DeSean Jackson strangly unpunished for truthfulness


DeSean Jackson strangly unpunished for truthfulness

DeSean Jacksons admission that he was saving himself last year for a new contract seems not to have gone over very well. Or very poorly, for that matter. Evidently we have reached the point in human development where the frank telling of an obviously unpleasant truth can sometimes mitigate punishment.The former Cal star who now toils for the Philadelphia Eagles had points deducted for admitting he didnt give his all in all situations in 2011 for fear that it might jeopardize a future contract but got them back by doing what so many other players havent done in similar situations he admitted it.The reaction to this seeming revelation was odd in that it wasnt regarded as a revelation at all. Most pro football observers (as in, people who get paid to watch pro football) felt theyd already observed it and sussed out the reason, thereby making Jacksons admission more pro forma than damning.And while coaches across the country may be swallowing their faces in apoplexy at the notion that an important player admitted he took plays off to protect himself for payday, the realities of professional football have somehow tamped down the level of outrage among those who regard themselves as being in the community.In other words, it went like this:I didnt play hard all the time because I didnt want to get hurt and screw myself out of the new contract I wanted.Well, thats kind of creepy, but I already figured it out, I get why you did it, and at least you didnt lie to me about it.Thats an evolutionary moment of sorts. In the past, Jackson would have been cut, or at the very least suspended (he was deactivared for one game and benched for another), and there would have been a long line of media types who would praise the team for having dealt so harshly with the miscreant. And upon his return, the quote would have been rubbed in his face at every opportunity:Well, I dont know if he went all out for that one, but he has a history of not doing so.Or:He went all out for that one, which he didnt always do in the past.And that part may still happen. After all, the beast must fed, and the beast eats 24752. When the topic of DeSean Jackson comes up, there will be oblique references to the year he played at less than 100 percent commitment and results in 2011.But there are no signs of overt rage anywhere, even in the places where you would expect it most. Say, like Philadelphia, where overt rage is often the first move in a seduction attempt.Oh, there may be some fans who are furious about Jacksons words matching his lack of deeds, and we choose not to generalize where specificity is required. But our search turned up very little public anger about a guy who admitted he let his contract situation and the need to play safe to protect it affect his performance.And were talking here only about the reaction, not the deed. The deed stands on its own, and you can fulminate it as all you want without any help from us.Maybe people have a greater understanding of the short shelf life of NFL players and the hard facts of a game whose dangers typically far outweigh the securities. Maybe DeSean Jackson is just a more charming fellow than most. And maybe its just August fatigue in a football season that now never ends.All we know for sure is this. DeSean Jackson was honest about something players usually are afraid to be honest about and in a business that despises honesty, is not being held to the fire for that forthrightness. I guess hes just the magician who explains the trick afterward everyone likes to be in on a dirty little secret now and then.And we mean now and then in the "not very often at all" way. A steady diet of honesty when it comes to football never seems to please anyone.Ray Ratto is a columnist for

49ers GM Lynch speaks with Harbaugh about Michigan prospects

49ers GM Lynch speaks with Harbaugh about Michigan prospects

PHOENIX – John Lynch’s draft preparation as a first-year NFL general manager prompted him to make a phone call Monday to Jim Harbaugh.

“I talked to an old 49ers coach yesterday,” Lynch said at the NFL owners meetings. “He was great. He has a lot of players who are draftable. (He) gave me a lot of great information, and it was entertaining, as it always is with Jim.

“He just said, ‘Fired up for you, man,’ then we started talking about his players. He had to go to a meeting and I had to go to a meeting, so it was quick.”

Before Lynch could quiz Harbaugh about some of the Wolverines’ draft-eligible prospects, Harbaugh had a brief chance to catch up with his brother, John, the Baltimore Ravens head coach.

“It was fun because right when we called, his brother was right there,” Lynch said.

“So John came over and before I could get on the phone, John and Jim were talking. I said, ‘Hey, you’re cutting into my time, give me the phone.’ We had a good time.”

Michigan’s top prospects are safety Jabrill Peppers, who won the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most-versatile player, and edge rusher Taco Charlton.

Lynch said does not ask “lazy questions” of any college coach about his former players. Instead, he’s looking at specifics, such as what position a player is better suited to play at the NFL level.

Harbaugh, who was let go after the 49ers' 8-8 season of 2014, enters his third season at his alma mater after two seasons with 10-3 records.

NFL centralizes replay reviews, Del Rio wants more freedom in challenges

NFL centralizes replay reviews, Del Rio wants more freedom in challenges

PHOENIX – Fans won’t see special teams players leaping over the long snapper in an attempt to block a field goal or extra point. Seattle’s Kam Chancellor made some big plays with that technique, but won’t have the chance anymore.

The NFL outlawed that option on Tuesday as one several rule changes enacted at the league meetings.

“There are some safety concerns,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “that are legitimate.”

The NFL also centralized replay reviews, taking that power away from officials on the field. NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino and associates at the NFL’s command center will handle reviews in an effort to add consistency to important calls.

Del Rio hoped replay challenges would be expanded further, but a proposal by Seattle and Buffalo allowing coaches to challenge any play save scoring plays and turnovers, which are automatically reviewed, did not pass.

“I think there are a number of coaches who feel like, if there’s an obvious error, we should have a mechanism to correct it,” Del Rio said. “We catch most of them, so you’re talking about a small percentage. It’s hard to move the needle for such a small percentage. That’s the problem. The fact is, if it’s important enough that we’re willing to use that challenge, we’d like that right and ability. Things happen, and you don’t want to lose a big game, a game that decides whether you advance in the playoffs or make the playoffs and it’s something you could overturn, that you could challenge or change. Why not?”

Here's a list of new rules and bylaws adopted by the league on Tuesday.