Updated: April 12, 2014, 5:38 PM ET
John Keim | ESPN.com
LeSean McCoy offered something DeSean Jackson hasn’t received since Philadelphia released him — public support from an ex-teammate.
McCoy, talking to Eagles reporters after a Philadelphia-area youth clinic Saturday, said Jackson’s loss leaves “big shoes to fill” for the Eagles. He also said that anyone who says they’re happy about the move is lying.
The Eagles released Jackson in a controversial move March 28, and the Washington Redskins signed him five days later. Since then, there have been some reports relying on anonymous sources that put Jackson in a negative light, notably one from CBS Philadelphia.
The story painted Jackson as a problem in the locker room, someone who did not connect with teammates, and that players would be happy if he was gone.
“I don’t know how honest that would be,” McCoy said. “It is a surprise. You’ve heard so much, you don’t really know [what’s true].
“Not playing with him is definitely going to be different. Playing against him is really going to be different. DeSean’s by far one of the biggest playmakers in the game, and the biggest deep threat there is in the game. Some big shoes to fill, for sure. … When you’re making moves like that, they (the Eagles) obviously know something, and I’ve got a lot of trust in them. I think with the team they put together so far, with bringing Darren Sproles in and making different moves and signing guys, they know what they’re doing.”
McCoy said he wasn’t sure why the Eagles released Jackson. He told reporters that he never saw his former teammate curse at coach Chip Kelly, which is among the stories that have leaked out.
“I’ve never seen that. I’ve never seen the two of them get into it,” McCoy said. “Coach Kelly, the good thing I’ll say about him is he’s understanding. If you have an issue or a problem, he seems to always work it out.”
McCoy said he and Jackson bonded off the field. He also said he has communicated with Jackson since he signed with the Redskins. McCoy said there’s a mix of hurt and happiness for Jackson, based on his release but also his landing $16 million in guaranteed money from Washington.
“Any player would be hurting,” McCoy said. “He’s been basically the face of the program, I think, since Donovan [McNabb] left [in 2010]. He loves the city. But it’s a business. You have your feelings about the team. But you go in history, man, you’ll find so many different players leaving teams. That’s how it works. They’ll get over it eventually. I’m sure, right now, he’s going through it, and so are the Eagles. All them ’10’ jerseys out there every Sunday, they’re going to have to get new jerseys now. It’s the same thing, man.
“You gotta live on. We’ve got to play them guys. I’m a friend, [but] I can’t wait to go out there and beat on the Redskins … I’m sure when he comes up to Philly, he wants to have a great game. We’ll still be friends. We’ll still text and chat, after the game … He’s got $16 million guaranteed. He’s not happy?”
But McCoy also told reporters that, despite sticking up for Jackson, he likes Kelly, who took over last year for Andy Reid, the coach who drafted Jackson in 2008 and served as a father figure.
“Chip is different,” McCoy said. “He’s a cool guy. He’s honest. He likes hard work. And he’s respectful. We have a great relationship. I think people are getting the wrong picture like he cut one of his best players, I don’t think it’s that. I think it’s just that was a decision they made. As far as personality-wise, Chip, he does well with everybody.”Covered the Redskins for the Washington Examiner and other media outlets since 1994
Authored or co-authored three books on the Redskins and one on the Cleveland Browns