DeSean Jackson is set to quickly make his debut for the Las Vegas Raiders against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The team signed the veteran wide receiver after their lack of a good deep threat was apparent in the loss to the New York Giants. Though Jackson is 34-years-old, he can still be an effective and productive wide receiver. He would’ve had options to sign with a number of teams but ended up picking the Raiders.
Jackson had a chance to explain why the team was perfect for him.
“Being an L.A. guy, being close to home, the weather, all that good stuff, I didn’t want to go nowhere cold,” Jackson told reporters in his first comments as a Raider. “I just felt like the Raiders fit, matched perfect.”
Jackson grew up in Los Angeles when the Raiders were still playing there. He even revealed that he went to a game when the team still played at the LA Memorial Coliseum. He couldn’t make things work with the Rams in his hometown but the Raiders aren’t far away and the team continues to have a strong presence in Los Angeles. Also, Jackson said he wanted warm weather and there aren’t many places warmer than Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Jackson Knows His Role With the Raiders
Jackson is coming to the Raiders halfway through the season so the expectations for him shouldn’t be too big. He was once a superstar wide receiver but those days are behind him now. He knows that he’s not going to be the focal point of the offense right away and is ready to do whatever they need him to.
“It’s really not about myself at this point,” Jackson said. “I’m not asking to get the ball 100 times. I’m not asking to play 100%. Whatever that role is that fits, just let me play it to the best of my ability.”
The role that the Raiders need him for is clear. He’s going to be a deep threat who can stretch the field while keeping defenses honest. It’s a role that he’s thrived in for over a decade and should do well with quarterback Derek Carr, who has been showing off his arm talent this season.
Jackson Looking to Provide ‘Spark’
The Raiders wide receiver corps looked flat against the Giants. Outside of Hunter Renfrow, the team’s wide receivers combined for one catch. That can’t happen again if the Raiders hope to beat the Chiefs. Jackson believes his presence will help open things up for everybody.
“But being that spark, what I’ve been able to do my whole career – deep threat, vertical threat – and having the defense having to account for that,” Jackson said. “So, if it’s being a decoy, opening it up for other guys like [tight end Darren] Waller, Hunter, whatever it is I need to do to be a spark, that’s what I’m here for.”
Jackson still has a lot of the speed he had when he came into the NFL. His snaps may be limited at first but he’ll be a threat for a big play every time he’s on the field. That should help players like Bryan Edwards and Zay Jones gets some better looks.