DeSean Jackson steals the show at Eagles' public practice

DeSean Jackson steals the show at Eagles' public practice

DeSean Jackson stole the show. 

The 40,000-plus Eagles fans who showed up on Sunday night for the team’s only public practice cheered for Carson Wentz and Darren Sproles and Malcolm Jenkins and Brandon Brooks. 

They erupted for DeSean. 

“Great experience, man, honestly,” Jackson said on Sunday night. “It’s been like five years since I came out that tunnel. The support is always great. It ain’t changed one bit. I’m happy, I’m excited for this year.”

To be exact, it had been 2,038 days (or 5 years and 7 months) since Jackson last came out of the tunnel at the Linc as a member of the Eagles. The nest welcomed him home on Sunday night. 

During introductions, Jackson’s name brought back the loudest cheers by far. By far. 

And then in the practice, when he leaped up to catch a 50-yard deep ball from Carson Wentz, the place went nuts again. Jackson enjoyed every minute of it. He ran toward the end zone and eventually threw the ball into the stands. Someone went home with a pretty cool souvenir. 

Jackson was 27 when the Eagles released him in 2014. He’s 32 now and a lot has changed. 

What never changed over the last five years was his affection for the City of Philadelphia and Eagles fans. He desperately wanted to come back and this offseason it finally worked out for him. 

During the last five years, Jackson played three games at the Linc — all three coming during his years with Washington. He went over 100 yards receiving in two of them. Jackson is looking forward to getting back on the right side of that rivalry soon. 

“I can’t wait. What is is? Sept. 8 is the first game?” Jackson said. “I can’t wait. We got the Washington Redskins coming to town, a former team of mine. I’m just excited. We can’t fast forward any faster. We gotta work. We’re in training camp mode. Every day we’re just getting ourselves better and competing. And I think this team right here is very special and everybody has one common role. We want to go out there and make each other better.”

We’ve heard so much about Jackson’s maturity in the months since he’s been back and it all seems real. He’s not the same kid the Eagles drafted in 2008 and he’s not even the same guy they cut in 2014. This DeSean is laser-focused on winning and knows this team has a great shot. He knows this offense could be special, too. 

Wentz and Jackson have been connecting on plenty of deep balls during training camp, so you just knew they were going to do it in front of the crowd on Sunday night. It was what all those people were waiting for. 

“It was great,” Jackson said. “A lot of fans came out here for a practice. We had a great turnout. We had a lot of fans out here. It’s Philadelphia, man. It don’t get no better than this.” 

It was well worth the wait. 

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One company offering Super Bowl ticket loans at 30% interest (P.S. -- dont do this)

One company offering Super Bowl ticket loans at 30% interest (P.S. -- dont do this)

It’s “easier than ever” to attend the Super Bowl, according to a Stub Hub press release.

It may also be easier than ever to go into debt doing it.

StubHub this week announced a program that allows fans to finance ticket purchases — including Super Bowl tickets — and pay for them over a period of 3, 6 or 12 months.

All at the bargain-basement price of up to 30 percent interest.

Stub Hub, in conjunction with financial firm Affirm, introduced a program this week that allows consumers to use Stub Hub to purchase tickets and during the check-out process elect to finance the purchase through Affirm. 

Although ticket buyers can use Affirm for most Stub Hub purchase, the company is rolling out this program as a way to encourage fans who can’t afford Super Bowl tickets to buy them at potentially exorbitant interest rates.

According to financial web site The Balance, the average credit card interest rate as of December was 21.26 percent.

“Just in time for the Super Bowl, consumers can purchase event tickets now and pay over time,” reads a joint press release from Affirm and Stub Hub. 

The StubHub-Affirm joint press release makes it sound like paying 30 percent interest is a financially sound idea: “With U.S. credit card debt at an all-time high and many consumers looking to kick off the new year with better financial habits, they’re demanding more transparent financial products that align with their interests.”

According to a CBS News story that examined the Stub Hub program, two lower-level end-zone tickets selling on Stub Hub for $15,760 on a 12-month, 30-percent loan would cost the buyer an additional $2,676 in interest.

The story also said that unlike credit cards, there’s no financial benefit for consumers to pay this sort of loan off early. 

Ted Rossman of creditcards.com appeared on CBS MoneyWatch and warned consumers against using this sort of financial plan to pay for tickets makes no financial sense.

"It is a huge risk to make any type of discretionary purchase with something that carries a rate of 10 percent to 30 percent,” Rossman said on the show, according to the CBS News story. "It's risky to buy it now and think you are going to pay it later."

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After egregious All-Pro snub, Brandon Brooks named top OL in NFL

After egregious All-Pro snub, Brandon Brooks named top OL in NFL

Earlier this month, Jason Kelce called Brandon Brooks “the best offensive lineman in the NFL.” 

Turns out, ProFootballFocus agrees.

On Thursday, PFF named Brooks the winner of its annual Bruce Matthews Award, given to the best offensive lineman in the NFL. The Eagles were also named the best overall offensive line in the league. 

It’s an honor Brooks deserves after he was egregiously snubbed by voters for the Associated Press All-Pro team earlier this month. It was an absolute joke that Brooks wasn’t even named to the second team. No disrespect to Zack Martin or Marshal Yanda but Brooks was better than both of them this year. 

There’s no doubt that Brooks is the best right guard in the NFL. PFF thinks he’s the best overall OL in the league too. 

Here’s what they said about him:

“Brooks has been a perennially underrated player throughout his NFL career, whether it was playing in Houston or Philadelphia. Aside from a rookie season in which he played just 173 snaps, he has earned overall PFF grades of at least 74.0 every season since. Four of those six seasons before this one saw him top 80.0 overall, but this year he took his game to another level, earning an overall grade of 92.9. For years we have been making the case that he deserves Pro Bowl, and then All-Pro, recognition, and now he deserves to be acknowledged as the best offensive linemen in the game.”

While opinions are split on ProFootballFocus, their evaluations for offensive linemen are incredibly valuable. PFF has been able to give stats to a position that was previously stat-less. No, they don’t necessarily know assignments or the exact designs of plays, but they grade each and every play and that detailed analysis can take some of the human element out of giving these awards. 

When the All-Pro voters made their selections, they picked two guys at right guard in Martin and Yanda who have a longer history of playing at an elite level. PFF doesn’t care about that. They did their game-by-game, play-by-play evaluations and came to the conclusion that no other offensive lineman was better than Brooks this season. 

According to PFF, Brooks gave up just one sack and and 19 pressures on 647 pass snaps. That’s pretty impressive. But it’s even more impressive that Brooks was that dominant eight months after suffering a torn Achilles. 

For the start of next season, Brooks will be coming off a shoulder surgery, but there’s no doubt he should be able to return to his dominant form in 2020. 

The Eagles know what they have in Brooks. They signed the three-time Pro Bowler to a four-year extension during the season that made him the highest-paid guard in the NFL and will keep him in Philadelphia through 2024.

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