DeSean Jackson

Longtime NFL cornerback DeAngelo Hall opens up about Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson as teammates

Longtime NFL cornerback DeAngelo Hall opens up about Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson as teammates

Longtime NFL cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who had 43 interceptions and made three Pro Bowl teams before retiring following the 2017 season, wrote this week about his five favorite teammates of all-time.

Two of them are very familiar names.

In a piece on NFL.com, Hall listed Michael Vick as his favorite teammate of all-time and also included DeSean Jackson at No. 4.

Considering that he had over 500 teammates, that's impressive! 

Hall spent 2004 through 2006 with Vick in Atlanta and 2014 through 2016 with D-Jack in Washington. He wrote about his favorite teammates in a first-person piece on NFL.com.

Here’s part of what Hall wrote about Vick:

Growing up in Virginia, I remember watching Vick play at Virginia Tech from afar (before I got there) and was mesmerized by what he did as a quarterback. When I arrived in Atlanta my rookie year, I quickly realized that everything people said about Vick was true. He was revolutionary. Sure, I was used to seeing quarterbacks run all over the field in high school and even college. It was unusual to see a player do it at the NFL level, though, and he did it all the time. I remember getting up out of my seat on almost every drive when our offense was on the field -- when the defensive players usually sat down to catch our breath on the sidelines -- because Vick was exciting as hell to watch. And, hey, we had the best seat in the house.

Vick, who went on to spend five seasons with Jackson in Philly, had one of his best seasons ever with Hall in Atlanta in 2004, when the Falcons wound up losing to the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game.

“One thing Vick didn't get enough credit for was his arm strength,” Hall wrote. “Until you're physically on the field and trying to stop Vick, you don't realize how difficult it was. I had to be in tight coverage on every route because he could throw the hell out of the ball and drop it right into the receiver's hands. I gained much more respect for that part of his game after playing with him in Atlanta early in my career.”

The Falcons traded Hall to the Raiders in the middle of 2008, but they released him after just eight games.

He signed three days later with the Redskins and spent the last 9½ seasons of his career in Washington, including three years with Jackson.

We didn't start out as great friends. That's no secret,” Hall wrote. “With Jackson being a Philadelphia Eagle for the first six years of his career and me being a DB in Washington at that time, how could we be? But when I got the chance to help recruit him to Washington in 2014 -- my then-teammate Pierre Garcon, rapper Wale and I took him out in D.C. -- I was stoked because I would no longer have to play against him. And from his first day in Washington, he pushed me and made me work in practice like no other receiver had. I generally wasn't worried about receivers out-running me, but I was with DJax. He was a younger speedster and I was a veteran who still felt like I could stay with anyone. He forced me to perfect my technique because I couldn't rely solely on my speed against him. We were both great at tracking the ball -- an aspect of my game that I always prided myself on -- and we had fierce competitions in practice. I wish that I had been healthier during our time together and that I had been teammates with a receiver of his caliber for more of my career. Iron sharpens iron -- and we bettered each other.

Jackson signed with the Redskins after Chip Kelly engineered his release from the Eagles after the 2013 season. 

Jackson caught 142 passes for 2,702 yards and 14 touchdowns in three seasons with the Redskins before spending two years in Tampa and then returning to the Eagles before last season.

Hall said Jackson “is the total package as far as receivers are concerned, in my opinion, and it's too bad he didn't reach even greater heights with the Redskins. Sure, he had two 1,000-yard receiving seasons in Washington and led the league in yards per catch in 2014 and '16 (20.9 and 17.9 ypc, respectively) but I still think DJax could've been more of a centerpiece for us during those years. Years later, he's still playing at a high level -- just with those damn Eagles again.”

Hall had four interceptions in his career against the Eagles, tied with Ricky Manning for the most vs. the Eagles in the last 20 years. He victimized Donovan McNabb, Nick Foles, Vince Young and Kevin Kolb once each.

