3 reasons why LA Rams’ signing Desean Jackson gets an A+

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Reason I: It takes two defensive backs to cover one healthy DJax.

The beauty of a receiver like Jackson is that he forces the defense to keep a man over the top to defend the deep part of the field. Not to mention you gotta’ give a receiver with his speedy wheels a bit more cushion, play a bit off him more to respect his ability to blow right by you.

His mere presence on the field now effectively eliminates the defense’s ability to deploy a zero-cover blitz scheme against the Rams. The Rams know all too well how the Miami Dolphins and the San Francisco 49ers sold out on the short routes to get to the quarterback quickly. Send everyone against Stafford now? DeSean Jackson goes 90 yards for the score.  Simple as that.

Two particular games in which the Rams were defeated last year come to mind – the Miami loss and the 49ers loss. In both games, the zero-cover blitz befuddled QB Goff and the Rams and tellingly held their wide receivers in check on the short routes intended to give the quarterback an instant target. The Rams had no answer for it. They do now.

Bubble boy?

Short of wrapping him in bubble wrap, how do you keep him healthy and on the field? Perhaps you limit his plays per game to say, 10 or fewer snaps. Show the flag just often enough to keep the defense honest. And while it’s probably tempting for the Rams to use those same talents to return kicks and punts, it might not be wise for him to absorb that kind of punishment. The Rams will need to be judicious in how he’s used.

The Rams use incredible deception when need be. They could go with a 12 package and use Jackson in the slot with a wide tight end.  As the larger framed tight end draws coverage from defensive backs, the more diminutive Jackson can rush to the newly created wake in the defense, catch the ball, and he’s off to the races.

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He’s not unlike a thoroughbred horse that performs at maximum exertion. . . and therefore, prone to injury. Of course, the Philadelphia Eagles, who paid $16 million for just eight games from the veteran, know how painful that absence can be. The Rams need to find some method to ensure Jackson is well enough to suit up this season.  Not just for the Rams’ sake, but to ensure some team will be interested in signing the fleet-footed wide receiver next year.