This season, Jackson hopes to provide the sizzle

by Gary Shelton on August 1, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

Jackson goes through drill work at practice./STEVEN MUNCIE

Jackson goes through drill work at practice./STEVEN MUNCIE

Wednesday, 3 a.m.

He could hide behind the numbers, which suggest that his first season wasn't that bad. He could blame the injury to his starting quarterback. He could blame the general underachievement of the offense.

But that would be spin control.

Everyone knows that DeSean Jackson's first season with the Tampa Bay Bucs was not what it was expected to be.

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Jackson caught 50 balls last year, only six fewer than he caught the year before with Washington. He also started two fewer games.

But those are just statistics. If you want to be truthful about it, you have to talk about impact, and the fact that Jackson averaged 4.5 fewer yards per catch than he had the year before. For a guy who was supposed to add sizzle to the Bucs' offenses, there wasn't a lot of electricity to be had.

“Any time I get an opportunity. I’ve kind of been the same," Jackson said. "Any time I get an opportunity to make good plays and spark this offense up, with explosive plays or highlighting anything, or scoring touchdowns, whatever it is I’m here to do. It’s what I’m going to do to try to get more of it then last year. Obviously last year was a disappointing year for myself and the team, so I just want to be able to spark this team up, give them high energy, good plays, and explosive plays.”

Jackson said he can see a difference with this year's Bucs' team.

“We have a lot more competitive players now," Jackson said. "A lot of new additions are coming from winning mentalities. They’re able to push the drive and push other guys on this team to the highest of their potential. I think that’s the first and foremost thing, just the competitive nature, guys working harder and putting the work in. Obviously last year was a frustrating year for everyone that’s a part of the Buccaneers, but they say ‘one come and go.’ We go out there, put the work in, and hopefully the results show on Sundays.”

Jackson was unable to provide the spark he had in previous seasons, but it wasn't the worst debut. Remember Alvin Harper? He came in as a big-time free agent and had 46 catches (and 19 his second year). Bert Emanuel debuted with 41 catches, then fell off to 22.

It will likely affect Jackson that the Bucs will have a different quarterback for the first three games (Ryan Fitzpatrick) than its regular (Jameis Winston).

“I'm just trying to get as may reps with both of them as possible," Jackson said. "At practice when we’re running routes on air, get a couple with Fitz, get a couple with Jameis, and still get that timing down. I think that’s going to be important. Unfortunately, (Winston is) out for the first three games, but still being able to have him here in training camp and still work with him. Obviously it’ll be gone in three weeks, but right now its imperative and important to get as many reps as possible.”




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