Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson, the league's top deep threat in 2014, remains extremely confident heading into his eighth NFL season.*
DeSean Jackson isn't afraid to say it.
As he begins his eighth season in the NFL in 2015 – his second with the Washington Redskins – the speedy wide receiver remains confident that he can beat anybody that's lined up against him.
"I don't feel no one could stop me," Jackson told the media Monday at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va. "You could go get Darrelle Revis, Richard Sherman, whoever you want to get."
Jackson's explosiveness was on full display last season, when the three-time Pro Bowler led the team with 1,169 receiving yards on 56 receptions. His 20.9 yards per reception was the best in the entire league, and he became the first player in team history to post 1,100 receiving yards on fewer than 60 receptions and the first NFL player to do so since Vincent Jackson in 2011.
Needless to say, Jackson can back up his talk on the field.
He also has recent examples of success against the aforementioned Sherman, who has established himself as the premiere cornerback in the NFL the past few seasons.
In a Week 5 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks last season, Jackson racked up a season-best 157 receiving yards on five catches, including a 60-yard touchdown reception that left Sherman in his dust.
"Whatever opportunity I get, every chance I get the opportunity to make a play, I'm going to make the most out of my skills to score touchdowns, have energy to light my team up, to get everybody riled up to continue to go out on the field and just play at a high level," Jackson said. "I just try to set the tempo by playing at a high level and then everybody else can kind of follow."
This season, Jackson is hoping to build an even better rapport with the three Redskins quarterbacks – Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy – each of whom started at least four games for the team in 2014.
Despite a lack of continuity, each quarterback was able to find some measure of success when throwing the ball Jackson's way. Now, with another full offseason of work behind them, Jackson is confident for even better results in 2015.
"As long as I think them guys can stay healthy, we can get the best out of them," Jackson said. "Not put too much pressure – it's everybody across the board, it's a team sport – it's not a one man game. I think everybody has to be held accountable, everybody has to take their game up to another notch to get the results we need."
Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson (No. 50) and tackle Trent Williams (No. 47) were named to the NFL Network's "Top 100 Players Of 2015" countdown Wednesday, June 10, 2015.
It also takes time for a quarterback to anticipate the speed of a receiver like Jackson has. But with more and more reps – and another year together under their belt – Jackson said the quarterbacks have learned to let him "run under the ball."
"I definitely think they're anticipating out there," he said. "They're giving me the opportunities to make plays down the field. As a receiver and as someone that has the speed that's able to break the coverage off the defenses, that's all you kind of ask for. They're doing a good job with that right now."
Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said the Redskins are looking to find better general balance in their offensive attack this season, and having Jackson on the field will be a major part of that plan.
"There's a lot of time where he'll get doubled, and he won't get the ball. But when he is singled up, we have got to take advantage of it, and he's got to take advantage of it when his opportunity comes," Gruden said. "It might be four or five times a game, it might be 12 times a game. We don't know yet. But DeSean has been great since we got him here and you've just got to be patient and when the balls come to him, make the play like he always does."