DeSean Jackson: "I'm not perfect. No one is"

DeSean Jackson: "I'm not perfect. No one is"
April 4, 2014, 8:00 pm
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Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10) along the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Panthers 14-9.

(Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports)

DeSean Jackson acknowledged to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith that he made some mistakes early on his career but that he’s “matured to the utmost” in recent years.

“Have I always been perfect? Have I always done things the right way? No,” Jackson told Smith in a lengthy interview Friday afternoon. “Have I learned and found out a better way of doing things? Yes.”

“Me coming in the league at 20 years old, very young, not knowing the right and wrong things to do,” Jackson continued. “I had to learn it. I’m not perfect. No one is. But at the end of the day, I’m going to learn to do it the right way.”

Jackson acknowledged that he had been late to meetings as a member of the Eagles, who released him last week after six seasons amid reports that he did not see eye-to-eye with head coach Chip Kelly, was a poor example for younger teammates and allegations of gang ties.

The Redskins signed Jackson, a 27-year-old three-time Pro Bowler, to a three-year, $24 million contact on Wednesday.

“For sure, I have been late,” Jackson said. “I’m not going to lie about that. I have been late to meetings before. I missed one meeting probably out of my whole career. But at the end of the day, once again, we’re not perfect. Things happen.”

Jackson, who is from Southern California, also said that has never been in a gang. He also said he’s tried to distance himself from people in his life that do “negative” things.

“I mean, early on in my career – don’t get me wrong – I feel I was hanging around and surrounding myself around the wrong individuals,” he said. “But that was on me to learn, for me to understand and make that change in my life. Speaking for right now, today, it’s not true.”

Jackson added: “The past two or three years I’ve matured to the utmost. The past couple of years, I’ve been able to find out what I need, the support. Just stick to the ones that was there before I made it. Not the ones that just come around when you made it, with all the success and pat you on the back and smile in your face. That’s the fake. You know what the real is, but sometimes it’s hard to see it.”