DeSean Jackson thinks he has a lot more to offer than he showed in his first year with the Buccaneers.
And he thinks the same can be said for quarterback Jameis Winston.
During an appearance on ESPN’s First Take, Jackson said he thought Winston was often trying to do too much last year, as part of a year that saw the Bucs fall far short of the lofty expectations that were placed on him.
“I think he needs to continue to be what he was that made him be Jameis Winston,” Jackson said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “I think he has to come in there, which he is already doing and just being professional, and just go back to the steps when I was a young kid or I was in high school and just have fun with it. You try to impress and say, “Hey, I want to do this,’ and show them ‘I can do this or show them I can do this or that.’ But you’ve got to kind of get away from that and just going back to playing ball in the yard. How we were playing when we were young. That’s what I tell him. You’ve got to back to getting comfortable and being Jameis Winston who we all know he can be. The past two years, he had 4,000 yards passing so I just stressed onto him, everything, all the intangibles he has everything.
“I’ve seen him play. I’ve seen him on the practice field, he has the leadership. He has everything to be their guy. It’s just going back, have fun and not trying to impress the world. Just be yourself.”
That’s interesting (if not rambling) on a few levels, not the least of which was the way the Bucs flirted with a Jon Gruden reunion before being outbid by the Raiders. Gruden’s notoriously hard on quarterbacks, and Dirk Koetter ended up getting the job in the first place because of his relationship with and ability to maximize the talents of Winston.
But as it pertains to Jackson, it’s clear that his 50 catches for 668 yards and three touchdowns were well short of what anyone imagined when he signed a three-year, $33.5 million contract last offseason. He admitted he was disappointed with the lack of chemistry he found with Winston, and that it was something they were going to continue to work on.