Jack­son shows base­ball skills with bas­ket catch

The Washington Times Daily - - SPORTS - BY TOMMY CHALK

Maybe the Washington Na­tion­als didn’t have to go to Chicago to find their new out­fielder. Washington Redskins coach Jay Gru­den joked af­ter DeSean Jack­son’s Wil­lie Mays-like over-the-shoul­der bas­ket catch in Sun­day’s 27-22 vic­tory over the Philadel­phia Ea­gles that his wide re­ceiver might have cho­sen the wrong sport.

“DeSean would’ve been a world-class cen­ter fielder,” a happy Gru­den said. “He ad­justs to the ball like no other. You just put it up in the air where he can see it and find it and he’ll get it.”

Down 13-7 in the third quar­ter, Jack­son got be­hind the Ea­gles’ sec­ondary and had to twist his body to find the rain­bow Kirk Cousins had put on his out­side shoul­der. Af­ter haul­ing in the pass. Jack­son shed corner­back Leodis McKelvin and ca­su­ally strolled into the end zone.

The for­mer Ea­gle, who fin­ished with three re­cep­tions for 102 yards in his re­turn to Philadel­phia, said he and Cousins no­ticed a fault in the Ea­gles’ cov­er­age and knew that they could ex­ploit it with a big play.

“We ac­tu­ally talked about that in the locker room at half time,” Jack­son said. “We knew that we was go­ing to get that cov­er­age. That play was huge.”

The catch was one for the record books as well: Jack­son has 22 touch­down re­cep­tions of at least 60 yards — mov­ing him out of a tie into sec­ond place in league history — just one fewer than Hall of Famer Jerry Rice.

Jack­son wasn’t sur­prised by Gru­den’s com­ments about play­ing the out­field

“I def­i­nitely was a good base­ball player,” Jack­son said. “Time to time, I al­ways think about maybe one day go­ing back.” Don’t count on it. Jack­son loves foot­ball. “The love of the game for foot­ball tremen­dously out­weighs my love of base­ball,” Jack­son said. “I used to grow up play­ing in the front yard, tack­ling my boys. I just love the phys­i­cal na­ture of the game.”


Washington Redskins re­ceiver DeSean Jack­son made an over-the-shoul­der bas­ket catch for a 80-yard touch­down re­cep­tion on Sun­day.

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