With all the talk about DJax's lack of production. Here's a couple quotes directly from Rookie Returner Dexter Jackson and his Head Coach Jon Gruden:
DJax on playing Sunday:
"I'll be back there on punts and kicks this week," said Jackson. "As long as I produce I'll be back there, so I'm going to try and make the best of it. It is a lot different with the speed of the game. I'm trying to get used to the new schemes that we have, and just try to trust it and break some out." - Pewter Report
Did Gruden clear him to declare himself a starter this weekend? Nobody wants to see Gruden's temper flare up again. The speed of the game has clearly been a source of frustration for DJax. He can no longer play cat and mouse by moving east and west on the field. The defense is too fast in the NFL. The sooner he figures that out the better.
DJax on Gruden pulling him last week against the Bears:
"Coach Gruden felt like he wanted to try some other people out," said Jackson. "Basically, it adds fuel to my fire. We are all here to win, so he is going to put the best person out there to help us do it." - Pewter Report
DJax on his learning curve:
"The first three weeks have been a learning lesson for me," said Jackson. "It is about watching tape and finding the big holes. They come down hard, but the way we block our schemes we can get our blocks and open up some alleyways for us" - Pewter Report
Gruden on potentially benching his Rookie Returner:
"There's a lot of speculation about that," Gruden said. "No, I'm not really thinking about that. We'll have some other guys that will contribute. Whether Dexter does it exclusively or not will be something we decide when the ball is kicked Sunday afternoon. He's a big part of our plans, and we have some other guys. You've seen Ike [Hilliard] back there. You've seen [Michael] Clayton back there. You might see somebody else. We're going to do it on a situational basis, and we'll have a plan for each return." - Pewter Report
It's good that Gruden feels the speculation out there, its an indication that the Beat Writers and/or the fan base is getting its concerns across to him. Not that he gives a lick, but its cool to see that he at least acknowledges it. I'm praying DJax takes the initial kickoff and returns it for big time yardage. He's got incredible speed and when he gets space he makes things exciting. Hilliard and Clayton need to focus on receiving the ball.
The Pewter Report has a poll up asking fans whether they would bench Dexter Jackson now. The results thus far? 70% of the 760+ voters elected for the Bucs to bench Dexter Jackson. Incredible. All of this talk is based solely on his Draft Status. The return game has been non-existent for the Bucs FOREVER and has never been given the attention that DJax and his 2nd round Draft selection has endured. In a way thats good as ALL Bucs issues are being addressed, but its also a bit premature to bench a Rookie after three games. Michael Clayton's gotten three years... Come on DJax silence the critics!!!