13-year old guest blogger Emily Gruver has graced us with another article. She's definitely a young lady who has her finger on the pulse of the Philadelphia sports world. Please be sure to mention her work to your friends, and follow her on Twitter @emily_gruver
When looking back at the Philadelphia Eagles season last year, the word that comes to mind the most is the word disappointment. The expectations for every player and coach in that locker room were set very high and the Eagles failed to reach them. You could make several different arguments for the reasons why and what caused it. Now even higher expectations are set for them this season.
Recently, Eagles star wide receiver DeSean Jackson told ESPN's Lisa Salters that he didn't give a full effort last season because he didn't want to get injured before signing a new contract. It was fairly obvious that Jackson didn't give his all last season.
Jackson's lack of effort was a huge disappointment, and caused problems for the team in a number of ways. At one point, when questioned about his effort he said "I let it get to me, even though I tried not to let it. I was trying to protect myself from getting hurt, now I'm just giving it my all."
This past off-season, Jackson signed a 5-year, $51 million contract extension with $15 million guaranteed. After signing , he said, "Happy to finally get the contract. I felt with what I had done for the team, I had deserved it." Now that he signed that huge extension, will he play consistently, the way we all know how he can play?
The Eagles depend on Jackson as their primary receiver. When he concentrates, he's a go-to guy on third downs and other clutch moments, especially stretching the field on deep balls. Jackson means a lot to the Eagles success, but the problem is that when he doesn't put forth his full effort, he can stand in the way of that success. Coach Andy Reid is never sure what to expect from this inconsistent receiver.
Imagine how good Jackson could be if he played at his highest level on a consistent basis. Look around the league; Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson...and the list goes on. All these players are top NFL receivers, and if Jackson could be that dependable, he'd be one of those top receivers. He has all the talent, now he just needs to execute.
Jackson needs to give his full effort for this Eagles team to succeed, especially due to all of the other concerns and problems surrounding the team on and off the field already. When he's on his game, DeSean Jackson can be one of the best.