Lost in the wake of Thursday's game in Pittsburgh was DeSean Jackson's preseason debut after his contract holdout.
Jackson only had two catches for 8 yards, but it was evident that the Eagles tried to get him involved right away. On the Eagles' first play from scrimmage, quarterback Michael Vick used a play-action fake to roll to the left before unleashing a deep pass down the sideline for Jackson. However, Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis didn't fall for it. Jackson knows that after his early-game successes last season, including the 88-yard touchdown reception on the opening play of the game at Washington, teams are going to be well aware of where the Pro Bowl receiver is.
"It's going to be tough if you're trying to come out every first play and try to get a big one on people since we've been known to do that over the past couple of years," Jackson said.
Vick got the ball to Jackson for a 9-yard gain on the next play. On the second series, Vick got the ball to Jackson on a bubble screen that was snuffed out for a loss of a yard.
The Eagles' first-team offense struggled in the 24-14 loss. As explosive as the highest-scoring offense in franchise history was just a year ago, Jackson is the first to tell you that it will take a team effort with both the offense and defense working together to get this year's team to where it wants to go.
"As long as we're helping each other out as a team and doing the right things, we'll help them stay off the field and help us stay on the field because we would love to stay on the field and score as many points as possible," Jackson said.
It's the preseason. Jackson will also be happy to see Jeremy Maclin return to the field after he's been cleared to play again. After an offseason with very little practice time, Thursday night's game - the good and the bad - gives Jackson and the rest of the team a gauge of where they're at with the regular season opener on September 11 fast approaching.
"You just want to be able to learn from it, come back, watch the film and make up for our mistakes," Jackson said.
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