Buccaneers: Five players who must step up for a successful 2017 season
Read it before you say no. I promise, there was no DeSean hating in the making of this slide.
The reason Jackson is on this list has to do with the position he plays. The second wide receiver position has been abysmal over the last couple of years. Ever since Vincent Jackson started to fall to injury, nobody has stepped up to replace him. We all love Adam Humphries and the mark he has made on the team. When nobody else would make plays, he did. But, like it or not, he has limits. Humphries is best suited as a slot receiver.
The Bucs needed a player that can take the attention away from Mike Evans. We have referenced this number a million times and we will do it again. Evans was targeted 173 times last year (per Sporting Charts). Why would the defense pay attention to anyone else? Jameis Winston relied on nobody else. They needed someone on the opposite side to draw the attention away and give him some one-on-one coverage for a change.
Jackson will also take the top off of the defense, leaving room for Evans, Cameron Brate, and O.J. Howard to roam free. He will also prevent teams from overloading the box with eight or nine defenders, giving the running game room to be effective.
Many years ago, Yankees outfielder Reggie Jackson got himself in trouble with manager Billy Martin for saying he was the “straw that stirs the drink”. For the Bucs offense, DeSean Jackson, in many ways, will be that straw.
Next: Five players that made their mark away from Tampa
But he must have a big year. A mediocre “D-Jax” will go along way to stalling the Bucs dreams in their tracks.