Meet the coaches: Receivers coach P.J. Fleck on Vincent Jackson
We got our first chance to speak with the Bucs’ assistant coaches today, providing us an opportunity to touch on a number of subjects.
One of the things that struck me was listening to receivers coach P.J. Fleck talk about Vincent Jackson. It was impossible to take in what Fleck said without realizing the impact Jackson will have off the field as well as on.
The Bucs’ receivers during the past two seasons were, perhaps, the youngest unit on the team. Leadership was practically non-existent.
Along comes Jackson, a proven veteran who was the top free-agent receiver, and there’s now hope of bringing some professionalism to a unit that sorely needed it.
“It’s fun to watch him work because he’s such a good influence on the other guys with how professional he is,” Fleck said of Jackson. “He’s the first one in line, he’s the first one in meetings, he takes incredible notes. His notebook is immaculate. And it says a lot about him. If he keeps doing that, I think he’s going to get where he wants to be.”
Fleck invoked some of his boss’ words to describe the importance of Jackson’s role.
“Coach (Greg) Schiano always says, ‘If you’re a leader, you lead. You either lead positively or you need negatively. But you’re leading,’’’ Fleck said. “(Jackson) has definitely steered all those guys in a positive direction and they’re buying into what he’s selling. He’s just made the whole room better and he’ll continue to do that on a daily basis. Once that becomes the habit of everybody else, I hope this unit really takes off.”
The funny thing about Jackson, Fleck said, is that although he’s by far the most accomplished member of the unit, he’s arguably the hungriest. That’s saying something for a guy who has three 1,000-yard seasons in his past four campaigns.
“The one thing about Vincent is he’s so humble but he’s so talented,” Fleck said. “Usually, you don’t get that combination. You get one or the other. He’s got both. The one thing about Vincent is this: He’s made it very clear to me that he wants to become an elite player. He’s been very good and he’s done a lot of good things in the National Football League, but I think there’s still a carrot in front of him that he’s chasing.”