Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Reid blasts NFL Network to defend DeSean Jackson

To hear Eagles coach Andy Reid tell it, when it comes to DeSean Jackson, the NFL Network is guilty of trick photography.

"I'm disappointed with the NFL Network," Andy Reid said, "in the way they portrayed that." (Laurence Kesterson/Staff Photographer)
"I'm disappointed with the NFL Network," Andy Reid said, "in the way they portrayed that." (Laurence Kesterson/Staff Photographer)Read more

To hear Eagles coach Andy Reid tell it, when it comes to DeSean Jackson, the NFL Network is guilty of trick photography.

After an overnight flight from Seattle - site of the Eagles' most recent debacle, a 31-14 nationally televised loss to the Seahawks - Reid, rarely impassioned about anything in his day-after news conference, blasted the network and specifically sideline reporter Alex Flanagan for creating drama around the controversial receiver. There was none of that, Reid said.

"I'm disappointed in a lot of things," Reid said less than 24 hours after the Eagles dropped to 4-8. "I'm disappointed with the NFL Network, very disappointed in the way they portrayed that. I'm going to tell you now that DeSean was all-in in that game, and he had a great attitude during that game. You can take a camera and make some things look any way you want to make it look, but that kid was all-in last night. I was proud of that."

During the game, Flanagan reported that Jackson was not speaking with teammates while on the sideline. And the network's cameras honed in on Jackson seemingly ignoring Vince Young while the quarterback - who threw four interceptions, including a horrendous pick intended for Jackson on the team's first offensive play - was talking to him.

And before the game started, Jackson was seen carousing with defensive teammates rather than warming up with his fellow receivers.

Later, Jackson was the focus of scrutiny by the network when it appeared that he was not running full-speed on a deep rout. Reid explained Friday that Jackson was the fourth option on the play - behind receiver Jason Avant, tight end Brent Celek, and one other player - and that it's Jackson's job to draw the corner and the safety away from the underneath coverage.

"He wanted to win that game as much as anybody," Reid said. "This is all petty stuff right now; that's what I can tell you. There was nothing on the sidelines. No commotion with he and Vince. There is nothing there. Nothing."

Whether or not the NFL Network trumped up its coverage of Jackson to make a Thursday night game between two lousy teams more watchable is debatable. Calls to the network were not returned.

Nevertheless, the Eagles, losers of four of their last five games, continue to be the primary author of a once-promising season that has become the most disappointing around these parts in years.

Losing to the New England Patriots at home, which the Eagles did last Sunday, is understandable. Appearing as helpless as they did against a mediocre Seattle team, however, is something altogether different.

Young, making his third start in place of the injured Michael Vick, was erratic. While his first pick was foreboding, his third, which came with 4 minutes, 39 seconds left in the game - a short pass in the flat intended for running back LeSean McCoy that was picked off by Seattle middle linebacker David Hawthorne and returned 77 yards for a touchdown - sealed the loss.

And Marshawn Lynch became the fifth running back this season to rush for more than 100 yards against the Eagles, finishing with 148 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. His first score, a 15-yard run in which multiple Eagles hit him but were unable to bring him down, was another example of the poor tackling that has plagued the underachieving defense all season.

While the Eagles are not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs just yet, that could be very soon, perhaps as early as their next game, at Miami a week from Sunday.

In the team's loss to New England last Sunday, fans at Lincoln Financial Field serenaded Reid with chants of: "Fire Andy."

Reid was asked if he had spent any time wondering whether Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie might do just that as a result of this season.

"That's a logical question, but as a coach you don't do that," Reid said. "I don't sit up here and worry about that. I worry about getting better. That's where I put all of my energy, and that's what I can control. I can become a better football coach, make my assistants better, and at the same time make the players better."

As for how Lurie may think?

"Jeffrey is very competitive, so he's disappointed as we all are," Reid said.

The Eagles were showered with an inordinate amount of hype this season, mostly because of the acquisitions of so many highly valued free agents in the truncated offseason. Reid was asked if perhaps the players had bought into the hype and whether they are still focused on winning football games.

"I think the focus is there," Reid said. "I think when you are losing you almost push too hard in certain situations and you get into the 'What ifs?' You've got to really fight that as opposed to where it just flows, like we've seen before, and really in the games where we've had success."