This season DeSean Jackson comes home, where he first developed both his breakthrough speed and an aversion to loss.
In March, the three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Rams for $ 4.5 million. With that, he returned to Southern California for nearly two decades after being one of the hottest high school recruits.
Long before establishing himself as one of the NFL's swiftest threats or becoming a two-way All-American consensus in Cal, Jackson was a determined junior wide receiver who posted the biggest loss of his young career – a 21-17 loss to Loyola High School in the 2003 CIF championship game. Jackson never forgot the feeling of leaving the field second and the work it took him and his teammates to become champions a year later in their senior season. Jackson was named Los Angeles Player of the Year that year 2004 and later became the MVP of the 2005 All-American Bowl, which featured 80 of the country's best players.
"As a top recruit and one of the best players on the team, I just wanted to go back and help my team win the game," said Jackson. "For the next year I just wanted to work so hard and be in a position where I wouldn't have to lose another championship game." The loss brought me and my teammates a lot closer because we didn't want to go through that again. We worked harder than ever this year and beat Los Alamitos in the championships next year. "
In his 14th NFL season, a physically healthy Jackson, who reunited with head coach Sean McVay after several seasons together in Washington, has been working on the skeptics who believe he lost a step after spending most of the past two seasons failed to prove otherwise.
"I'm in good shape and happy to be back home playing for the Rams," said the Los Angeles native. “It would be great to end my career in Los Angeles. Hopefully we can do some great things here. "
Another factor in regaining his Pro Bowl form is the chance to play with another Rams pickup, quarterback Matthew Stafford, for whom the Rams traded in January. In this week's winning strategy, Jackson explains how getting used to a new team environment, syncing with your teammates, and being ready to play all year round can all help you enjoy some of your hard-earned achievements.
"I've been watching Matthew for a long time," says Jackson. "I'm thrilled to be on the same team. I'm looking forward to starting our workouts."
1. Perform with your own personal style
I feel like everyone is different when it comes to leadership. People have different roles and you have different types of leaders with different perspectives. t everyone will be that big as an athlete, rah-rah leader yelling at everyone for motivation. You have people who lead by example – who just go out there and show them how to do it. It depends on your personality, but being true to who you are is important. Be authentic – be nothing other than what your real self is.
To me, no matter what kind of trait you have as a player, just be trainable and you know you are ready to build with your teammates. Don't be the type of person who is selfish or who doesn't listen.
2. Get your timing right
When I got to the Rams it was a familiar position playing with Sean McVay in Washington so I kind of know how he runs his program. I also know a lot of people on the team and I am familiar with their style of play.
As a recipient, the most important thing is to develop a relationship with your quarterback. This, of course, is huge … it's so important that the timing is wrong with your quarterback. If you don't, he won't know your moves or your running route at game time. So when it comes to a good quarterback and receiver tandem, after a few months and enough practice with each other you will see these tendencies. You will know what he likes and he will know what you like. It might take a few months, but the offseason program is good for that.
The opportunity to work with Matthew Stafford and get on the same page is a huge challenge, but a lot of fun to look forward to. It just comes down to planning the time.
3. All-American Game Plan
You have to be committed. I think you need to invest your time and effort. Consistency assumes that you know what you are doing and that you do it consistently at a high level. I'm a smaller guy so I would be different from what Aaron Donald would do. Whatever it is, find your niche and keep the workout at a high level.
First, once the season ends, I take a lot of time, maybe a month or two, and let my body heal. I will use this time to think about what I need to improve. Once I start again, I usually train once a day in the off-season. I'll hit the track first thing in the morning, then into the weight room. I like to turn it on. I have a feeling when you get into the season the coaches will work you pretty hard. So all you have to do is do enough to stay in shape for camp.
4. Work for your profits
In all fairness, all you have to do is put in the work if you want to achieve something. Everyone wants to be a professional athlete, a Hall of Fame player. They want to get all the fame and the awards and the pro bowls and all the pros. . But to make it through, you are one of the chosen few. Everyone wants to achieve it, but few can achieve it because they are willing to go beyond it. So if you have a mindset that goes beyond mentality, that mindset is where you will achieve and get something done.
To be a professional athlete, having the talent is good, but if you don't have the work ethic, it doesn't matter how much talent you have – you are only as good as the work you put into the talent . I encourage all young children, including professionals, to be the best you can be, you have to have this work ethic. If you don't work today, you will not be doing your best. Attitude to nothing that has been given to you and all that you have you have worked for. Get it and you will make it.
5. Embrace Your Achievement (You Deserved It)
I think the moment for me lost in making it in the NFL was against the Giants in 2010 when I withdrew the punt return for a touchdown to end the game. That moment was kind of surreal to me because it was a special moment in my career playing in the NFL and being the first and only player to end a game with a punt return touchdown. It felt like a big deal because I was the first person in the NFL to do that, and the league has been around for a long time. It was incredible for me to be able to do that. I could not believe it.