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michael89156

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: December 13, 2012, 12:36:37 AM



First-year Bucs receiver Vincent Jackson even better than advertised

 By Rick Stroud, Times Staff Writer
 In Print: Thursday, December 13, 2012



[DANIEL WALLACE | Times]
Vincent Jackson weathers a hit from free safety Rahim Moore to haul in a 19-yard pass in Denver.
 
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TAMPA

Vincent Jackson always has been known as a big-play receiver, a vertical threat with speed to get behind defenders and the size to outmuscle them deep downfield for the football.

The only question for the 29-year-old entering this season was, at 6 feet 5, 230 pounds, could he show more growth at playing his position?

Jackson's performance in the Bucs' 23-21 loss Sunday to the Philadelphia Eagles offered more evidence that he is the complete package.

The super-sized, super-athletic Jackson took over the game on offense for the Bucs in the second half Sunday.

Lining up as the middle receiver in a bunch formation, he beat Eagles linebacker Jamar Chaney on an arrow route before splitting safety Nate Allen and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for a 13-yard touchdown. He also added a 40-yard catch on a post route and a 25-yard reception on a stutter and go, beating cornerback Curtis Marsh and safety Nate Allen on both plays.

Jackson finished with six catches for 131 yards and a touchdown, marking the fourth time this season he has eclipsed the century mark.

"He's been such an impact player for us, first by his performance on the field, the plays he has made, the consistency, his professionalism, how he approached himself and the versatility," Bucs offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan said. "Because here is a guy who makes some plays on shorter throws, run after catches, in the tight green zone and yet still a vertical threat.

"The big block he had on (Doug Martin's) touchdown run, he was able to come and dig out the safety. So this is a complete, physical presence, a dominant physical presence. He's a joy to be around, he's a leader, he's part of the solution, we're really fortunate to have him."

Jackson is seventh in the NFL with 1,145 yards and eight touchdowns on 56 catches. His 20.4-yard average is tops in the league. What's more, he has proven he can play inside the numbers, take hits and hang onto the football.

Considering how NFL free agency can produce a bunch of million-dollar maybes, Jackson has lived up to his hype as the best available weapon on the market last spring. Considering that guard Carl Nicks suffered a season-ending foot injury and cornerback Eric Wright was suspended four games for what he says was Adderall use, Jackson seems like a good purchase coming over from the Chargers at five years, $55.5 million.

"I'm pleased with it, I'm happy to contribute the way I have," Jackson said. "There are a lot of great tools around me that allow me to be successful. For me, I just have to go out there and continue to work hard, have fun, enjoy it, and we'll see how the season ends. But right now, it's always about the wins first."

While many of Jackson's plays came against other players, he got the best of the Eagles' Nnamdi Asomugha, the former Raiders cornerback.

"I really do enjoy playing against the elite corners in this league; they bring out the best in you," Jackson said. "They're tough guys, they win their battles, you win your battles, and that's the fun part of playing this game."

With three games remaining, Jackson is taking aim at the Bucs' single-season receiving yardage record held by Mark Carrier, who had 1,422 yards in 1989.

"I think this year, as you watch him play, he's become more of a polished route runner in his double moves and his inside cut routes," Saints interim coach Joe Vitt said.

"He's a guy that bodies defenders as well as anybody in the league. He knows how to play the game, and I think he's really got a good rapport with the quarterback. He's the first look Josh (Freeman) is getting now, and I've got great respect for his body of work, I really do."

Benchwarmer#1

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#1 : December 13, 2012, 01:42:37 AM

I told everyone that VJ would be a monster in this division. Rivers won't ever be quite the same without him.

Naismith was right about Revis. Everyone else is a dummy.

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#2 : December 13, 2012, 01:46:22 AM

 He's no Alvin Harper. He has been stellar all year. Best Buccaneer free agent pickup since Hardy.

JavaRay

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#3 : December 13, 2012, 01:54:29 AM

He's literally carried Freeman.


Bayfisher

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#4 : December 13, 2012, 02:00:13 AM

After getting the big bucks he came in and worked hard.  From what I have read he seems to be a respected leader on the team and I can only respect that. Great signing so far. Jackson even said in the beginning of the year that Freeman would make him a better receiver.

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#5 : December 13, 2012, 02:07:49 AM

Freeman definitely has not made him a better receiver.   If anything, VJax has saved Freeman's butt all year.    Sullivan does a great job calling schemes to get VJax the ball though.  He's absolutely the go-to guy in this offense.


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#6 : December 13, 2012, 02:21:28 AM

Jackson is a better receiver because he is a more important part of the team and more productive than he was with Rivers. The situations differ but you watched the games like I have. Like it or not Freeman had something to do with that.  And I'm sure you noticed my last comment was the extreme opposite of your comment on purpose.

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#7 : December 13, 2012, 02:24:19 AM

If you don't think VJax has carried Freeman this year, you haven't watched the games.


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#8 : December 13, 2012, 02:24:28 AM

Freeman definitely has not made him a better receiver.   If anything, VJax has saved Freeman's butt all year.    Sullivan does a great job calling schemes to get VJax the ball though. He's absolutely the go-to guy in this offense.

Freeman has done a good job, but VJ is obviously in his own class.

Naismith was right about Revis. Everyone else is a dummy.

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#9 : December 13, 2012, 02:32:59 AM

I understand the effect Jackson has had on the team.  I fail to see how any receiver doesn't carry their qb.  It seems like a symbiotic relationship to me.

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#10 : December 13, 2012, 02:40:38 AM

Any WR carries their QB?    I think there are actually very few who do.   For sure VJax carries Freeman.    You think Maurice Stovall carried Buc QB's?


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#11 : December 13, 2012, 03:08:25 AM

I understand Freeman's shortcomings and your crusade.  I'm not willing to discredit him entirely in the situation. Jackson has made plays that you would expect out of a number 1 WR. Jackson has been slowed by good corners this season also. Freeman has made some terrible throws and cost Jackson some stats. Overall his value to the team has been immense and much needed.  It was a steadily improving system until some film was out there. Now you earn your keep mixing the formula. With a stubborn coach and Mr. E at qb this is a major concern.   

JavaRay

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#12 : December 13, 2012, 03:16:08 AM

He does love his E.


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#13 : December 13, 2012, 03:37:07 PM

VJ's stats with Freeman in his first year will exceed any he had in San Diego with Rivers on much more veteran teams. That says a lot for Freeman and this coaching staff as well.  I expect a year under their belt will make them even more productive in the future.

Curious to see how Rivers does next year with new coaches and a new scheme.

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#14 : December 13, 2012, 04:08:36 PM

I told everyone that VJ would be a monster in this division. Rivers won't ever be quite the same without him.

I wouldn't be so quick to pat yourself on the back regarding Jackson, because I also remember you posting this when the Bucs were mentioned as a landing spot for Jackson:

LMFAO @ peoplewhothinkglazerswillspend.com

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