The Union Democrat
Why Desean Jackson wanted to join Las Vegas Raiders
“After I got released, I kind of just reflected and sat back and didn't rush to make any decisions. Just really want to see what is the best situation that fits me.”
—Desean Jackson, wide receiver for Las Vegas Raiders
Desean Jackson joined the Las Vegas Raiders because he wanted to go “somewhere with a winning culture” and “have a chance to make the playoffs.”
“After I got released, I kind of just reflected and sat back and didn't rush to make any decisions,” he said. “Just really want to see what is the best situation that fits me. Once I finally cleared waivers, obviously my agent, had a few teams that were very interested. I kind of narrowed it down to a few teams and just being an LA guy and close to home, the weather and all that good stuff, I didn't want to go anywhere cold. I just felt the Raiders fit and meshed perfect and that's how I was intrigued on my end.”
Jackson, 34, will likely make his debut Sunday evening against the Kansas City Chiefs at Allegiant Stadium. He joins Hunter Renfrow, Bryan Edwards, Zay Jones and rookie
The Raiders (5-3) also have star tight end Darren Waller, but quarterback Derek Carr needed a playmaker like Henry Ruggs III showed he could be early in the season. Ruggs was released by the team last week after an alleged DUI that resulted in a death.
The release of Ruggs came after coach Jon Gruden's resignation last month and was followed by the release of cornerback Damon Arnette on Monday.
“There's a lot of adversity going on with the organization, but sometimes that builds character when people are going against you and thinking that everything is bad,” Jackson said.
“It definitely shows what a group can do in adversity. Right now is the best time for everyone to jell together and come closer together and just make the best out of the situation. You can't really change what's happened. The best thing about life is you can always better yourself and move forward day in and day out.”
Jackson, 34, practiced for the first time with the Raiders Wednesday and Carr noticed one thing about Jackson: “He's very fast and he can still run.” Carr was impressed
Carr elaborated a little more about what Jackson brings to the Raiders and how quickly he thinks he'll know the playbook.
“What he was able to do today was impressive,” he said. “Hopefully it doesn't take too long, we're almost halfway point. You look at it with a guy like that with his understanding of coverages. I don't need to go out there teaching him. He's one of the best threats to play the game. It's easier to play with someone who played a lot of football.”
Jackson still has the speed that he showed when he entered the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2008.
Jackson wanted out of Los Angeles because of a lack of playing time with the Rams, but when he was on the field he still contributed in a big way.
In seven games with the Rams, Jackson had eight receptions for 221 yards and a touchdown.
The touchdown came against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a game in which he finished with three receptions for 120 yards in a 34-24 win. His longest reception of the season went for 68 yards, his only catch in a game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Pairing the three-time Pro Bowler with Carr seems like a no-brainer for the Raiders especially after seeing what his friend Nelson Agholor played last season.
“He has all the great things in a quarterback that you can ask for,” he said. “Nelson is a good friend of mine and after he left Philly I was able to see what he did when he came here and had a lot of success. Just seeing that vertical threat in this offense and having that playmaking ability for myself, and obviously a quarterback that can get the ball down the field is huge. There were other options out there. I was very confident in the situation that he's able to get the ball down the field.”