Training has now begun and it will not be too long until we are hanging out at the WTB tailgate waiting to get into the stadium to cheer on those Buccaneers. Training camp has different levels of importance to different types of players. Players like Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, Gerald McCoy, Kwon Alexander do not have to make a splash in training camp to keep their job. Other guys such as Alan Cross, Josh Huff, Ryan Griffin and Peyton Barber are all fighting for a roster spot this fall. The other level of players that are normally safe are the players who signed big time deals with the team in free agency. If someone is getting paid that much money it’s pretty much a guarantee that they will stick around. DeSean Jackson was the Buccaneers big time free agent acquisition this past offseason and even though his job is safe, he has certainly not been quiet in training camp thus far. Jackson has made multiple explosive plays. Head Coach Dirk Koetter described an explosive play as a play that goes for over 25 yards. Well, DeSean Jackson reeled in not one, but TWO 80 yard touchdowns from QB Jameis Winston on Saturday including a juggling one in the pouring down rain for the second 80 yarder of the day. DeSean Jackson has already made a tremendous impact on the offense so let’s take a closer look at how much impact he could have in a Buccaneer uniform.
Impact by the numbers
When people hear the name DeSean Jackson, they often think of the Eagles. Some people think of the Redskins. Some only thing of the (alleged) problems he had while with his former teams. He was sometimes labeled a “diva” while in Philly. All of those things come to different people but one thing comes from everyone and that is speed. DeSean Jackson is one of the fastest players of all time and even now at age 30 is still one of. if not the fastest player in the NFL. When Dirk Koetter was at the podium at the scouting combine he said that the Bucs needed more explosive plays. Enter Jason Licht and team and the GM backs up his coach by getting the man that has led the NFL since 2009 in:
- 50 yard receptions with 37
- 50 yard reception touchdowns with 21
- Overall 50 yard touchdowns with 26
Translation, every time Jackson touches the ball something special happens. The reason Dirk Koetter said what he said and the reason Jason Licht went out and signed DeSean Jackson to a big money deal was that one thing the Buccaneers did not have; speed. Last season the Bucs had very little speed with their wide receiver corps. I took a look at 40 yard dash times for every Bucs receiver who played in the regular season last year and concluded that Vincent Jackson, who is currently 34 years old, ran the fastest 40 time of any Buccaneer receiver and he ran it in 2005. That is over 10 years ago and I am sure that Vincent Jackson was not as fast as that last season. Now, what did DeSean Jackson run? Jackson ran a 4.35 at the combine. Way faster than any Buccaneer receiver last season. Now, I’m sure Jackson hasn’t probably slowed down a bit but probably could still run a 4.38. That is very solid and is also very fast. The Bucs have not seen speed like Jackson’s since Joey Galloway and that was close to 10 years ago… It will surely be nice to have that speed back in Tampa Bay this season.
Impact by the mentality
DeSean Jackson, as I stated earlier, has been labeled as a diva. In his Philly days, he did not always get along with everyone in the organization and would sometimes even get into arguments with Eagles coaches and players. He was released by the Eagles after 6 seasons with them and reports surfaced that he was involved in gang related activities . These turned out to be nothing but DeSean still found himself headed out of town and toward the nation’s capital. The Redskins felt comfortable with Jackson when he said that those gang reports weren’t true and the signed him to a 3-year deal. He did not have many problems in Washington, but as is often the case, it was time to move on. Enough looking backward, let’s look forward to what he will bring to the Bucs. DeSean Jackson has always carried around that swagger, that, “I can beat you every time,” attitude. He doesn’t like to be hit the wrong way because he is super competitive. The Bucs never really had swagger on their team, at least not recently. Now they have players like Kwon Alexander and DeSean Jackson. They also have a player that’s nickname is literally “Swaggy” in Chris Baker. I believe that when players play with swagger they play better because they think and know that they are truly better than their opponent. Trust me, Jackson’s swagger will rub off on other teammates and it will be fun to watch.
DeSean Jackson really excites me and he excites me for all the reasons I said. He brings that right mentality to the team and oh by the way he’s super good. DeSean Jackson is still fast, just ask the Bucs corners who have had to go against him in practice and they will tell you. Speaking of practice. his speed will actually help the Bucs corners because they will learn different ways to cover players with that much speed. It is going to be very fun watching Jackson go to work this season. He should bring the electricity to the team that they have needed for a long time. I hope everyone enjoyed this article and I cannot wait for this upcoming season to begin. GO BUCS!