If a picture is worth 1,000 words, how many words does it take to refute exceedingly misleading pictures? During the Thursday night broadcast of the Eagles-Seahawks game, NFL Network focused several times on the "attitude" of wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
First, there was a captured moment of Jackson sitting silently on the bench, seemingly ignoring the words of quarterback Vince Young. Then there was a replay of Jackson jogging down the field on a particular pass play, which the broadcast used to question Jackson's "commitment." But a day later, after hearing about the commotion that arose from the broadcast, head coach Andy Reid was furious about the depiction of Jackson, whom he said was anything but disinterested in Seattle.
"I'm very disappointed in NFL Network, very, very disappointed in the way they portrayed that," said Reid on Friday. "DeSean was all-in in that game. He had a great attitude during that game. You can take a camera and you can make some things look any way you want to make them look, but that kid was all-in last night and I was proud of him for that."
If you look at the video of Jackson sitting on the bench, fellow wide receiver Riley Cooper is sitting alongside him. Cooper, not Jackson, is the object of Young's conversation. And as for the replay of Jackson jogging down the field that elicited questions about effort, Reid shot that down as irresponsible as well.
"He's a clear route on that," Reid said. "Jason Avant's the primary on that, (Brent) Celek's the second read on that, back to the running back on it and DeSean, all he has to do is occupy the corner and the safety and all's good right there. So, again, you can take a camera and you can make it look any way you want to make it look and I understand that, but that kid, I'm telling you, that kid was all-in last night and he wanted to win that game as much or more than anybody."
Following the game, Jackson was asked about those replays and was understandably taken aback and frustrated at the insinuations, brushing aside the questions and saying, "My teammates understand know what it is." Of course, the backdrop to the Jackson talk revolves first around the fact that he is playing this season on the final year of his contract with the added ingredient of his deactivation for missing a meeting prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals three weeks ago.
But when he was asked for the source of his frustration following the game, Jackson, who caught only four passes for 34 yards against the Seahawks, focused on the team's performance rather than any lack of personal productivity.
"It has nothing to do with personal, I'm frustrated we're not winning," he said. "We practice so hard, the results are just not turning over into the game. I think everybody has to play for their pride, play for the name on the back of their jersey, play for the team on the front, the Eagles, and just go out and play as tough as you can. Everybody's counting us out, so regardless of the case, we have to go out there and keep fighting."
Reid, who hasn't shied away from disciplining Jackson when it's been deemed necessary – notably giving other receivers an opportunity to play in the fourth quarter last week against the New England Patriots, was unequivocally in Jackson's corner Friday.
"I just care that the kid comes out to play," Reid said, "and he played his heart out last night."
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