Breakfast with Andy Reid, DeSean Jackson

Andy Reid, the gruff coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, joined us on a conference call this morning. He kept his answers short, concise and to the point. He was followed by rookie receiver DeSean Jackson.

 

The 49ers had two shots at drafting Jackson, the former Cal standout. Teams passed on Jackson due to concerns about his size (5-10, 169), durability and character.

 

–The Eagles drafted Jackson in the second round. They are getting more from him than even Reid could have expected. “The whole draft is a 50-50 shot,” Reid said. “I’d like to sit here and say I absolutely knew it.”

 

Veteran receivers Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown have been injured, opening the door for Jackson. He leads the Eagles with 23 catches for 335 yards and a touchdown. He has averaged 13.2 yards on 17 punt returns with a 68-yard touchdown.

 

Jackson gained notoriety on “Monday Night Football” when he caught a deep pass from Donovan McNabb against the Cowboys and inexplicably dropped the ball before reaching the goal line. Reid said the veteran players got ahold of Jackson before he had a chance.

 

Jackson signed on with Eddie DeBartolo’s sports agency, and Jerry Rice became a mentor to him. After that play, he said Rice spoke to him and was supportive. “He’s not going to turn his back on me that easy.” Jackson said.

 

–Leading up to the draft, Reid said he spent a lot of time talking to Cal coach Jeff Tedford, who told Reid there were a couple things he would’ve done differently in handling Jackson. Reid said he didn’t feel like Jackson‘s character would be a problem.

 

Jackson said about 40 family members and friends will be at Sunday’s game against the 49ers at Candlestick. Jackson said he does not feel like he has to prove anything to the 49ers or any of the other teams that passed on him in the draft. He said all he wants to do is handle his business.

 

Jackson said he thought he was on the 49ers’ radar. He visited the 49ers and met with offensive coordinator Mike Martz and Mike Nolan. Jackson said Martz told him he was a good player and told him some of the things he’d draw up for Jackson in the offense.

 

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As for Reid, here are some of the things he had to say:

 

–He said he doesn’t care much for looking at the standings. His team is 2-3 and they’re already falling back in the NFC East. “Right now, we have our hands full with the 49ers,” he said.

 

–Reid said the 49ers have an explosive offense and they do a lot of different things defensively that is getting the Eagles’ attention this week.

 

–The Eagles average just 3.5 yards per rushing attempt. They rank 29th in the league in rushing yards per game and rushing average. “That’s one phase of it,” Reid said, adding that the Eagles have more problems than just running the football.

 

–RB Brian Westbrook is not practicing today with two cracked ribs. Reid said they’ll just wait to see how he feels over the next couple days before determining whether he’ll play Sunday at Candlestick. Reid said Westbrook does not necessarily run more of a risk by playing.

 

–WR Kevin Curtis has been practicing a little. He has not played this season. No word on whether he’ll be available on  Sunday.

 

–G Shawn Andrews has a back problem, and is still hurting, Reid said. Again, his status is unclear.

 

–Niners defenders Michael Lewis and Takeo Spikes both played for the Eagles. Reid said Lewis was very tough. He said of Spikes, “We loved having him here.”

 

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We’ve written about this before, but we’ll do it again . . . The staff at Instant 49ers seriously doubt the 49ers would have interest in paying the price necessary to land a player like Detroit WR Roy Williams, who is reportedly on the trade block. There were a lot of questions in Detroit whether Williams bought into Mike Martz’s offense. We’ve heard Williams did not put in the time required to get a firm grasp of that offense. So Instant 49ers wouldn’t expect the 49ers show much interest in Williams — or any other receiver at the trade deadline, for that matter. The 49ers currently rank second in the league with a 13.3-yard average per reception. Last season, the 49ers were 31st at 9.8 yards per completion.

 

The trade deadline is next Tuesday.

 

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