Jackson was a bad fit for S.F., but Washington's right place
If the 49ers draft well, theyll come up with a younger, taller and less self-absorbed wide receiver than DeSean Jackson. For a team so close to championship caliber, perhaps theres no need to gamble on such a tempestuous personality.
If youre that franchise in Washington, the one that needs a new name, Jackson is the perfect choice.
Heres a team that bordered on the disgraceful last season, from clownish owner Dan Snyder to the lamentable Mike Shanahan-Robert Griffin III dynamic. Whats wrong with a bit of risk? How much worse could it get under new coach Jay Gruden? Talent has a way of changing things in the NFL, very quickly, and Jackson has the ability to alter games all by himself.
Hes likely to be on his best behavior until at least midseason (whenever he sees things turning sour for the team or himself) and count on him making immediate folly of the Eagles rude dismissal. Whos more dangerous on deep routes? Anyone? In the wake of 82 catches, 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns, hes coming off his career-best season.
The tone of opinion is hardly universal, meanwhile, about his potentially disruptive presence. In the face of disturbing rumors about his alleged association with gang members, Jackson received heartfelt support last week from a number of sources - including a childhood friend, Seattles Richard Sherman, who praised Jackson not only as a player, but as a man.
In the long run, this doesnt give Washington a division title or a sturdy team leader. But its an outright gift for Griffin, whose high-character reputation took a serious hit after his series of awkward, diva-like public comments about Shanahan and the team. For pure entertainment, Griffin-to-Jackson could be one hell of a show. They should run a play called Redemption.Hashtag awful
It took only a week to expose a ghastly flaw in baseballs new instant-replay system. Managers should have nothing to do with this process, just as the NFLs challenge-flag system is a complete joke. Keep the coaches out of it! If a play is in doubt, go straight to the replay booth - on site, not in New York - and get the quickest possible decision. What use is the technology if a team is out of challenges? Its like theyre kidding ... As the Giants wisely move run-producing hitters (Brandon Belt and Hunter Pence) into the No. 2 slot in the batting order, the trend continues throughout baseball: Mike Trout, Joe Mauer, Wil Myers, Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Bryce Harper, Dustin Pedroia and Josh Donaldson, among others ... The Giants should have zero issues with Tim Lincecums first start. It was Catfish Hunter-like: smart and efficient, not irreparably harmed by the long ball ... Quick word to the many folks mispronouncing Ehire Adrianzas last name: Its Ahd-rianza ... The Giants felt last years World Baseball Classic was partially to blame for Ryan Vogelsongs accelerated spring program (and ensuing demise). Now its the Dodgers and their trip to Australia. Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt is dropping strong hints that the ridiculous scheduling - exhibition games, sudden trip Down Under for games that count, back to the Cactus League - caused the injures to Clayton Kershaw and Brian Wilson ... Athletes who have had Kershaws type of back injury are strongly advising him not to come back too early. He may not be seen until late May, if then ... Nice TV contract for the Dodgers, by the way. They cut an $8.35 billion deal but havent hooked up with DirecTV and many other providers, leaving most of their fans in the dark. L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke spent four hours driving around town in search of Tuesday nights telecast, checking sports bars and other establishments in four different cities, and found it blacked out everywhere.
Still a long way from his native Houston, pitcher Mark Appel is working his way through the Astros system - starting in Lancaster, a California League outpost near the Mojave Desert. A first-round draft pick after deciding to spend his senior year at Stanford, Appel will be playing alongside shortstop Carlos Correa, another elite prospect ... And so it begins, once again: Not enough As games on local television. Seven home weekday games (12:35 starts) will be blacked out, plus six more on the road. The As schedule is nearly identical to what we have for the Giants, said Comcast SportsNet Bay Area president Ted Griggs. The difference is that the As arent carried by an over-the-air station (NBC Bay Area will air 15 Giants games). And in some cases, the national broadcasters have not picked the As for Saturday or Sunday-night exclusives. We do have the ability to add a few pennant-race games late in the season, as weve done in the past. ... Fox made a couple of smart hires, Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci, for national telecasts in the wake of Tim McCarvers retirement. Their debut comes in Saturdays Giants-Dodgers game ... Wonder if Buster Posey saw this comment from a rival scout in Sports Illustrateds assessment of Royals catcher Salvador Perez: Next to Yadier Molina, hes the best catcher in baseball. ... Also in that issue, on the As Billy Burns: If Billy Hamilton is in a speed class of his own, Burns is in the next tier with Mike Trout and Peter Bourjos.
Bruce Jenkins is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @bruce_jenkins1