Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former USF Bulls receiver Amarri Jackson steps up to help Tampa Bay Storm

For Hank Edwards, it was an unfortunate break. For Amarri Jackson, it was a break he needed.

When the Edwards, the Storm's standout receiver, broke his right hand shortly before the game at Orlando on May 6, Jackson's role took a significant uptick. The rookie had become increasingly involved in the offense before Edwards' injury, but he was about to become front and center.

"They were big shoes to fill," said Jackson, who played at USF, "but it was time to step up."

And he has done just that over the past five games, during which the Storm has gone 4-1 and revived a season that started 2-6.

"Things have been starting to click for me," said Jackson, who was released after Bucs minicamps in 2008 and 2009 and training camp with Hamilton of the Canadian Football League in 2010.

"The game has been starting to slow down."

In the past six games, Jackson, 25, has led the Storm in receiving three times and surpassed 100 yards four times. His biggest game came in last week's 46-44 win against Orlando, when he caught 11 passes for 151 yards and five touchdowns.

In all, he has caught 79 passes for 1,000 yards and 22 touchdowns.

"(Jackson) always has a smile on his face, and he's a great kid who's becoming a pro," Storm coach Dave Ewart said. "The guy is 6 feet 5 and runs a 4.4 40 (yard dash). He's got all the tools."

And with Edwards back, the Storm now has three legitimate threats. Jackson credits Edwards and former USF receiver Huey Whittaker (team highs of 113 catches, 1,257 yards and 25 touchdowns this season) for teaching him the ins and outs of the Arena game.

"From film work to weights to on the field, both those guys have taught me so much in terms of how to be a pro," Jackson said. "They are both franchise guys, and I stay in their ears as much as I can."

And although it remains unlikely, Jackson believes the Storm can reach the postseason. Tonight will be a major hurdle. Jacksonville has won 12 in a row since losing its opener.

"We have all the tools, and each time, it's a one-game season for us," Jackson said. "We have been our biggest opponent all season, so we just need to go out and play our game."

Kaleita returns: Tampa Bay's offensive line will get a boost tonight with the return of Tom Kaleita, who has been out since May 24 with a sprained ligament in his left knee. To make room, the team released defensive back Terrance Washington.


Storm at Jacksonville

When/where: 7; Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena TV/radio: BHSN; 1250-AM

Former USF Bulls receiver Amarri Jackson steps up to help Tampa Bay Storm 06/24/11 [Last modified: Friday, June 24, 2011 9:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs-Jaguars: Five things to watch Thursday in Jacksonville


    JACKSONVILLE — The Bucs have their second preseason game here Thursday against the Jaguars, and here are five things to keep an eye on as Tampa Bay moves closer to paring its roster from 90 players to 53 by Sept. 3.


    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) participates in training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. We knew Aguayo was a goner, and 'Hard Knocks' still delivers


    Tuesday night's second installment of Hard Knocks, the HBO show that is going behind the scenes at training camp with the Bucs, had plenty of interesting tidbits, revelations and insights.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo (19) kicks during training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. For starters: Rays at Jays, looking for some carryover


    The six runs and 13 hits the Rays posted on Tuesday were a positive, but the true test if they are out of their historically bad hitting slump will come tonight and in the coming days as they try to build on their success.

    "Hopefully,'' manager Kevin Cash said after Tuesday's 6-4 win, "there is a …

    Daniel Robertson is expected to make a third straight start tonight, likely at shortstop.
  4. What you might have missed in the second episode of the Bucs on 'Hard Knocks'


    We're back for another episode of The Annotated Hard Knocks, trying to find behind-the-scenes insights and things you might have missed in Tuesday's second episode of "Hard Knocks," following the Bucs in …

    As the crowd recognized him and got loud, Jameis Winston jumped up and down in celebration. [GREG AUMAN | Times]
  5. Why Noah Spence could be the Bucs' X-factor


    JACKSONVILLE — Noah Spence crouched in a four-point stance, bending low like a sprinter in starting blocks. At the snap, he took one step to his right, startling Jaguars left tackle Josh Wells with his explosiveness. Wells went for the move and Spence countered with an inside swim move, flying past Wells' right …

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Noah Spence (57) participates in training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times