Sunday, April 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs journal: DeSean Jackson stepping up leadership

TAMPA — With WR Mike Evans suspended Sunday, WR DeSean Jackson set season highs with six catches on 10 targets in helping the Bucs to a 15-10 win over the Jets. The former Pro Bowler also embraced more of a leadership role.

"Let’s not forget where … we came from," Jackson told the team as it huddled in the locker room after the game, from video posted on the Bucs’ official site. "We can’t get too excited. It’s one game. We’re still 3-6. Have fun, celebrate, we still have to come to work and put the hard hats on. The goal is seven in a row. Let’s turn this around."

Jackson also stepped in when teammates were arguing on the sideline in the final minute of the game after a penalty set up a late Jets touchdown.

"DeSean has definitely grown with this team," coach Dirk Koetter said. "The last three weeks, DeSean has done a nice job. He has done a nice job in practice, done a nice job in the games and done a nice job with how he has handled everything that spirals around your football team. I’m proud of him for that. When you bring in a vet and a player with his pedigree, that is always an added bonus."

Good sport

For the fourth consecutive year, DT Gerald McCoy is the Bucs’ nominee for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. McCoy is the only player in the NFL to be nominated four years in a row, and the 49ers’ Joe Staley is the only other player to be nominated even three straight years.

This and that

WR Freddie Martino, waived Monday as the Bucs made room for Evans to return from suspension, cleared waivers and was re-signed to the practice squad. The Bucs released DE Patrick Gamble and CB David Rivers from the practice squad, leaving one spot open. … With six sacks Sunday, the Bucs have 14 for the season and are no longer last in the NFL. The Giants and Raiders have 13 each. … Continuing to search for depth at defensive end, the Bucs worked out former Gators DE Alex McCalister. McCalister, a seventh-round pick of the Eagles in 2016, spent last year on injured reserve and was cut from the Eagles’ practice squad two weeks ago.

Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

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