In San Diego, Vincent Jackson had contract disputes and arrests and a suspension and earned a reputation as a player who was so difficult to deal with that he was barely worth his spectacular talent. But in Tampa Bay, Jackson has transformed into a veteran leader.
Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams told the Tampa Tribune that as soon as Jackson signed his free-agent contract with the Buccaneers, he immediately established himself as the leader of the group and a sounding board for the younger receivers on the team. Williams said the group of young receivers who were already with the Bucs have all adopted Jackson as their leader.
“We still get advice from each other, too, but it’s mostly coming from him now,” Williams said of Jackson. “He’s been showing us a lot of what he’s seen throughout his long career and his 1,000-yard seasons and his Pro Bowl seasons.”
Williams said Jackson has been the person making sure all the young receivers are working hard.
“He’s been letting us know what we’re going to see [from opposing defenses], and he’s basically been telling me to just keep working on my game,” Williams said. “You can’t ever think you’ve mastered it. No matter what, you have to keep on working on it. If you catch a pass 1,000 times, he wants you to catch it 1,005 times. So just keep working on my game is basically what I’ve learned from him.”
There have never been any doubts about Jackson on the field on Sundays in the fall. Now Jackson is becoming a consummate professional all year long.