Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson talks about his explosive new team, and how he will make his partner in crime better.
DeSean Jackson had Buccaneers fans everywhere going crazy when he signed a three-year contract to join the team. He was the big-ticket item in the free agency market, and he wanted to come to Tampa. Jameis Winston helped out with some public recruiting, but hey, whatever works. Whatever the reason, an elite talent landed in Tampa Bay ready to become that perfect complement to Mike Evans on the outside.
But that was on paper. As we all know, the games aren’t played on paper, they are played between the white lines. That starts in training camp. It may not be the most important factor in deciding competitions, but it is where chemistry is developed. Jackson has to get used to Winston, and used to playing with Mike Evans on the other side. Without chemistry, all of the potential will remain just that.
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Following Monday’s practice, Jackson was asked what he thinks about the Bucs offense so far (via the team website):
"“Explosive, man. We’ve been making a lot of plays. It’s definitely a dynamic duo of an offense here. We’ve got a lot of weapons. I’m just excited to be here and be an addition to this offense. We are putting in a lot of work in day-in and day-out – full days – so this is a part of where we want to go and what we want to do as a team. Collectively, day-in and day-out, we’re coming together and we’re working hard.”"
Whether we want to admit it or not, Jackson has had the reputation of a diva, at times. He has had his moments as a locker room headache. He jas boycotted the media in the past. To see Jackson apply himself and dedicate himself to this Bucs team is excited. It means we are going to get the best out of him, which should frighten NFC South opponents.
We have all seen the improvements in Mike Evans’ game. He has become “elite” right before our very eyes. If there is one item he could improve, however, it’s yards after the catch. Last season, he was the third worst in the league, with an average of 1.8 Y.A.C. per reception (per Sporting Charts). On the other hand, Jackson averaged 5.1 Y.A.C. Do we potentially have teachable moments here for our wide receiver duo? Jackson is ready to help:
"“I told him this year, he can’t let the first guy tackle him. Once he catches the ball, he can’t let the first guy tackle him. If he does, then he’s going to have to hear from me. But, he’s doing a great job, he’s working hard. He’s definitely a physical receiver. He is big, huge guy so he is able to go up and make some crazy plays, but I think this year he will definitely have some more [yards] after the catch.”"
Sometimes, players recognize their diva ways of the past and grow up as they remain in the league. Dez Bryant has not, for example, but maybe DeSean Jackson has.
If he has grown up, DeSean Jackson becomes a steal. For a team looking to take that next step, a veteran that is talented and willing to lead is priceless. This really will become one of the best duos in the entire sport if this keeps up.