It only took about one half of football before the first Bucs fan said the words..."Man we need Tanard Jackson out there"!
And so we waited, and watched the secondary look like an attraction at Busch Gardens....Up...Down...Rinse, Lather, repeat. Well the wait is over, and Jackson is ready to come back. Problem solved?
Not so fast...As of midweek he was not even on the roster yet!
That will probably come Saturday, but the questions on this man continue to linger on all fronts. Can he play right away? Will he help? What did he do?
Jackson has still not come forward and explained the reason for his suspension. One gets the feeling though that the young man has learned a valuable lesson from all of this, from the way he sounds.
"I learned a lot. I could sit here and go on forever as to how much I learned. The main thing is that this is what I love to do, this is what I am blessed to do and this is where I am." Tanard Jackson
Jackson may never come forward and tell the public what happened, but he does admit that being away gave him plenty of time to reflect on things. We have no idea if drugs are the issue at stake, but usually when they are involved, a person shows true growth when they realize they have hurt others with their mistakes. Tanard appears to have leaned into that, admitting he realizes he has let down his team-mates and coaches.
As for if he will be able to help the 31st ranked defense in the league...that is a question that may not even be answered on Sunday. It is clear he's considered an elite talent in the NFL. Andy Reid, Philadelphia's Head Coach has said as much....
"They're getting a Pro-Bowl-caliber safety back, Reid said of the third year pro out of Syracuse. "I don't know how much he is going to play but I presume its going to be a lot." Andy Reid
Never say Andy Reid isn't a smart man! The Bucs hope just having him in the lineup will change the way offenses look at the Bucs....instead of sharpening their claws when they game plan for our leaky secondary. Jackson's presence should assure that offenses take another look downfield first before firing. But will he actually be able to make the difference? Asked what he did to pass the time away, and Jackson will tell you how he worked out in Syracuse, NY; his home.
His first sight when he returned? Head Coach Raheem Morris at the airport, who was giving him a pick up from the terminal. Forget about 'his' issues though..if you ask him about the team..T-Jack's solution is a simple one; To get all three phases of the team working together. Basically, what we have been saying all along here at Buc'em.
Oh, thats 4 phases of the game that need improving;
Coaching too, if you ask Buc'em readers !