Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson was asked Wednesday about what he hopes to improve on from a year ago. His response was exactly what fans should want to hear.
“Any time I get an opportunity to get the ball in my hands and make a play, it’s what I live and strive for,” Jackson said. “So, just trying to take advantage of the opportunities and make more out of my opportunities when I do have a chance to either lock the score up or make a big play, that’s what I want to contribute and bring to this team. That’s my objective, that’s what I want to do, just continue to be a complete player, a complete receiver and just help the young guys that probably don’t know things or are asking to learn or whatever it is. If I could help or teach – I’ve played a lot of football and like I said, going on year 11, I know a lot about this game. So, whatever it is I’m asked or called on to do, that’s what I’m here for.”
I personally love that Jackson openly wants to help the young guys but it’s something he said in his initial sentence that can help this team more than anything else and that’s “Making more out of my opportunities when I do have a chance to either lock the score up or make a big play”. Big plays lacked last season, plain and simple. This offense struggled to produce yards after the catch and struggled to push the ball downfield in the air. These are two areas where Jackson himself can drastically improve the offense.
Jon Marchant did a brilliant job walking us through some metrics used to quantify the Buccaneers team receiving efficiency and some of the reasons they are what they are here (Hint: Koetter’s Scheme). To sum it up, the scheme and lack of talent at running back didn’t help Jameis and this offense produce much after the catch. DeSean Jackson being DeSean of years prior may help that a bit in 2018. Jackson is no stranger to big plays and taking short yardage receptions and turning them into big yards after the catch. This past season Jackson and Jameis Winston struggled to hook up for the deep ball that has made Jackson’s career what it is. Some extra work this off season put in by the two will hopefully change that and based on early results in camp, that work may be paying off.
If Winston and Jackson can hook up like they did in the above clip a few times this season, the offense should really be able to press opposing defenses. The addition of Ronald Jones II and O.J. Howard’s emergence as a threat over the middle should add some more booming YAC plays that this offense desperately needs. Another staple of Jackson’s career is his ability to turn screens into big plays. The Buccaneers could really use this to their advantage in more ways than one and not just with Jackson for that matter. If the Tampa Bay offense shows a few different looks and throws some run-pass-option into the mix it could really open up some doors for big gains. The clip below gives fans a taste of what Jackson can do with a little bit of space and a quick screen pass, a play the team could very well go to several times this coming season with the field spread.
Bucs fans will be smiling ear to ear if this offense lives up to it’s potential this season. This writer right here in particular would love to see some Desean Jackson highlights in 2018. With some improved chemistry between Jackson and Winston along with a few new pieces the team added should be more than enough to improve an a disappointing 2017 for the Buccaneer offense that went in with high expectations.