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Jackson’s father and inner circle of handlers/trainers were so hands-on — and at times abrasive — that minutes after Jackson was drafted, then-Eagles coach Andy Reid called and informed Jackson he didn’t want any problems from his father or the others.

Bill died of pancreatic cancer in 2009. He at least saw his son achieve what was long his father’s dream.

Jackson’s mother, Gayle, read the stories about her son this spring. They decided little could be done to counter the budding perception. Jackson released a statement at the time saying he was not and never has been a gang member. Otherwise, they chose not to “fight fire with fire.”

“That was pretty shocking,” Gayle said. “That was all the superlatives you could think of. That was a real wake-up call probably is what it was. I try to not let things worry me. That you couldn’t help let worry you because you never want your child or anybody you love portrayed in a bad light. So, when I heard that, those stories and accusations were disturbing.

“I also knew that you can’t please the world. You can’t please everybody and I can’t go explaining to the whole world, my son’s not like that. But what I did kind of settle in on, and find comfort from, was the fact that I know the people who know DeSean know the truth. For all those other people that don’t know the truth, that’s real sad.

“In this case, where they were making up all these allegations that there were gang ties and all that stuff that stuff was totally not true.”

In addition to thrusting DeSean into sports, Bill would embrace other kids in the neighborhood. If they needed a place to stay, they could stay with him. If they needed a ride to Little League because their parents worked late, he would pick them up. The latter was the case for Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.

Sherman grew up in Watts. Bill, often referred to as “Pop,” would give him a ride to Holly Park Little League games where he and DeSean were teammates. The offseason reports of Jackson’s alleged gang ties rankled Sherman.

“I feel like people are going to make the assumptions they are going to make regardless,” Sherman said. “I think there are a number of players in the NFL you could make that case for, myself included.”

At Redskins training camp in Richmond, Jackson was among the players pictured on signage during the walk into the facility. Most were smiling. Jackson’s face is stern, just short of a sneer. The photo is representative of the edge Jackson carries, something Sherman says is crucial to crawling out of the inner-city crab bucket.

“I think that it’s a real cut throat environment that we come from,” Sherman said. “It’s a real dog-eat-dog world. People joke about it and talk about it like they know, but you don’t know unless you’re there. To make it out of there, you have to have a certain mentality. You have to have a certain mindset. You can’t trust a lot of things you hear and a lot of people because a lot of times you’ll be setup for failure.”

Though Jackson is the only player from Los Angeles on the roster, he had one friend already in Washington. Left tackle Trent Williams got to know Jackson at this year’s Pro Bowl. He told Jackson how he would love to play with him. The thought of his speed, his ability to bust a big play in an instant, made Williams giddy.

They exchanged numbers and kept in touch. Not long after, the reports came out.

“I didn’t validate it,” Williams said. “That’s the first time anybody’s heard that and it just so happen to come after he got released for some odd reason. I don’t know. There’s something more to that situation which I don’t really care to speak about.

“I never felt like I needed to have a conversation with him. The media — society in general — they’re always looking for something. Especially when you’re down. They’re going to try to kick you when you’re down.”

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