The San Francisco 49ers host Washington this weekend, and Wednesday is the day an opposing player and head coach speak with Bay Area media. For this weekend's game, DeSean Jackson chatted with the media. There were a few questions about his relationship with his quarterbacks, but the most interesting tidbit came with regard to his run through free agency earlier this year.
During his call with 49ers writers, Jackson said he had spoken with the 49ers and he almost made a visit out here. However, Washington "made it right" for him, and that was that.
Jackson was the subject of intense trade rumors in mid-March, before the Philadelphia Eagles finally released him. The 49ers reportedly inquired about a trade, although Trent Baalke denied the 49ers inquired. After Jackson was released, a Washington, DC reporter said the 49ers had gotten in on the Jackson sweepstakes. He ended up signing with Washington, and that was the end of it.
Given what has been going on in Washington for much of the last two years, I can only guess that "made it right" was connected to the kind of contract he got. I suppose there could be other things, but Washington has been a train-wreck. I suppose it could have something to do with what he was told the play-calling would be like, but for now I am just going to assume it was a contract thing. There is nothing wrong with going where he'll get paid the most, and given how quickly an NFL career can end, I don't blame him if that is the reason. Whatever the case, he is in Washington, not Santa Clara.
Here is the full transcript of his conference call.
Difficulty of having different QBs each week:
Honestly, just trying to stay focused and get myself ready as best I can knowing the circumstances, knowing as far as what quarterback's going to be playing. Just really trying to keep everybody on one page, on one accord, just going out and putting in the work during the week, and try to transfer it over to game day on Sunday.
On taking more of a leadership role:
I've been in the stages of trying to mature in my career, and being myself here in the NFL, being able to be a mature individual. And be a guy that guys around the locker room look up to as far as my playing skills, my ability to go out there and spark the team up with big plays, do anything as far as helping the team win. That's the role I've been taking on.
On Gruden's frank assessment of the team and RG3:
I think he's a very vocal guy. He's had success in this league before he's been a head coach. I think as far as his history, and his past, and where he came from, his family, the background, the name of the Grudens and things like that. I think he has a lot of respect and he's able to vocalize his opinion, where guys can hear and understand it. They can't take it too personal, but at the same time, you have to understand what he's trying to get across, what message he is trying to relay. I think guys are getting a feel for him, it's his first year and we're all kind of new to situation as far as having a new coach, certain new players here. It's just something we're all just trying to get adjusted to. It's kind of getting late in the year. It hasn't been the year we hoped for or wished to be, but at the same time, we still have to continue to go out there and put our best foot forward.
On 49ers pursuit when he was a free agent:
I had some talks with them, general manager, Coach Harbaugh and things like that. It was a close call, I almost made the trip to come out there, but obviously Washington did what they did and kept me here, and made everything right. I did have a couple talks. Coach Harbaugh and myself, we played together back at Cal when he was at Stanford. I respect him and what he's done. It was a tough call, but I chose to come here instead.
On why he chose Washington:
At the end of the day, they made it right for me to stay here in Washington, and even though I'm born and raised in California and would love to be there, love to play there, it was just a better fit and a better situation for me to be where I'm at now. So that's kind of what played a part.
On Instagram about doing epic stuff with basic people:
If you follow me on Instagram, you know I post a lot of quotes and things like that. I'm just a big time guy on quotes, and if you look too much into it, and read into it, you'll get lost. I'm just posting a quote. It wasn't directed to anybody in particular. If I was talking to somebody, you'd know who I was talking to. At the end of the day, I post quotes, and that's what they're for, posting quotes.
On 49ers secondary:
They're always known to be a very physical team, a great defense. They have some key additions, guys I'm very familiar with and have good friendships. But once game time is played, i'm between the white lines, you gotta separate all them type of things. We just worry about what we need to do go out there and win the football game. It's Wednesday, we're doing everything we need to do to prepare ourself, so just take it like any other week. Just go out on the field and make it happen on Sunday.
On who he is close to on 49ers:
Vernon Davis, Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis, he's not playing, but Patrick, NaVorro Bowman. A lot of them guys, i'm good friends with them, have respect, have mutual respect as well. But like I said, between the white lines, it's different.
On how the 49ers limit big plays:
I mean I don't know. I'm sure they've given up big plays as well. I heard that they been playing a lot better the last couple weeks, but I haven't really been focusing on the 49ers. This is the week have to focus on them, so knowing what I'm able to do, and bring to the field, I'm just going to go out there and continue to do what I do. Once the ball is in my hands, and once my opportunities will be what they will be, I'll make the most out of them, and that's what I've always been able to do.
On if chemistry is better with one quarterback vs. another:
No, not necessarily. Regardless of who's at quarterback, I prepare myself the same way. I just do the best I can to go out there to help make plays, help take stress off them. Make it easier on my quarterbacks and that's the role I take on. I like to make it easier for them by getting the ball in my hands and making big plays. Being able to do some great things once the ball's in my hand.