DeSean Jackson had the opportunity to respond to Todd Monken’s comments at the first day of Buccaneers OTAs.
There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that DeSean Jackson was paid a hefty price to accomplish one thing and one thing alone – help get the Buccaneers deep into the playoffs. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken didn’t mince words last week when he called out Jackson, saying “he better be great,”
"“How can we get DeSean Jackson up to playing at a really high level? Not that he’s still not capable of it, but how do we get him to play at why we paid him? I’ve told him that, ‘we have paid you a hell of a lot of money to be a damn good player. We’re not paying you a lot of money, this is a contract where we’re paying you for what you’ve done for us…we’re not paying like (Derek) Jeter the last three years…we don’t have any old street cred that we’re paying you. No. We need you to be a great player now. Okay? That’s why we gave you the money. “You came here because of the money. Don’t give me all that bull about you came here because of the weather and Jameis. No. You came here because we paid you the most. You need to play like that. He gets that. He’s smart enough to understand that.’"
Jackson responded Tuesday to the odd comment basically saying the only reason Jackson is in Tampa is because of the paycheck;
"“I think anybody – everybody sitting in this room – if you had a chance to get a pay rise or whatever, I think you would take the same addition. So, it’s really not all about money. It definitely plays a key part, but I play this game at a high level and you get rewarded for what you do. So, just going out there and putting it in on the field and once you do that, then [you get] the results. Hopefully, you get paid enough to take care of your family and live a great lifestyle, but still put in the work. I expect high expectations for myself. I don’t let anyone else really control that. I ask the same thing from myself, my family, people that work for me, so I understand that. One thing about myself is I’m a professional, I go out there and the results show for themselves. However someone feels, that’s how they feel. I know when it comes time to play games and I’m out there on the field, I’m going to give it all I’ve got to help my team win games.”"
Neither guy is really wrong, here. If Jackson is going to get paid what he’s getting then he needs to be able to perform on a high level. On the flip side, no one in their right mind would turn down the kind of pay raise Jackson got (all relative to their industry, of course) to change jobs and head to a new company.
Although the comments by Monken were a bit odd – and in my opinion a bit unnecessary – Jackson is here and motivated to succeed as he is a key part of the Bucs’ offensive success this season.