said after practice. "We want to be able to get to the Super Bowl. That's what everyone's talking about here. We're coming in and working hard. That's what we have to do. Nothing is going to be given to us and we know that."
Jackson's battles with Samuel in practice are nothing new. But there are two new Pro Bowl cornerbacks on the roster to battle Jackson this year with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha. Jackson said that going against that type of talent in practice will just make it that much easier to prepare for gameday. Samuel said having Jackson back in the fold will help them too.
"It's always good to get your weapons back, your friends, teammates. He's a big part of the team," Samuel said. "It's good to get a special talent out there to compete with. The better the competition, the better I have to step my game up."
Vick was sharp in his preseason debut Thursday night against the Ravens leading the offense to a touchdown in his only series with Jackson sidelined. However, Jackson will certainly make Vick's life much easier going forward.
"It was great to get DeSean back," Vick said. "The connection that we were able to develop last year and today out there on the field is extraordinary and I look forward to working with him all year. I'm glad that he's on my team."
Jackson was the league leader in yards per catch last season with 22.5 yards per reception as he earned his second straight Pro Bowl nomination. The one aspect that Jackson wants to improve in 2011 is his consistency. Jackson had five games of 90 yards or more last season including three of 130 yards or more. However, Jackson did have seven games last year with 50 receiving yards or fewer. Jackson said that the importance of consistency was instilled upon him by his mentor Jerry Rice.
"Consistency is huge. I want to be consistent every game. I don't really want to have ups and downs," Jackson said. "Anything I need to do to better myself and take me to a higher level than I was at last year, I think that's what I focus on. I'm just here to work and get better everyday."
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