Put together a list of the fastest guys in the NFL. Chris Johnson, Patrick Peterson CJ Spiller and Mike Wallace and a few others definitely come in near the top. Only missing one name.
Since he first stepped onto the field for the Eagles, DeSean Jackson has consistently kept himself in the argument for who holds the title of fastest in the league. The University of California product, once clocked at a ridiculous 4.35 seconds in the 40-yard dash, has been running past defensive backs since his first NFL game.
Tuesday night, at the Cherry Hill Mall opening of Nike Yardline at Champs Sports in New Jersey, a store dedicated to football gear at all levels, it was all about Nike’s #UnleashSpeed campaign, unveiling a new line of Nike products geared toward speed. Who better to talk about it than Jaccpot?
Jackson and Philadelphia teammates Brandon Boykin and David Sims fielded questions from fans as they showed off Nike’s “Get Drenched” Jersey collection, sharing some of the secrets of how they worked their way to the pros and how they stay on top of their game.
“The biggest thing is what you do in your off-time, how you prepare and how you go out there mentally and stay focused,” Jackson said.
Of course, one of the most pressing things the crowd wanted to know was how Jackson stays so damn fast. He let them in on some of his training techniques from the past offseason.
“I’ve been getting on that sand, the beach. Working on those quick, quick feet, that quick twitch (muscle), working on sprints,” he told the pro-Eagles crowd. “I’m a track guy, so running 40s, running 100s. Offseason is the biggest time to put yourself ahead while everybody else is chilling and hanging out.”
Before the Birds in attendance took the stage, we caught up with Jackson, to discuss his favorite off-field gear, what he thinks of the rap game and, most importantly, how he feels about the new menu at the Eagles facility.
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TDdaily: What jerseys did you wear as a kid coming up?
DJ: Growing up, Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice. We didn’t have a team out in L.A., so it was kind of my favorite players growing up. Smith, Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, those were the jerseys I rocked, Steve Young too. Just basically the popular players, guys I looked up to.
TD: So Chip Kelly revamped the menu in the cafeteria. How’d you feel about Taco Tuesday being taken away?
DJ: Oh yeah, you know Taco Tuesday was a big day for us, we used to look forward to that. You know, he’s got us eating good, eating healthy, staying fresh. It kind of helps out with your metabolism and things like that. It’s a good thing.
TD: What’s your custom smoothie like?
DJ: My smoothie is like a blueberry, with bananas and peaches. So it’s pretty good, I like it.
TD: Kelly came out the other day and said that you’d be returning punts again this year. How do you feel about that?
DJ: Oh yeah, I’m definitely excited. Punt returning is something I love doing. Going out there, keeping the fans excited and things like that. I go out there and make plays to keep my team in the game.
TD: You hear all about the pace of the practice with Kelly, how fast it is. What’s that like for you?
DJ: We’ve been doing it for a pretty long time now, so I’m used to it, I’m in great shape. It helps me go out there and get an advantage on defenses. I’m looking forward to a big year this year for us.
TD: What was the locker room like going through the quarterback competition, whether it would be Vick or Foles?
DJ: Everybody was confident, regardless of who it was as far as the quarterbacks. We have two good quarterbacks that at any given time are able to go out there and give us a shot at winning games. It’s a blessing having two rather than one. We’d rather have two good quarterbacks than trying to struggle with one.
TD: Of course. What are your expectations for yourself this year?
DJ: Really man, I just really want to help my team get back to winning. Last year was a tough year for us. Any way I’m able to go out there and produce, do what I need to do as far as being a professional on-field and help my team win games, that’s really all I care about. Everything else will stand for itself.
TD: What’s going on with you on the music front? You had the “Diamonds on my Neck” track with Snoop a little while back, how was the reception for that?
DJ: It went pretty good, we got some good feedback and some good buzz for my record label. Right now, since football season is up, that’s what I’m focused on first. But offseason I’ll probably get back to recording some tracks and doing that. But my label, Jaccpot, you’ll definitely be hearing some noise from that.
TD: Any artists coming out with stuff that you’re interested in now?
DJ: I’m just a fan of hip-hop, so any good music. Kendrick Lamar is someone I have a good relationship with, he does some great things for the hip-hop community, and he just had that big track with Big Sean.
TD: What’d you think of that verse?
DJ: Oh man, I loved it.
TD: He’s an L.A. guy and he pretty much called out everybody.
DJ: Hip hop, man, that’s what it needs. It’s not a friendly game, it’s a competition. As long as you have people understanding that and don’t take it as disrespect, he’s just trying to get the best out of everybody, you know, you better step your game.
TD: Any of your artists going to hop on the Control beat?
DJ: Ah man, I don’t think so. That’s the West Coast, he spoke for the West Coast. Right now, I think he got the West Coast, he’s the young king out there. We’ll give it to him and let him keep repping for the West.
Brett Weisband is a TDdaily contributor. Follow him on Twitter @weisband. Photos: Champs Sports/Nike.