DeSean Jackson: Living His Father’s Dream

 Washington Redskins wide  receiver DeSean Jackson and his brother Byron remember their father every Father’s Day with the film that pays tribute to their dad.

1JacksonBill Jackson always had high hopes for his sons and a dream to one day have both his sons play in the National Football League. From a young age, Brother Byron loved filming and football and played his college ball at San Jose State and later landed a spot on the Kansas City Chief’s practice squad. However his real passion was film and Byron  decided to leave football behind in favor of film making.

Byron’s Film “#10 DeSean Jackson: The Making of a Father’s Dream”   is a documentary produced by Byron Jackson and the Konwiser brothers about Bill Jackson’s drive to push his sons to the NFL and the good and bad that came with it.

The film chronicles DeSean Jackson’s football journey from his early days in Pop Warner to Pro Bowl Wide Receiver  with the Eagles. Byron began filming his brother DeSean when he was about nine years old, and for more than 18 years Byron’s camera almost never stopped rolling. For Bill, every day was a one step closer to getting DeSean to the NFL. Not a day went by that Father and son weren’t doing something to improve DeSean’s physical, mental and football abilities. “I never gave him time off, people used to say” Bill Jackson says in the film.

Here is a sneak peek at the movie:

Though he worked with his son almost every day, Bill realized that if he wanted DeSean to make it big, he would need a little help. Bill brought in four former pro players and track stars to help mentor and teach DeSean. This group came to be known as “Team Jackson.”

Darrick Davis, Irving Booker, Gary Cablayan, and Travis Clark made up the team. DeSean embraced his new mentors and they soon became more like brothers to him. DeSean was put to the test with grueling workouts and character building activities that were designed to make him the best he could be, and hopefully a high draft selection someday. The workouts were hard and sometimes DeSean didn’t want to do them. But his father’s unwavering faith persevered and pushed DeSean to places he never thought he could go.

In the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft with the 49th pick the Philadelphia Eagles selected DeSean. That season Jackson was the first rookie to start opening day for head coach Andy Reid. He immediately became a star. Within the first two weeks of the season Jackson made history as being only the second player in NFL history to have over 100 receiving yards in his first two games. He provided many big plays for the Eagles through his first season which his father was able to watch and enjoy.

Tragedy would hit the Jackson family as Bill was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and would soon be unable to attend his son’s games. In the 2009 playoffs, the Eagles took on the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC championship game. Bill watched the game from his hospital room along with some other family members. The Eagles would lose that game 32-25. That would be the last time Bill would get to see DeSean play. on May 14, 2009, Bill lost his battle with pancreatic cancer.

2Jackson
Bill Jackson is pictured here to the left
Byron Jackson is on the right

In 2010, DeSean tied an NFL record with eight touchdowns of over 50 yards in a single season and ended that season as the Eagles leading receiver. He was selected to the Pro Bowl that year and made NFL history by being the first player to be selected at two positions (Wide Receiver and Kick Return Specialist).

One of the more emotional scenes from the film shows DeSean and Byron waiting for the phone call from Coach Andy Reid on whether or not DeSean made the Pro Bowl. The call came and when he heard the news DeSean jumped into his brother’s arms in a loving and thankful embrace. After the celebration, DeSean turns to the camera and says “Pops man, I love you. You knew.”

Though his father wasn’t there to see it, the countless hours of training and discipline all paid off for the Jackson family.  This film portrays the true love and passion of fathers and sons and it shows that with love and support no goal is unreachable.

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