DeSean Jackson can’t outrun a cheetah, but he may be able to keep pace with a tiger. Don’t blink because you might miss the Eagles’ speedy receiver.
According to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Jackson was the third-fastest ball-carrier in Week 1 after the analytics website tracked him at 21.4 miles per hour. To put that in perspective, a cheetah has been gauged between 60 and 75 mph while a tiger sprints between 30 and 40 mph. That’s pretty good company for a human, even better for a human that plays wide receiver for the Eagles.
On Wednesday, head coach Doug Pederson was asked specifically about how fast Jackson was going Sunday against the Redskins. He rounded the number up to 22 mph, then added that his game speed is about six miles quicker than his practice speed.
“It’s a different speed. DeSean will tell you, he’s got practice speed and he’s got game speed,” Pederson told reporters. “Practice speed is around 16 miles per hour and game speed is up to 22. He’s a gamer. He’s dynamic, he’s electric, and he loves when the lights come on. That speed is real, and we saw it Sunday.”
Falcons Coach Focusing on Stopping Jackson
Falcons head coach Dan Quinn is no stranger to DeSean Jackson. He’s had to prepare for facing the receiver twice a year in each of the last two seasons when Jackson was on Tampa Bay. Last year, the speedster caught nine balls for 71 yards in two games — that’s 7.8 yards per catch or a whole 10 yards below his career average. Still, Quinn knows stopping Jackson will be key.
“Any time a receiver can get by you, and get on the top — or what we call take the top off the coverage, sometimes there’s really fast guys that will do that in what we call clearing out a zone,” Quinn said in a conference call with reporters. “In other words, they are going to run the middle field player out 50 or 60 yards and they gotta go defend it, and that will open up an underneath throw.
“Well, what he’s shown is they are going to run the deep route and give him a chance at it and go for it. That, to me, is the big difference. Because are you clearing out or are you taking your shot? I think he showed and the team showed for everybody, when we get our chance to go attack, we’re going to let it rip and go.”
Eagles Release Richard Rodgers
The Eagles announced they had reached an injury settlement with tight end Richard Rodgers. The team had placed Rodgers on injured reserve at the end of the preseason after he was carted off the practice field with a foot injury. The Eagles only have two tight ends on the roster — Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert — after releasing Alex Ellis to make room for Akeem Spence.
The Eagles also reveled their injury report Wednesday ahead of Sunday’s game. Linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill (knee) and offensive tackle Jordan Mailata (back) did not practice. Derek Barnett (shoulder), Nate Sudfeld (left wrist) and Fletcher Cox (toe) were all limited participants.
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