- John Keim, ESPN Staff Writer
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RICHMOND, Va. -- The word poked at his competitive side, prompting receiver DeSean Jackson to issue a reminder. So when he was asked Monday how one teammate, cornerback Chris Culliver, challenged him in practice, the wide receiver made one point clear.
"I don't feel no one can stop me. You can get Darrelle Revis, Richard Sherman -- whoever you want to get."
Certainly, defenses had a tough time stopping Jackson from going deep last season. And in some cases nobody was close to his numbers.
He led the NFL with 13 catches for 40 yards or more -- five more than any other wideout.
He also averaged an NFL-best 20.88 yards per catch -- nearly three yards more than the next receiver, Arizona's Michael Floyd.
There's more: Since entering the NFL as a second-round pick in 2008 with Philadelphia, Jackson has averaged an NFL-best 17.68 yards per catch. Also during this time, Jackson has 48 catches for 40 yards or more -- 11 more than anyone else.
So it's no wonder why Jackson feels confident. It's also no surprise that a receiver would like more passes after catching 56 a year ago, his first season in Washington.
"I always love to do more," Jackson said. "Whatever opportunity I get to make a play I'll make the most of my skills. To score touchdowns, to have energy, to light my team up, to get everyone riled up, to continue to go on the field and play at a high level. I just try to set the tempo, playing at a high level and everyone else can follow."
Last season, the Redskins wanted their quarterbacks to take even more deep shots with Jackson than they did. They were told to throw to him even if he was covered, knowing one of Jackson's strengths was separating from defensive backs downfield. It's a learning process, one that's on-going with his quarterbacks, including starter Robert Griffin III, who connected with him on five plays for at least 40 yards.
"We have that relationship if I feel I can get past a defender and tell him just out-throw the defender, I'll run to get it," Jackson said. "But you don't want it to be forced. You want it to be the right time because if you're just forcing things they might come up with an interception."
Defenses clearly know Jackson's deep-ball speed, which is one reason why the Redskins faced an eight-man box 78 times, tied for 16th in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Also, this season, the Redskins want to focus heavily on the run and use more play-action. That's what Jackson likes to hear.
"You have linebackers and safeties that when they see that fake, they're running up so fast," Jackson said. "That split second allows me to get over the top. As long as we run the ball more and let people see that, we'll be all right."
It could make Jackson even tougher to guard. But one note: the Redskins play at the New York Jets on Oct. 18. No doubt, Revis will look to stop Jackson.