Diva and dynamo: Why dealing with DeSean Jackson pays dividends

DeSean Jackson isn't always the easiest player to deal with, but he's one of the best playmakers around and one the Redskins need now.

DeSean Jackson misses voluntary workouts, and then suffers injuries that are most likely a direct result of his offseason absence. 

DeSean Jackson is a bit of a diva, a guy who complains about not getting the ball enough and doesn’t necessarily give his all on every route. 

And DeSean Jackson is eccentric, someone who posts a lot of pictures on Instagram of him doing non-football related things and a player who seems very concerned about expanding his off-the-field brand. 

But you know what? Every piece of baggage DeSean Jackson brings is worth it, because the speedy wide receiver has the ability to change entire NFL games in seven seconds and can absolutely rip the heart out of opposing defenders with a single fly pattern. And he did just that on Sunday against the Giants.

After three disappointing drives in which the Redskins went punt, blocked field goal, and field goal, New York went three-and-out to give Washington the ball back with just over ten minutes left in the second quarter. The feeling throughout FedEx Field and in living rooms across the nation’s capital at that moment was that the Burgundy and Gold had wasted a handful of golden opportunities to bury their NFC East rivals early, and if they didn’t get it together soon, Tom Coughlin’s crew would wake up and make them regret their slow start.

All that frustration was erased in one play, however. One very quick play, I might add. 

https://twitter.com/NFL/status/671041550516805632

Jackson made a massive catch when his offense needed him most, and the difference between 3-0 and 10-0 was astronomical for Jay Gruden and Co. It didn’t even matter that #11 only made one other grab on the day; the 63-yarder from Cousins was enough to steady the ‘Skins and give them the confidence that propelled them out to a 20-point lead, one which would later prove crucial in their 20-14 victory. 

Recently, there’s been a lot of speculation regarding Jackson’s future in D.C. — many people think he’ll be on his way out after the year for a few reasons, including his expensive cap hit and the fact that he doesn’t exactly fit into Scot McCloughan’s philosophy. But on Sunday, he again reminded everyone why, no matter what antics he provides or what controversies he stirs up, DeSean Jackson is a rare talent that needs to be enjoyed and utilized as long as he’s here. 

Yes, DeSean Jackson is a little rambunctious. And sure, DeSean Jackson is a bit obnoxious. But most importantly, DeSean Jackson is a baller, and his penchant for the big play could be a big boost down the stretch for a franchise looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2012. 

Just be sure not to blink in the coming weeks, though. If you do, you may miss his next one.


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