As DeSean Jackson enters his first year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, what can we expect?
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a stellar offseason to say the least. In between the draft and acquiring talent, they certainly put themselves in a better position to make some noise in the NFC South. One of their biggest editions was wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
After not having a 1,000-yard receiving season since 2014, Jackson bounced back in a big way in 2016. Targeted 100 times, he caught 56 passes for 1,005 yards and four touchdowns. That was good enough for second on the team behind Pierre Garcon. He had four 100-yard games including three in a row (102 against Philadelphia, 111 against Carolina, and 114 against Chicago), closing the 2016 season in style.
In response to the first question, yes I believe he can put together another productive season. He has a tremendous ability to stretch the field and he specializes in gaining separation from defenders and snatching the deep ball. In the 2016 season, Jackson had 19 catches of 20 yards or more and five catches of 40 yards of more. In addition, 35 of his catches resulted in a first down.
This will bode well for Jameis Winston, whose arm strength is one of his hallmarks. Especially if Mike Evans is being played tightly by the defender or is jammed, causing him to mess up the timing of his route, Winston now has an additional security blanket to throw to. If one of Winston’s passes is a little overthrown downfield, Jackson has enough athletic ability where he can catch up to the ball and compensate for the overthrow.
Now for the second question: What will his numbers look like? This question is trickier to answer. With so many talented weapons on board for the Buccaneers, Jackson’s stats might decrease, which makes sense. I would guess around 45 receptions for 950 yards and three touchdowns. In this case, a decrease is not a bad thing.
There is no doubt that whatever his numbers are, he will make an impact on the team. In fact, he is making one already. Winston said Tuesday (via Bucs Wire) that Jackson’s swagger is already rubbing off on the team.
That is great news for Tampa Bay as the combination of talent and confidence to go along with that swagger could lead to big things. The combination of all of them may be enough to push the Buccaneers over the hump and one step closer to playoff contention.