After playing it straight with the press concerning the past and future of Donovan McNabb, star Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson yesterday dished to the radio station that pays him, 97.5-FM, "The Fanatic."

"It was time for a change," said Jackson - a shot, clearly, at McNabb. "We've got some young players here. I'm just excited about everything."

McNabb's criticism of the Eagles' young players in the regular-season loss in Dallas caused Jackson, in his second season, to bristle. Yesterday, as McNabb greeted the sports world as a Redskin, Jackson extracted a measure of revenge.

Given a chance to retract his stinging words, Jackson, whose show airs weekly on the station during the season, declined to soften the blow.

"At the end of the day, I'm not the owner," said Jackson, who, nevertheless, made sure he was aligned with the front office. "Obviously, that's not just my opinion. [But] I'm not going to get caught up in saying . . . whatever."

Too late.