The league’s most speed-deficient offense. The league’s fastest player. The math here is easy, right?
At 30 years of age the 5’10” Jackson continues to burn past defenders with nearly the same world-class speed, acceleration and quickness that he entered the league with back in 2008. Last season the ninth-year vet from California registered his fifth 1,000 yard season and averaged 17 yards per catch on 56 receptions along with four touchdowns. Jackson missed one game, and was responsible for three dropped passes.
For Jackson’s entire career he’s been labeled as a one trick pony which is hard to argue with, but here’s the thing: it’s a hell of a trick. Imagine if that pony’s lone trick was being able to literally jump up into the air and fly. That’d be pretty neat, right? Jackson is a flying pony. He won’t put up gaudy reception numbers and has never been north of ten touchdowns, but he offers the exact types of explosive plays that the Bucs offense sorely lacks.
For the better part of the last two seasons the Bucs passing offense has started and stopped wherever the receiver catches the football. Targets like Mike Evans, Adam Humphries, Vincent Jackson and Cameron Brate are all capable of picking up first downs and touchdowns, but struggle to do much with the football in their hands. DeSean Jackson fixes that problem instantly. Whether it be on deep crossing patters, posts, streaks or screens, Jackson’s speed can change an offense like the Buccaneers’.
The idea of Jackson as a secondary threat to defenses should be mouth-watering for Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter. For both Philadelphia and Washington it was Jackson whom defensive coordinators zeroed in on and dedicated safety help towards, but in Tampa he would be second fiddle to Mike Evans. The space that Jackson creates is something that can’t be measured by a statistic but helps every other pass-catcher on the offense out.
Like Pierre Garcon, it’s been reported that Jackson will command top 20 receiver money and it’s believed that Jackson will want the most of the pair. While Garcon has a relatively safe floor, Jackson has a higher ceiling with more potential for big plays, which could make the Bucs more willing to open up their checkbooks. Also working in Jackson’s favor is his potential for special teams contributions, another big issue for the Bucs.