NFL

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Buccaneers' Jackson says he's driven by team success, not personal accomplishments

  • Print

TAMPA, Fla. - Vincent Jackson thinks the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be better on offence this season, even if he catches fewer passes and gets into the end zone less often.

That how much the three-time Pro Bowl receiver believes in quarterback Josh McCown and some of the other changes the team has made after ranking 30th in scoring and last in passing and total yardage in 2013.

Jackson has had two stellar seasons since signing a five-year, $55.55 contract in free agency, but says he would gladly sacrifice gaudy statistics for more wins.

The Bucs haven't made the playoffs since 2007, however Jackson is confident that trend will not continue under new coach Lovie Smith.

"I start every season the same way. It's got to be about wins. Team first. Every time I come out here, I need to be part of this offence, contribute to this offence," the 10th-year pro said.

"That just means doing my job. It doesn't mean going out there and catching a certain amount of balls or scoring a certain amount of touchdowns," Jackson added. "Sometimes I can create openings for other guys, and the run game can get it there and mix it up. To me, that's winning football. That's what Lovie's about. That's what I've always been about."

Jackson, 31, posted personal bests with 72 catches for 1,384 yards while averaging a NFL-leading 19.2 yards per reception and scoring eight touchdowns in 2012.

He followed up with a career-high 78 receptions for 1,224 yards and seven TDs a year ago, when Tampa Bay began the season with eight consecutive losses and finished 4-12.

When Smith replaced former coach Greg Schiano in January one of his first orders of business was hiring Jack Tedford as his offensive co-ordinator. The former Cal coach installed an up tempo style of offence that Jackson says will provide plenty opportunities for him, running back Doug Martin and others to contribute.

"I'm excited. ... Training camp is obviously a time for us to clean up, sharpen everything we've worked on this off-season," said Jackson, who spent the first seven years of his career with the San Diego Chargers.

"Now it's time to really crank it up, start defining different positions, getting guys in locations where we have (matchup) advantages and getting in a good rhythm," he added. "I'm excited where we're at right now. I think we're ahead of the curve for being a new offence with a lot of new guys together."

Besides signing McCown, a career backup coming off his best year, the Bucs used their entire draft on offensive reinforcements, beginning with the top three picks — receiver Mike Evans, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and running back Charles Sims.

McCown threw for 13 TDs and just one interception while filling in for an injured Jay Cutler in Chicago last year.

"Josh is a big, strong physical guy. He can make every throw," said Jackson, whose big contract was done in all fives in honour of former Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman.

Freeman lost Tampa Bay's starting job and subsequently was released early last year. Jackson's production didn't suffer much with Mike Glennon running the offence the final 13 games, and it hasn't taken the five-time 1,000-yard receiver long to build a nice rapport with McCown.

"I think a lot of it just has to do with his savviness on the field. He's a very smart guy. He understands space and location and separation on routes and the way the dimensions of a defence work," Jackson said.

"We spend a lot of time off the field away from this facility, going to high schools and just spending time talking through some things, running some basic routes and getting a feel for each other," he added. "I think that relationship is only going to continue to grow."

___

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Police: Three or four infants' bodies found in storage locker

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Goslings with some size head for cover Wednesday afternoon on Commerce Drive in Tuxedo Business Park - See Bryksa 30 Goose Challenge- Day 12- May 16, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Young goslings are growing up quickly near Cresent Lake in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba- See Bryksa 30 Day goose project- Day 11- May 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who has been the biggest disappointment on the Jets to start the season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google