DeSean Jackson on Julio Jones: ‘Can I get more big plays than he can?'


There’s not many people who can do what DeSean Jackson does.

One of them will be on the same field this weekend.

DeSean Jackson has had five 1,000-yard seasons, Julio Jones has had six. DeSean has over 10,000 yards. Julio has a few hundred more. DeSean has had 37 100-yard games. Julio has had 49.  

Two of the NFL’s most dynamic wide receivers will be on display Sunday night in prime-time when the Eagles face the Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Obviously, Julio is one of the best in the league, we all know that,” Jackson said. “He’s done some miraculous things. The numbers speak for themselves. Any time you play against another team that has a big-time receiver (you ask), ‘Can I get more big plays than he can? Or can Alshon or Nelly, someone on our side.’

In his first game in an Eagles uniform since Chip Kelly banished him after the 2013 season, Jackson caught two long touchdown passes from Carson Wentz and finished 8-for-154 in the Eagles’ win over the Redskins.

Jones, who’s played three fewer seasons than Jackson, was just 6-for-31 in the Falcons’ opening-day loss to the Vikings in Minneapolis.

We know what we’re going up against and I think our defense knows as well, and I think the Atlanta defense knows who they’re going up against too,” Jackson said. “We feel confident in ourselves.

It was quite a return to Philly for Jackson, who became the third-oldest player in NFL history – and the oldest in 50 years -- with two 50-yard TD catches in the same game.

At 32, Jackson became the oldest Eagle with a 150-yard game since 34-year-old Pete Retzlaff had 204 yards against the Redskins in 1965.

He’s literally as fast as ever.

How does he do it?

I remember when I was a rookie, I worked out with Jerry Rice, and he always told me, ‘Take less hits, you’ll play a longer time,’ so I just try to take the (fewest) hits as possible,” Jackson said. “Just the hard work, dedication. Just taking care of my body. (Understanding) the tribulations throughout the season, throughout the offseason. Just staying in shape. Just doing everything I need to do to continue to stay at a high level.

Jackson keeps moving up all the all-time lists, and if he can put together a couple healthy seasons with Wentz the numbers they can put up together are kind of scary.

Say whatever you want about D-Jack, he knows how to take care of himself, he takes offseason conditioning very seriously and because of it he’s been able to play longer than most wide receivers.

Unless Pierre Garçon makes a comeback, Jackson has outlasted every other receiver who entered the league in 2008 or earlier with the exception of ageless Larry Fitzgerald.

“Just preparing mentally,” he said. “Just being one of those guys who’s been in the league a long time and just knowing what it’s going to take to play at a high level and just get the best out of your opportunity every time you get one. You get so few opportunities in this game to make plays so every time you set foot on that field make the most of that opportunity.”

This won’t be Jackson’s first time playing at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which opened last year, replacing the Georgia Dome.

Jackson had 4-for-77 from Jameis Winston playing for Tampa last October in a 34-29 loss to the Falcons.

Definitely gets very loud in there,” he said. “One of the cooler stadiums I’ve played in, being indoors, being in Atlanta, Falcons a good team. I know they’re cranked up. They obviously lost on the road last week, but it’s their first home game, so we know a lot will be riding on this game.

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