Philadelphia's newest (and possibly fastest-rising) icon stands only 5' 10" and weighs a measly 175 pounds. Coming out of the University of California, DeSean Jackson was supposedly too fragile and had too big of an ego to survive in the NFL. But don't remind the other 31 teams that passed on the opportunity to draft him a little over a year and a half ago.
Because they all wish they hadn't.
DeSean Jackson gives the Philadelphia Eagles something that they haven't had in a long time: a more-than-legitimate passing offense.
With the beastly Jackson, rookie speedster Jeremy Maclin, sure-hands Jason Avant, athletic Brent Celek, shifty Brian Westbrook, flashy Lesean McCoy, and offseason gem/bruiser Leonard Weaver at his disposal, quarterback Donovan McNabb has the best chance at winning a Super Bowl in his entire career.
So what types of people love DeSean Jackson?
DeSean is loved by the young fans of our beloved Iggles, and of the NFL overall. Really, though, what's not to love? The kid's a flashy playmaker with unbelievable speed. And let's face it: The majority of today's sports-inclined youth idolize the showstoppers, the game-breakers, and the outrageously visible talents.
People like Chris Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Adrian Peterson, Ray Lewis in his heyday...you get the idea.
He's loved by the older, venerable fans as well. He worked with Jerry Rice, the unquestioned G.O.A.T. at the wide receiver position, before the NFL Draft. In addition, he runs ultra-precise routes and almost seems to glide down the sideline, deftly catching the wide variety of over-, under-, mis-, and perfectly-thrown passes thrown from Donovan's cannon of a right arm.
And you have to love his consistency. I'm sure that I'm hardly the only one who sits at home, watching the week's Eagles game and expecting Jackson to put up streaky stats.
After all, aren't those to be expected from a "deep threat?" Instead, he's been averaging 80 yards a game, and has 12 touchdowns scored on the season, spread out over 10 of the 14 games he's played on the season.
But most importantly, it's Jackson lack of an obviously-apparent diva personality that has truly endeared himself to the fans, the team, and the community. Jackson is an active member of the NFL's Take A Player To School program and in the community.
And...he hasn't been a headcase. Whatsoever. No drug charges, no public outbursts or temper tantrums, no DUIs. Sure, he's been fined once...for a ridiculous equipment violation! (His shoes didn't match his team's shoes.)
In a sense, Jackson embodies the spirit of Philadelphia itself: Full of a (somewhat) quiet swagger, but with more than enough of a skill set, not to mention a compassionate personality, to back that confidence up.
Now, I don't expect DeSean to become a headcase, but I wouldn't be surprised. Young, superstar athletes with obscene amounts of talent can hardly be blamed for the polarizing personalities that arise. But Jackson hasn't shown any side-effects of his sudden league-wide fame.
Yet. And I hope he never does.
Because if he never does, and stays as humble as the most dynamic receiver in the league can stay, then he'll have throngs of fans across the country watching his every move, in utter disbelief at his ethereal abilities, for the next decade. As long as he keeps his head, and continues to produce on the field, everyone will remain in pure awe of the Man in Philadelphia, the streaking blaze in the green-and-white No. 10 jersey who was drafted with the 49th selection in the 2008 NFL Draft.
The seventh wideout chosen...right behind the likes of Donnie Avery, Devin Thomas, Jordy Nelson, James Hardy, Eddie Royal, and Jerome Simpson. Wait...who are those guys again? Oh yeah, that's right: Not DeSean Jackson, the miniature savior of the future of the Philadelphia Eagles' high-powered offense.
I guess ol' Andy can draft successful wide receivers after all.