LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — Players in the Washington Redskins locker room appear ready to welcome DeSean Jackson with open arms.
The wide receiver currently battling allegations regarding his character inside and out of the locker room was absent from Ashburn on the first day of voluntary workouts. Jackson, who signed with the Redskins last week following his release from the Philadelphia Eagles, is reportedly vacationing out of the country.
When he returns, however, he will be facing a clean slate from his new teammates, including left tackle Trent Williams.
“No, not at all,” Williams responded Monday when asked whether he had reservations about Jackson joining the Redskins.
Williams had remained in contact with Jackson since befriending him during Pro Bowl festivities this year. Shortly after the receiver was released, Williams texted Jackson to inquire whether he would consider staying in the NFC East and grew increasingly excited when he was told the receiver’s agent had already spoken with team officials.
“I just called him back and said we would love to have a player of this caliber and that our team would be willing to embrace him and try to do big things this year,” he said.
Williams dismissed the rumors surrounding Jackson, calling them “he said, she said” speculation.
“You gotta get to know a guy for yourself,” he said. “I haven’t had any type of bad feelings toward him. When I met him, he was a great guy. … I don’t think he’s a bad guy. I don’t think his character is bad. I think he can be a great addition to the team.”
Williams is hoping Jackson, along with the additions of Jason Hatcher, Ryan Clark and others, can play a pivotal role in rebounding from a dismal 2013 campaign. The key to finding successes is for Jackson and Co. to perform as a single cohesive unit.
“We’re too talented to go 3-13 again,” Williams said. “That was us, there’s nothing you can do about it now. Whatever the case may be that’s who we were — we were 3-13. We were a below average team. We had the talent to perform with anybody, but we didn’t come together like we were supposed to and we didn’t win the games like we were supposed to. That needs to be in our back pocket at all times and be a driving force.”
Williams also said he hasn’t had a chance to dive deep into the new coach Jay Gruden’s playbook, but said it will be a mix of old and new concepts.