What the Buccaneers are going to do about DeSean Jackson remains a major topic of conversation these days. The veteran receiver has another year on his contract, but he has been clear about his frustrations and desire to move on from the team. Whether or not Tampa Bay will let him go and save some money remains to be seen.
For his part, quarterback Jameis Winston seems eager to work things out with Jackson. Of course, that’s a two-way street. But Winston is in Atlanta for the Super Bowl and did an interview with Michael Vick on Friday. In the short time the two spent together, Vick asked about Winston’s relationship with Jackson. The young quarterback remained very complimentary of his receiver and spoke as if the two will be on the same team in 2019:
“One thing DeSean is gonna do is he’s gonna keep it real with you. I think as a quarterback, when you have a receiver like that, you respect that. When you know you got a playmaker like him, he wants the ball. He feeds off the ball. That’s just something I got to continue to work at with him to get him the ball. Me and Mike have that relationship. We have that 1-2 punch. Me and DeSean, we’re gonna develop that because, I mean, the man, he got skills out the ying-yang. I just gotta get him the ball, whether it’s not just long down the field… just put the ball in his hands and let him do what he do because he’s one of the greatest to ever play.”
Of course, Winston isn’t the kind of guy to openly bash a teammate, so this might not be any indication of the team’s plans for Jackson. The struggle between the two has been well-documented, as they just can’t seem to get on the same page. But with this and the report that new head coach Bruce Arians wants to work things out with the 32-year-old, could there be a good chance of No. 11 giving things another shot? We’ll find that out in the coming months.
As far as expectations for 2019, Winston seems focused on letting his actions do the talking.
“As with every year, you always have high expectations, man. I ain’t even talking about no records, man. I’m just about that action, man. I gotta bounce back strong, I gotta hit ‘em hard, and I can’t leave these fools nothing to talk about.”
2018 saw Winston dial back his “rah-rah” tendencies a bit. Whether that was a good thing or not has been debated. Some have said he wasn’t allowed to be himself, but others saw his more subdued leadership style as a sign of maturity. Either way, he seems set on working hard and getting the Bucs into contention. When Vick brought up the playoffs, Winston said “it’s necessary.”
Elsewhere in the interview, “Jaboo” talked about his new coach, where the team can get better and the weapons on his offense. The full interview can be found below: