DeSean Jackson ready to start connecting with Jameis Winston

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The Buccaneers aren’t yet getting a return on their DeSean Jackson investment, and he doesn’t understand why there isn’t more of a connection between himself and quarterback Jameis Winston so far.

Jackson has been targeted 20 times in three games, with just nine catches for 143 yards and a touchdown. Those numbers are not in line with the three-year, $30.5 million contract he signed this offseason.

I wish I had the answer for you,’’ Jackson said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “We’re professionals. We’re NFL players. We get paid to do a job. We need to go out there and execute the plan. . . . It’s only been three games. I hope sooner than later we can connect.

“I feel like me being a professional in this league, 10 years in, I’ve been through a lot in my career. But I’m not going to [jump] ship. I’m going to stay on point, stay on plan and I guess eventually it will come together. I’ve just got to continue to go out there and keep beating, beating away and doing things a little bit better.’’

For his part, Winston put the blame on himself.

“I think I just got to get on track with him,’’ Winston said. “I have to play better in all respects. He’s doing what he does, getting open. But again, it’s the third game. I don’t want to talk about, “I got to do this, I have to get DJac the ball.’ It’s obvious I’ve got to get him the ball. He’s going to make this team better. But at the same time, he’s happier with winning than anything else.’’

Winston has targeted Mike Evans 32 times, and slot receiver Adam Humphries 20 times. Of course, with the Patriots’ league-worst pass defense on deck next for the Bucs, Thursday could provide an opportunity to get Jackson going.

11 responses to “DeSean Jackson ready to start connecting with Jameis Winston

  1. Not to worry, the Bucs play the Patriots this week, all will be well for Winston and Jackson…
    (and I am a Patriots fan!).

  2. Pats defense up next. I predict Connection with Winston engine Thursday night…..just like it did for Alex Smith, Drew Brees, Watson and Cam. It’s that simple. It’s terrible to watch as a watch fan, but that’s been the norm through 4 weeks.

  3. The Bucks don’t match up well against the Patriots. They don’t have an ‘X’ factor on offense. The Chiefs have Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill to an extent, the Panthers have Cam Newton and McCaffrey. The Bucs defense isn’t going to slow Brady and Co. The Patriots win comfortably.

  4. Evans is open all the time because of his size. You’d expect him to get more targets.

    Slot receiver action is often an audible based on the D.

    Jackson has never been a high targeted guy (except his last year in Philly) but very dynamic when he does get the ball. His career average is 4 a game. Take away that year and look at other years and his average is a shade more than 3. With one more catch this year, his average would be the same.

    So I guess he expected that career year in Philly this year. Not with Evans around and the way teams have learned to better utilize the slot guy.

  5. PS Not to mention, a guy like him can draw over the top coverage which means less targets but more for others, thus more offensive success.

    I know what it’s like to be the fast guy decoy, it sucks. But you get your catches when they come and winning is the most important thing, even if you’re the designated semi-decoy.

  6. As a Redskins fan, I could have told the Tampa Red Tide that Jackson has lost a step – when he was younger, it would have been impossible for Kirk Cousins to overthrow him – last year it happened with regularity. This guy is at the end – he’s worth maybe $2 million per year at the most.

  7. Evans, Brate, and Howard are big strong players with big “catch radius”. In a contested ball situation, they are much more likely to make the catch.

    Jackson is smaller and not a particularly precise route-runner. The key to getting him un-tracked is to have a credible threat of running the ball. When a defense stacks the box to stop the run, Jackson gets open deep.

    Nothing about the Bucs’ ground game this year would force a defense to do anything unusual to stop them. So teams stay ‘vanilla’ and Jackson is simply not as effective at taking the top of a standard defense.

    If Tampa finds a running attack, they could explode.

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