The Added Threat Of DeSean Jackson

Posted Oct 12, 2017

Vincent Jackson surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in a season six times in his career, but by last year’s meeting with the Cardinals, Tampa Bay’s veteran wideout was no longer a dynamic threat. It’s not a surprise the Buccaneers beefed up their pass-catching weapons this offseason, as it was clear during the Cardinals’ blowout win in Week 2 that wide receiver Mike Evans needed some help. Enter DeSean Jackson, the former Eagles star.

Vincent Jackson surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in a season six times in his career, but by last year’s meeting with the Cardinals, Tampa Bay’s veteran wideout was no longer a dynamic threat.

It’s not a surprise the Buccaneers beefed up their pass-catching weapons this offseason, as it was clear during the Cardinals’ blowout win in Week 2 that wide receiver Mike Evans needed some help.

Enter DeSean Jackson, the former Eagles star. The speedster hasn’t gotten totally untracked yet, with 14 catches for 249 yards and a touchdown in four games, but will be a much harder player to defend than any second option Tampa Bay had last season.

With Patrick Peterson expected to once again shadow Evans, that responsibility will go to Justin Bethel, who knows sticking with Jackson will be a challenge.

“His legacy precedes him,” Bethel said. “He’s a speedy guy, a great deep ball threat. It adds even more. Between them two, they’ve got a big-bodied deep guy and a speedy deep guy. So they can go at you either way.”

Peterson did his job again last week, controlling Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, but the complementary options lit up the Cardinals. Jackson and quarterback Jameis Winston haven’t perfected their rapport yet, and the Cardinals can’t allow that to happen in this game.

“We’re still seeing a lot of double (teams) for Mike Evans,” Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter said. “DeSean definitely gives us another big playmaker. We haven’t taken advantage of it as much as we could have. For us to be successful moving forward, we’re going to have to take further advantage of that.”

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