So he might speak fondly of Vick and D-Jack, don’t expect many people in Philly to speak fondly of Hall.

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The Eagles' defensive line is working out together at Fletcher Cox's house

The Eagles' defensive line is working out together at Fletcher Cox's house

The Eagles are currently working through an unprecedented virtual offseason program, with the full team separated because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but some players are still managing to link up and train together.

Veteran Eagles lineman Brandon Graham jumped on an Instagram Live on Tuesday night with Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson to talk about (almost) the entire defensive line making a joint trip to Fletcher Cox's house to work out together this week.

Here's how Graham described the setup, and his time with his teammates:

GRAHAM: We out here with Fletch ... The D-Line came out.

We got out here, we're gonna be with Wash, we're gonna be with Wash working out. Most of the D-Line came out. Hargrave couldn't come.

JACKSON: I'd seen you with Slay, how was that?

GRAHAM: Oh, that was cool. You know, we'd been working out since last year, when we found out they was trying to trade for him. So we always just stayed together after that.

[...]

We start working out tomorrow.

Poor Javon Hargrave, who's going through quite an odd first few months as a member of the Eagles.

It's unclear if Graham meant former Eagles defensive line coach Jim Washburn, current Eagles director of player personnel Jeremiah Washburn, or someone else when he said the players would be with "Wash".

Also, it's pretty wild to know that Graham and Slay started working out together ahead of a possible trade while Slay was still with the Lions. That kind of collaboration would drive people insane in the NBA.

Slay and Graham were spotted working out together last week:

The D-line's trip sure is reminiscent of the gatherings quarterback Carson Wentz likes to organize in the offseason. Three summers ago, he notably took some teammates up to North Dakota to work out and bond together.

That bonding trip sure paid off.

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NFL Odds: Where DeSean Jackson, Nick Foles stand in Comeback Player award race

NFL Odds: Where DeSean Jackson, Nick Foles stand in Comeback Player award race

If and when the NFL's 2020 regular season begins, the league won't be short on storylines, including a number of notable comeback stories.

Outside of the biggest names - like Ben Roethlisberger and Rob Gronkowski - there are a few intriguing players with Eagles ties who could be good value bets.

Former Eagles quarterback and Philadelphia legend Nick Foles is listed as Top 7 option for the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year award across FanDuel, DraftKings, and FoxBet's lines. 

Foles, who missed essentially the entire 2019 season in Jacksonville with a broken collarbone, saw his odds jump this week after the Bears declined to pick up Mitch Trubisky's fifth-year option, which likely showed the team's hand in the upcoming "quarterback competition" between Foles and Trubisky.

If Foles manages to lead the Bears back to the playoffs as the starter, it's entirely possible he'd be among the leading contenders for the award, which would be pretty neat.

Elsewhere, Eagles wideout DeSean Jackson - who, like Foles, suffered an early injury in 2019 and never returned to form - is a solid dark horse option. He's tied for 13th at FanDuel, 12th at DraftKings, and tied for 12th at FoxBet. Jackson had an insane Week 1 return with the Eagles last season, and was on pace for an (obviously unsustainable) 128 catches, 2,464 yards, and 32 touchdowns after one game.

If he's fully healthy in 2020 and puts up 40 percent of that, Jackson is probably up there as one of the best value bets in the field.

Jackson was seen in late April running his first routes since core surgery last fall:

One other Eagles wide receiver is also kind of being considered for the award: Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery is tied for 15th at FanDuel, is 23rd at FoxBet, and isn't on the board at DraftKings. So, definitely a long shot, but if he wins, you'd feel like a genius.

Here's a full recap of their odds as of May 5:

Foles
FanDuel: +1400
DraftKings: +2000
FoxBet: +1500

Jackson
FanDuel: +5000
DraftKings: +2500
FoxBet: +3400

Jeffery
FanDuel: +6000
DraftKings: N/A
FoxBet: +7100

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