Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Vincent Jackson brings skill, leadership

TAMPA — He makes his living studying receivers the way astronomers look at stars. He calculates their speed, how they stem routes, get in and out of breaks, searching for any subtle clue to gain an advantage.

But Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber admits his data on Vincent Jackson wasn't trustworthy.

"I don't know what I thought about him before he got here, but it was certainly completely wrong," Barber, 37, said of the ex-Charger signed as a free agent during the offseason. "I knew he was a great player. He's big. He's fast, competitive. But he is as talented a receiver as I've been around.

"His manner of going about his job is unparalleled for me. I haven't seen many players, especially receivers, spend as much time and dig into his playbook and just be a natural leader."

Bucs coach Greg Schiano, after arriving from Rutgers in February, relied on video to evaluate Jackson. The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder had eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards in his past three full seasons. (He played only five games in 2010 due to a contract dispute and suspension.) Jackson also gains 17.5 yards per catch.

"When Mark (Dominik) and Dennis (Hickey) flooded me with tape, it didn't take long to see the production," Schiano said of the Bucs general manager and director of player personnel, respectively. "Just look at the stat line. But what you don't know is what a great worker he is, a true professional he is. He's really fun to coach."

Almost immediately after Jackson signed a five-year, $55.5 million contract (the No. 5s a nod to quarterback Josh Freeman), he impressed teammates and coaches with his work ethic.

Jackson did bring personal baggage. He served a three-game suspension in 2010 for a second drunken driving arrest, and the contract dispute painted him as a prickly personality.

But Jackson immediately bought into the no-nonsense, disciplined program being force-fed by Schiano.

"I go out here, and I work just like everybody else," Jackson said. "For me to come out here and have that enthusiasm, I'm trying to get the young guys to … chase me around. It's exciting, and I think that energy is only going to continue to breed throughout our team throughout the summer."

Tampa Bay's receivers were young and rudderless last season, the second each for Mike Williams, Arrelious Benn and Preston Parker. The oldest receiver, Micheal Spurlock, 29, rarely played. Turns out, the Bucs acquired a pretty good leader as well.

"He just came in and assumed that role," Barber said. "He certainly carries a presence about him."

Rick Stroud can be reached at stroud@tampabay.com and heard from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays on WDAE-620.

New Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Vincent Jackson brings skill, leadership 06/13/12 [Last modified: Thursday, June 14, 2012 1:03am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  2. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  3. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  4. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.
  5. Rays up next: vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: Off

    Up next: vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field.