So far, Jackson has had the impact the Bucs wanted

by Gary Shelton on August 1, 2017 · 4 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

Jackson has been a terrific addition so far./CARMEN MANDATO

Jackson has been a terrific addition so far./CARMEN MANDATO

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

Mike Evans is the best player. Chris Godwin is the flashy newcomer. Adam Humphries is the kid with the dependable hands. Tight end O.J. Howard is the one with the solid future.

DeSean Jackson? He's the fast one.

And so far in the Bucs' training camp, he's the one who, so far, has held things together.

Everyone knew that Jackson, the Bucs' free agent signee from Washington, had speed. But so far, his leadership has helped him to make an immediate impact on the Bucs' receiving corps. He's taken on the mentor role, that of the savvy vet.

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Jacques Rodgers takes the snap from Winston./CARMEN MANDATO

Jacquizz Rodgers takes the snap from Winston./CARMEN MANDATO

And so far, the vet likes what he sees of his new team.

"Explosive, man,” he said. “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.

No. 2 draft pick Justin Evans points to his receiver./CARMEN MANDATO

No. 2 draft pick Justin Evans points to his receiver./CARMEN MANDATO

"This is just a hard-working team. Everybody is competing out there. Everybody wants to be great. Everybody wants to take their job seriously, so I think as a group and as individuals we are all working toward one common goal — to be one of the last teams standing toward the end of the year. This is when it starts. You can’t take shortcuts, so you’ve got to put in the work day in and day out and that’s what we are doing.”

Jackson is expected to give the Bucs a new dimension to their offense. Evans is already a Pro Bowler, and Godwin has flashed as a draft pick. Howard looks like a coming weapon.

Ah, but it is Jackson who hopes that the other weapons will keep defenses from concentrating on him.

"Hey, that's the plan,” Jackson said. “Hopefully, you know, they might be zoned in on them more than me, so however it works out, I’ll be ready to go. I’m getting myself ready to be in the best shape possible to make it through a long season.”

So far, Jackson has emerged as the leader of the Bucs' receivers.

Market hopes to anchor the line at center./CARMEN MANDATO

Marpet hopes to anchor the line at center./CARMEN MANDATO

"I have a lot of experience under my belt, so anything I can give back to these young guys,” Jackson said. “Teach them, give them little pointers. That’s what I’m here to do, I’m not here to keep all the information to myself. I love to pass information down, and vice versa. These guys see anything in my game that they can pass to me, I’m always open ears and willing to learn.”

Maybe that applies to Evans, too. Jackson is already on him about increasing his yards per catch. It's been a goal of Evans – like lowering his dropped passes of a year ago — but it doesn't hurt that Jackson is weighing in, too.

"I told him this year, he can’t let the first guy tackle him,” Jackson said. “Once he catches the ball, he can’t let the first guy tackle him. If he does, then he’s going to

George Johnson goes through an agility drill./CARMEN MANDATO

George Johnson goes through an agility drill./CARMEN MANDATO

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.”

Jackson even had praise for the Bucs' secondary. Corners Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargreaves return, and safeties Keith Tandy and Chris Conti have seen new competition from No. 2 draft choice Justin Evans and safety J.J. Wilcox.

Jackson also likes his new quarterback in Jameis Winston.

"He is going to take what the defense gives him,” Jackson said. “You can’t force anything in this league. I think a couple days ago, there were a couple throws he wanted to take back, but that’s a part of training camp, that’s a part of practice. When the defense gives you looks sometimes you see things differently, so you can’t take that away.

"You’ve got to go out there, you’ve got to see it, you’ve got to go through it and that’s a part of practice, so he is doing what he needs to do to make his reads and get the ball where it needs to get to.”

Bucs think they have a find in tight end Auclair./CARMEN MANDATO

Bucs think they have a find in tight end Auclair./CARMEN MANDATO

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Bill MYERS August 1, 2017 at 12:09 pm

Again, this team is looking awesome on paper! I am really excited to get the season started so they can prove it. Winning more games than you lose, scoring more points than the other team sounds simple right? And stay healthy! GO BUCS!

Reply

Gary Shelton August 1, 2017 at 10:56 pm

I think health may be the most important thing. Right?

Reply

Bill MYERS August 2, 2017 at 9:05 am

Yeah! Health is a big factor!

Reply

Gary Shelton August 2, 2017 at 11:43 am

Ours, too.

Reply

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